March Student Newsletter – Spring Registration, New Student FAQs, Commencement, Computer help and more

Spring Registration is Now Open!

Registration for Spring Quarter officially opened last week, and we are thrilled that students are already enrolling in their upcoming courses. All students received an email from the Registrar informing them of the registration period in their SOAR portal as well as instructions on how to register for their courses.

Note: make sure to regularly check your University email at for important notifications from the University. Instructions on how to set up your JFKU email account can be found in the FAQs link in the section below.

If you need assistance in registering for classes, please call the Registration Office at 925-969-3353 or email at

If you have any questions about your academic plan or which classes you should take in Spring Quarter, please schedule an appointment online with your Academic Counselor. Refer to the step-by-step guide to book an appointment in the section below. Appointments are available on site, by phone or virtual sessions via Zoom. Questions? Contact

FAQs and Step-by-Step guides: Add/drop classes, Make appointments Online, Look up your Course Syllabi, Order Course Readers and more

As you get ready for Spring Quarter registration, please refer to the FAQs and guides below which contain answers to commonly asked questions.

Remember to Petition for your Degree

If you anticipate graduating in Winter Quarter, Spring Quarter, or Summer Quarter of 2018, please complete the Petition for Degree form as soon as possible and submit it to the Accounting Department along with the required fee. This form is a requirement for graduation even if you do not plan to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

Here are a few options for submitting the form and payment:
1) Bring the completed form to the Accounting Office at the Pleasant Hill campus along with a check or credit/debit card to pay the required fee.
The Accounting Office is located on the second floor, RM 225

Office Hours:
Monday – Thursday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

2) Mail a check and the completed form to the Accounting Office:
100 Ellinwood Way
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523-4817

Make the check payable to John F. Kennedy University.

3) Complete the form and scan it to the Accounting office email at You can call to make a payment over the phone with a credit/debit card at 925-969-3160.

Please be sure to make an appointment to meet with your Academic Counselor, in-person or over the phone, to ensure that you will meet all of your degree requirements and are on track to graduate on time. Please book an appointment during times of availability through the Blackboard portal under Office of Student Experience. Along the left-hand side, click on Meet Your Counselor and scroll down to the Bookings link for your Academic Counselor.


Mark your calendars for John F. Kennedy’s annual Commencement ceremonies:

The College of Law will hold their Commencement on May 31, 2018 at the Lesher Center for the Arts in the city of Walnut Creek. (This ceremony is specifically for students graduating from the Juris Doctor program.)

Students in the College of Psychology, the College of Business and Professional Studies, and the BA Legal Studies program will participate in Commencement on June 23, 2018 at the Paramount Theater in the city of Oakland. Details on how to obtain tickets, accessibility considerations, and purchasing regalia will be sent to all students through SOAR and also via regular mail in March.

Computer Help, Drop-In Hours at the Undergraduate Success Center

The Undergraduate Success Center computer tutor, Jesus Milian, will be available for drop-in visits to answer your computer related questions in preparation for Spring Quarter, including:

  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Google Drive Suite (Docs, Spreadsheets, Slides)
  • BlackBoard

Jesus will be available to help you at the Center from Monday, March 26 through Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

Alternatively, you can book an appointment with Jesus by logging on to BlackBoard – Office of Student Experience – Tutoring Services – Computer/Statistics Tutor – scroll down to find his appointment link. Jesus is available for on-call appointments Monday through Thursday from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

How to Book a Tutoring Appointment – step by step guide

JFKU Students Serving Our Community

Students enrolled in service learning courses SVL4000 (undergraduate) and SVL5000 (graduate) this quarter have designed, and are carrying out, many interesting projects. Our students are devoting their time and skills to non-profit organizations in the community including ones that:

  • Honor and support families of law enforcement and fire service personnel who, in the performance of their duties, paid the ultimate sacrifice for those they served
  • Focus on improving neighborhood conditions through prevention-based programs in education, health services and social services
  • Provide professional, research and evidence-based mental health treatment services for children from birth to 18 years of age, developmental services for infants birth to 3 years of age, behavioral support for children 2 to 6 years of age, supervised visitation services, and parent education
  • Provide compassionate, end-of-life care to terminally ill patients, while offering emotional, spiritual, and grief support for the entire family

Students who have not yet satisfied the university’s service learning requirement and have SVL4000 or SVL5000 on their degree plan may register for them for the Spring 2018 quarter. If you are not sure which course you need to take, please reach out to your academic counselor at

Dr. Sheila Bliss Duffy, Service Learning Coordinator, is available at 925-969-3346 or to answer any questions you may have about your community project.

