Personal Attention

COUNSELING - FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions

GETTING STARTED

REGISTRATION

COUNSELING and EDUCATIONAL PLANNING

CATALOG



GETTING STARTED - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I get started at Cypress College?
A. The first step is to turn in an application online at OpenCCCApply or at the Admissions and Records Office (714) 484-7346. Applications are accepted in April for the following fall semester, and in November for the spring semester. For complete information, visit the Getting Started webpage.
 
Q. Do I need to take the math and English Placement Tests in order to take classes at Cypress College?
A.
Some courses require certain levels of math or English eligibility. Your eligibility can be determined in a number of ways. For a complete explanation visit our Assessment Center webpage.
 
Q. Which courses should I take first?
A. Counseling classes are designed to provide you with skills and information to help you through college and life. COUN 140 C Educational Planning should be taken in order to gain an in depth knowledge of Cypress College policies and also complete an SEP (Student Education Plan) to schedule your courses for each semester to complete your specific goal. Additional Counseling classes which would be beneficial are COUN 141 C – Career Exploration, COUN 150 C – Academic & Life Success, and COUN 151 C – Career and Life Planning. For the complete listing of counseling courses, check the Schedule of Classes for content and availability.
 
Q. What do I do if the class I want to take is closed?
A. Attend the first class meeting of the course you wish to add. If space is available, ask the instructor to give you a four-digit "Add Authorization Code" (AAC). Issuing of the AAC is at the discretion of the instructor. IMMEDIATELY access MyGateway. Log in and click on "Add or Drop Classes" in the Registration Tools Tab.  Select the current Term. Enter the CRN in the "CRN" box (you can only add one class at a time) and click on "Confirm Your Choices". When prompted, enter the "Add Authorization Code" the instructor has given you. Click on the "ADMIT ME" button. Click on "Submit Changes" and confirm the status of your class. Pay your fees immediately or you will be dropped for non-payment of the required fees. You may also seek the advice of a counselor who may suggest an alternate class,and inform you of other options available to you.
 
Q. How do I add a class?
A.
If a class is still open during registration, you may add it through MyGateway. The important dates are listed in the Schedule of Classes.
 
Q. Do I have to declare a major?
A. It is not necessary to declare a major, however declaring a major is essential to preparing and achieving your educational goal. We recommend you take advantage of the Career Planning Center and its counselors to clarify your educational goals and decide on a major. We also suggest you consider enrolling in a career class. Students undecided on their major are advised to take one of the following career classes: COUN141 C Career Exploration, COUN 144 C Women & Careers, COUN 145 C Changing Careers or COUN 151 C Career and Life Planning. Further information check out the Schedule of Classes under Counseling and Student Development.
 
REGISTRATION – – Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What do I do after I apply?
A. Registration Confirmation will be e-mailed to you containing your online registration date & time with instructions on how to obtain your student ID number.  For complete information, visit the Getting Started webpage.
 
Q. Do I need to take the math and English assessment?
A. Yes, if you are a new student who has not successfully completed math and/or English courses at another college or university. See the current Schedule of Classes for dates and times. We accept assessment scores from other community college in California if taken within the last 2 years.  For a complete explanation visit our Assessment Center webpage.
 
Q. Do I really have to go to orientation?
A.
Yes, if you are a new student who has not successfully completed college coursework. At orientation a counselor will provide you with registration information, review your test scores and help you select classes for your first semester. You need to bring a Schedule of Classes and a Catalog with you to orientation. Online Orientation is also available online.

Q. How do I meet with a counselor?
A.
New students meet with a counselor in orientation. Please bring high school/other college transcripts. Continuing/Returning students may meet with a counselor during the semester by contacting the Counseling Center at (714) 484-7015.  During registration periods counselors are located in the Counseling Center on the 2nd floor of the Student Center Building on a walk-in basis.
 
