The Matriculation Process: Getting Started at a Community College

The 2013-2014 community college school year has begun and it is time for community college students to matriculate to the campus of their choice. Matriculation is defined as one who is admitted as a student to a college or university. Another definition states, “the formal process of entering a college or a university or of becoming eligible to enter by acquiring the necessary prerequisites.” The student matriculation process involves five simple steps.

The first step is to apply to a community college by filling out an online application through the Admissions and Records Department.  After completing an application students will receive a student identification number within approximately a week.

The second step is to inquire about the financial aid resources on campus through the Financial Aid Department. Students must apply for financial aid at ; the deadline for the 2013-2014 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is March 2, 2013. Students, who are California residents, should also consider applying for the Board of Governors (BOG) fee waiver, which is provided by the State of California to pay tuition. However, be aware that the state allowance differs by state.

The third step is to take an English and Math assessment test through the Assessment Department in order to identify the students English and Math skill set. The assessment results will determine which courses the student can begin to take their first semester. If students are transferring from another community college or university it is essential to provide transcripts in order to clear prerequisites that may restrict the student from taking courses. It is important to note that assessment test scores are not transferable, only completed classes, listed on a transcript can be transferred from one institution to the next.

The fourth step is to attend a student orientation workshop on campus or to complete an online orientation to learn about the services on campus, how to register for classes, and how to succeed at a particular community college.

The fifth step is to schedule an appointment with an academic counselor. During the initial meeting students are encouraged to complete a Student Educational Plan (SEP) outlining all their major and general education courses required to complete their educational goal. This is a great way for students to stay motivated and on task each semester while working towards their individualized curriculum. My advice to students is to choose a counselor to work with on a continuous basis, this allows the counselor to establish a relationship with the student and accordingly monitor their progress on a semester basis.

Key Guidance by Edith Azizian M.S.

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