Textbook Lending, Equipment Lending Library & Professional Development

Come visit the Undergraduate Success Center (USC), Room S 228 on the Pleasant Hill campus, Monday – Thursday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm and Friday 9:00 am – 5:30 pm, or visit the Center’s page on BlackBoard under Office of Student Experience to take advantage of its services:

  • A Student Lounge equipped with adjustable desks, computers, copy machine, color printing, and a color book scanner
  • Need-based Equipment Lending Library: Check out a laptop, tablet, or voice recorder this Spring Quarter
  • Textbook Lending Library for BA Legal Studies, Paralegal Certificate and BA Psychology students
  • One-on-one Tutoring Sessions for Statistics/Math, computer use, and Legal Writing
  • Professional Development Opportunities

E-mail or call 925-969-4741 for more information!

How to Borrow Equipment from the USC Lending Library – step by step guide

Career Guidance and Job Postings

If you need assistance locating job opportunities that suit your career path or a sharp eye to help you update your resume, please get in touch with Matt Harris, our resident Career Advisor. He is available for in-person appointments or via Zoom. He can be reached at 925-969-3462, x3507 or by e-mail at

Additionally, if you want to browse current job listings, log on to Blackboard, click on the Office of Student Experience, and navigate to the Career Services Job Board on the left-hand side of the page.

Writing Support is Available All Quarter

We are sure that you are busy completing your assignments, papers and presentations. We also hope you are making appointments with the Writing Center in search of useful feedback on your draft papers.

If you have not taken advantage of this helpful resource, students are encouraged to schedule an appointment in advance by using the online booking calendar on Blackboard to book time with a Writing Consultant. Scroll down to the Writing Center on the left-hand side and follow the instructions. Appointments are available for students at all three campuses.

San Jose students: Please select either calendar (Berkeley or Pleasant Hill) to make an online or phone appointment (there are no face-to-face appointments available at the San Jose campus at this time).

Online students: Phone, email or ZOOM appointments are available. Click either Pleasant Hill or Berkeley and find an available time.

Appointments are 45 minutes long. Upon submitting your booking request, please submit your paper to

Tips and tools:
Learn how to know your audience by reading Joyce Young’s latest blog posts in the Writing Center’s Blog The Wordpecker.

How to Book an Appointment with a Writing Consultant – step by step guide

Campus Events

Thursday Soapbox

John F. Kennedy University’s Thursday Soapbox, continues this month with an expanded podcast format. Covering a wide range of topics of vital importance in today’s world, the “Thursday Soapbox Series” will bring together students, faculty, and interested members of the public to spread knowledge, spark dialogue; and create a more informed, involved citizenry. Go to for the latest information.

Special Event: An Immigrant Child’s Journey Through the Web of Integrated Healthcare
On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, from Noon to 1:00 pm, join us for the first event in the Grand Rounds Lectures quarterly series. Dr. Brad Berman, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, will present An Immigrant Child’s Journey Through the Web of Integrated Healthcare in Room 263 at the Pleasant Hill campus.

All students and staff are welcome.

The College of Psychology presents Grand Rounds Lectures and introduces renowned researchers, clinicians, and scholars. Their purpose is to expose students, staff and faculty to leading thinkers and topics related to psychology, healthcare, and education. For more information, contact Dr. Alvin McLean at or 925-969-3599.

Professor Frank Burroughs presents at Book Launch on Sunday, March 4, 2018
One of JFK University’s faculty members in the College of Business and Professional Studies, Frank Burroughs, is a writer and author of the novel The Pepper Tree Kingdom. He will be joining fellow writers from The Shadow of the Mountain Writers Guild for a reading to celebrate the release of a new anthology Insight, Hindsight & Flights of Fancy, Professor Burroughs is one of the contributors to this new collection. The reading and book launch will take place on Sunday, March 4, 2018, from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm at The Greenery Restaurant in Walnut Creek. The Greenery is located at 1551 Marchbanks Road, Walnut Creek, near Heather Farm Park.