Q. When do I register for classes?
A.
You can register/enroll on the date & time stated in your Registration Email (or anytime up until the day before the class begins). The sooner you register the better your chances of getting the classes you want! Fees are due immediately upon registration. All registration is completed online through MyGateway.  For complete information, visit the Getting Started webpage and see additional registration information in the Schedule of Classes.
 
Q. How do I get money to help pay for college?
A.
Financial Aid is available to many college students. The office is located on the 1st floor of the Cypress College Complex building (in the front-center of the campus).
 
Q. Can I use courses from another college?
A. Courses completed at another college or university in the U.S. will need to be reviewed by a Cypress College counselor. Courses completed at another college or university outside of the U.S. will first need to be evaluate by an off-campus evaluation service: http://www.naces.org/. Evaluations need to be course-by-course with grades and units.
 
Q. What is the difference between the Catalog and the Schedule of Classes?
A. The Catalog is a detailed publication of all college policies, regulations and course descriptions of every class we plan to offer at Cypress College. The Schedule of Classes gives information on courses offered during a specific semester including dates, deadlines & fees.
 
Q. If I have a disability where do I go for help?
A.
The Disabled Students Program and Services (DSPS) offers services to students with verified disabilities and is located on the 1st floor of the Cypress College Complex building (in the front-center of the campus). Students with disabilities should contact DSP&S at (714) 484-7104 before taking assessments and continuing with the registration process.
 
COUNSELING / EDUCATIONAL PLANNING – Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q. How do I make an appointment with a counselor?
A. You can set up a Counseling appointment by contacting the Counseling Center at (714) 484-7015 or in person at the Counseling Center located on the 2nd floor of the Student Center Building, Line E.  Walk in counseling is also available for brief questions in the Counseling Center.

Q. Am I assigned to a specific counselor?
A. No, however, each counselor does work primarily with certain majors. Please check the website for counselor locations, major areas of interest and phone numbers.   Academic Counselors will assist you with your Student Education Plan (SEP) and major requirements.

If you are undecided on your major, then you will want to meet with a Career Counselor located in the Career Planning Center to assist you with choosing a major, career selection, career assessments, and guidance through the goal setting and decision making process. Career Counselors are available on an appointment basis during the fall and spring semesters at (714) 484-7120..
 
Q.How do I know what classes to take?
A. Your academic and career goals will determine the classes you will need to take. At orientation a counselor will assist you in planning and understanding how to select classes that meet your academic goals. 
 
 
Q.What is a Student Education Plan (S.E.P.)?
A.  Student Educational Plan is a map of your time at Cypress College. A counselor is able to assist you in making an educational plan for you to reach your goals. This plan will map out which courses you will need to take for the following semester(s) through graduation. 
< Return to COUNSELING/ED PLANNING FAQ
 
Q. If I have a disability, where do I go for assistance?
A. The Disabled Students Program and Services (DSPS) offers services to students with verified disabilities and is located on the 1st floor of the Cypress College Complex building (in the front-center of the campus). Students with disabilities should contact DSP&S at (714) 484-7104 before taking assessments and continuing with the registration process.
 
Q.What's the difference between a degree and certificate program at Cypress College?
A.
There are several Associate Degree Options available to our students.  The Cypress College Catalog and Student Handbook explain many of the educational options available. (Note:  Students enrolled in a COUN 140C Educational Planning course will be given a Student Handbook,)
 
Q. How do I get information about a specific degree or certificate program at Cypress College?
A.
In the Cypress College Catalog you will find descriptions of all our degree and certificate programs. The catalog also contains descriptions of the courses we offer. Our Schedule of Classes indicates the days and times our classes are offered for the current semester.
 
Q. What's the difference between Cypress College and a university?
A. At a university students can earn a bachelor's degree, which requires the completion of approximately 120 - 132 semester units. Some students are prepared to begin their freshman year at a university. Other students prefer to attend a community college where they can adjust to a college environment. Attending Cypress College is significantly less expensive than attending a university and the class sizes are generally smaller, which allows for more personal attention than at many large universities. At Cypress College students can generally complete the equivalent of their lower division or freshman and sophomore level work toward their bachelor's degree (up to 70 units) and then transfer to a university to finish their upper division or their junior and senior level work.
 
Q. If I am planning to transfer to a university, do I need to complete an Associate Degree first?
A. No. The minimum requirements for an Associate's Degree do not meet all of the requirements for students who plan to transfer to a university. However, a student can earn an Associate's Degree at Cypress College as they prepare to transfer. NOTE: Enrolling in COUN 140 C Educational Planning is strongly recommened for the developjent of your Student Education Plan (SEP),
 
Q. What instructional support services are available?
A. A variety of instructional support services are available to students who need assistance at Cypress College. The Library & Learning Resource Center (LLRC) offers a Learning Commons which features desktop computers, and wireless access to students who bring their own laptop computers or PDAs.  The LLRC has computer labs available for world processing, instructional software use, and internet research.  Also at the LLRC is Tutorial Services, English Success Center (ESC), Mathematics Learning Center (MLC) and Supplemental Instruction (SI). See the directory of student resources and services in the Cypress College Student Handbook for more information.
 
Q. If I've completed courses at another college or university, can I use them to meet degree requirements at Cypress College?
A. Yes, per an evaluation process by a counselor.  Students are advised to request an appointment with an Academic Counselor and bring in transcripts showing the courses they have completed at other colleges or universities. Sometimes a course description from the catalog of the school previously attended is also required.  Please click here for counselor locations, major area of interest and phone numbers.
 
Q. How long will it take me to complete my goal at Cypress?
A.
There are many variables involved which include time, comittment, assessment placement and prerequisites for your major. Many classes are also offered during the summer sessions which can help you achieve your goal more quickly.
 
Q. What is the difference between the catalog and the class schedule?
A. The Cypress College Catalog is a detailed publication of all college policies, regulations and course descriptions of every class possibly offered at Cypress College. The Schedule of Classes gives more information about courses offered during a specific semester, including time, day, and units, plus information on applying and registration.
 
CATALOG– Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Will the courses I take at Cypress College transfer to a university?
A. It depends on the course. The Cypress College Catalog has course descriptions that indicate how each course transfers. The COUN 140C Educational Planning course addresses this issue in detail.
 
Q. What's a unit?
A.
A college unit is a term used to define the number of hours a student spends in a given class. A one-unit class typically requires one hour of instruction or class time per week for the entire length of the semester. Lab units are determined differently. For more information, refer to the Schedule of Classes.
 
Q. How many units must I take to be considered a full-time student?
A. Taking 12 units during the fall or spring semester is considered a full-time load. To be eligible for athletics and certain student activities, you must be a full-time student. For more information, refer to the Schedule of Classes.
 
Q. What is the maximum number of units I can take?
A. The college policy for the maximum number of units per semester is 16. If you wish to take more than 16 units in one semester you must have completed 12 units or more and earned a grade point average of 3.0 or above in the previous semester, a Unit Limitation Card (available at the Counseling Center or Admissions and Records Office) is required with the approval of your academic counselor.
 
Q. What about attendance?
A.
Attendance is a student's responsibility and they must realize each instructor has their own method of accountability for attendance.  Regular attendance is expected of every student.  Attendance at the first class meeting is especially important since a full period of instruction begins the first day of the class.  Any student not attending the first class meeting may be dropped by the instructor.  IN the case where a class is taught entirely online, instructors may drop students who have not been in contact with the instructor by the end of the first day of classes for that semester or short-term session.
 
Q. What is a GPA?
A.
GPA stands for grade point average. Letter grades are given point values, and classes are given unit values. Multiplying the letter grade value by the unit value equals the grade points. To figure your grade point average, divide your total number of grade points earned by your total number of units attempted. More information and an example is available in the Cypress College Student Handbook.
 
Q. How do I withdraw/drop a class?
A. While an instructor may drop a student who has poor attendance, it is the student's responsibility to officially withdraw when unable to continue the class.  Students who wish to drop a class or withdraw from the College must drop using myGateway.  Refer to the deadlines listed in the Class Schedule.  For further instructions, see the "How to Add/Drop a Class" page included in the Class Schedule.

NOTE: If you drop a class and later need to re-enroll in that same class or another section of the same course, Admissions and Records must first clear your schedule. This would apply even if you have been issued an Add Authorization Code for the class.
 
Q. Do I have to repeat a class in which I received a "D" or "F" grade?
A.
Course Repeat Adjustment
In the case of a legally repeated course in which a student initially received a “D” or “F” grade at Cypress College, the original grade will be excluded from the grade point average upon request by the student. Exclusion of a substandard grade is not automatic if the course is repeated and a better grade is received. If the student opts to repeat the course a second time, the last grade received will be the only grade included in the student’s grade point average. A remaining substandard grade for the same course will not be excluded from the student’s grade point average except by an approved Academic Renewal. The exception to Academic Renewal is if the student has used the remaining substandard grade for the completion of an associate degree, certificate or transfer certification.

A course repeat adjustment card can be obtained in the Admissions and Records Office, and must be submitted by the student. If approved, the student’s Cypress College permanent record shall be annotated in such a manner that all course work remains legible; however, Cypress College does not annotate or otherwise alter the permanent records of any other institution.

Course Repetition
  • Students may repeat no more than two times the same course in which substandard grades or W’s were assigned at Cypress and Fullerton Colleges. Substandard grades are considered to be D, F, NC, or NP.
  • The college shall exclude the first two substandard grades a student has earned in a course offered at a college within the District in computing the overall GPA if the student repeats the course two times
  • Students may petition to have a substandard grade, grade points,and units excluded from the computation of the student’s grade point average in accord with college procedures.
  • An assignment of MW in accord with provisions related to military service shall not count toward the college computation or exclusion related to probation or dismissal.
  • An assignment of MW shall not count toward the maximum allowable number of repetitions to which the student would otherwise be entitled.
  • Students who have previously earned a grade of C or better in a course offered at the colleges within the District shall be allowed to repeat the course under certain conditions.
  • In accord with a determination that such repetition is required as a disability-related accommodation for a particular student, repetition in a special class for students with disabilities shall be allowed.
  • When course repetition occurs, the permanent academic record shall be annotated in such a manner that all work remains legible, insuring a true and complete academic history. (NOCCCD BP4225 — effective March 8, 2011)
 
Q. How do I find out my semester grades?
A.To get your semester grades you may access MyGateway. Log in and click on "Student Records" in the Student Links Tab. Generally, grades are available three weeks after the semester ends, or you may make an appointment with your counselor the following semester.
 
Q. How do I get a copy of my transcript?
A. To request an official copy of your transcripts, go to the Admissions and Records Office and complete the transcript request form. You may obtain an unofficial copy of your transcripts by accessing MyGateway. Log in and click on "Student Records" in the Student Links Tab. 

Q. What do I do when I am done with my general education and ready to transfer?
A. When you are done with your general education and ready to transfer, students must complete the general education certification form for CSU and/or IGETC. The forms are available in the Admissions and Records Office and in your academic counselor's office. Your counselor can assist you in completing this form. California State University and University of California applications are available in the Transfer Center.
 
Q. How do I apply for graduation?
A. Students must apply for graduation during the semester previous to completing the graduation requirements. The application form is available in the Admissions and Records Office and your academic counselor's office. See important dates in the Schedule of Classes regarding deadlines.
 

Student Spotlight

Danielle
Danielle Nava
Outstanding Alumna, 2009

Danielle Nava has enjoyed a career in the not-for-profit sector for 15 years while serving the Orange County community.