How do I meet with a counselor?

The Counseling Department is one of the most happening places on campus – especially when it’s time to enroll, apply for graduation, or prepare for transfer.

Sometimes, even before the door opens, there is already a long line of students waiting to meet with a counselor.  Unfortunately, not everyone can be seen immediately…or even on the same day.  The front staff will do the best to accommodate you, but your chances of meeting with a counselor is much greater if you arrive to the Counseling Department first thing in the morning.  Counseling slots fill up quickly and, by the end of the morning, the list is closed for the day.

Here are some tips on meeting with a counselor:

How can I meet with a counselor…

Counselors are available for “quick question” time slots and appointments.  The “quick question” meeting allows for 15-20 minutes to briefly review general education courses, major requirements, transfer information, and/or planning classes for the next semester.

During the “quick question” meeting, a counselor can also assist you with various forms – including a consortium request, student petition, excess units petition, and/or academic renewal.  Although it may seem like an easy signature, a counselor will still need to evaluate your transcript to determine if you are eligible for any of the forms above.

…but I want an appointment…

Counseling appointments (30 minutes) are scheduled only two weeks out and fill up quickly. Appointments are for students who require extended academic planning, specific program planners, or who need an evaluation of transcripts outside of the Los Rios Community College District.  (NOTE: students who need to complete a Financial Aid SAP must first attend the Financial Aid Workshop before meeting with a counselor.)

If you have already met with a counselor during a “quick question” and it is determined that more time is needed then an appointment can be made.

…and why does the line get so long sometimes?!?!

During the registration period, the sign-in list for a “quick question” meeting fills up quickly in the morning.  If you come in the afternoon, there is a great chance that the sign-in list will be full.  If this happens, you will need to return another day to meet with a counselor.

Will the counselor complete an iSEP (individual Student Education Plan) with me?

During the “quick question” meeting, a counselor can assist with a one-semester iSEP to assist with course selections.  If a full iSEP is needed, the counselor can schedule an appointment for a future date.

Where should I wait if I am on the “quick question” list?

If your name is on the “quick question” list, there is a specific time in which you will be seen.  For example, your time slot may be 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and you may be 1st, 2nd, or 3rd on that list.  It’s okay if you decide to leave, but it will be important to return to the Counseling seating area BEFORE your time slot comes up.  If we call your name and you are not there, we will go to the next person on the list and there is a chance that you will need to reschedule.  As you wait in the seating area, make sure to listen for your name and let the counselor know immediately that you are here.

What should I do if I have an appointment?

It’s always a good idea to check in at the front desk so that we know you are here.  Afterwards, please wait in the seating area for your name to be called…don’t leave!  Make every attempt to arrive before your scheduled appointment so that you have time to find a parking spot and to locate the Counseling Office.  If you are late 7 minutes, there is a chance that you will not be seen and will have to reschedule.

What should I bring with me?

If you have attended a college or university outside of the Los Rios Community College District, it will be important to bring those transcripts with you.  You may have already completed general education or major-related courses, so we do not want you to repeat courses that are unnecessary!  Also, if you have successfully completed any math or English courses from another college or university, we can assist you in the next sequence of courses to take.

Also, bring all completed documents that requires a counselor’s signature.  For example, if you are requesting to take excess units for the Fall semester, complete the form BEFORE you meet with a counselor.  Other forms that require a counselor’s signature include:  Financial Aid Consortium, Academic Renewal, Re-Assessment slips, and Dismissal forms.  All of these forms can be found online under “Admission and Enrollment Forms” and/or “Financial Aid.”

What if this is a follow-up?

If you have previously met with a counselor and have reviewed the general education pattern, have had an outside transcript evaluated, or have documents that were given to you (such as a printout from the “ASSIST” website), BRING THEM ALL WITH YOU.  This will save time with your appointment or quick-question meeting so that you will not have to go through the same information twice.  Keep all of these important documents in a folder!

Do I need to take the assessment test?

If you are new to college, complete all assessment tests before meeting with a counselor.  (Don’t forget that an essay may be required for English placement.)  If your placement results are over two years old and you have not successfully completed an English or math course, you will need to retake the assessment tests.

Be aware that it will take approximately 3-4 days AFTER you complete the English essay to receive the results.  Meet with a counselor once ALL assessment results are available.  A counselor can then review the sequence of courses with you and make appropriate recommendations for general education and major courses.

What is going to happen during my counseling appointment?

You requested this appointment so we want YOU to let us know how we can assist you!  And, be specific as to what kind of help you need so that we can give you as much information as possible.  For example, if your goal is to graduate AND to transfer, let us know that you want to do both because there are different requirements for each goal.  Many students don’t realize that receiving an Associate Degree does not necessarily mean that you are ready to transfer to a university.  There will be additional courses to take, specifically with math and English.

Other helpful tips:

  • Before you wait in line, make sure that you are at the right place.  There are times when you may not need to see a counselor, but, rather, go to a different department such as Financial Aid or Admissions.  You can also find your iSEP on eServices.
  • Do not wait until your enrollment date comes up to meet with a counselor.  Counseling services are available throughout the entire semester.
  • Don’t forget that there are other counselors on campus who can assist you.  For example, if you are a participant in RISE, DRC, EOPS, or CalWORKs, there are counseling services available within that program.  Counselors are also available at the Davis Center and West Sacramento Center.
  • The “quick question” meeting (15-20 minutes) goes by quickly, so focus on what your immediate needs are.
  • If you have received correspondence from the Admissions Office, Financial Aid, or other departments on campus, bring those with you.  We can better assist you if we are aware of the situation.
  • If your designated time slot is coming up, don’t leave the seating area.  If you go down the hallway, outside in the quad, to your car, or to another building, you will not hear your name be called and you may be skipped.  (And take off your earbuds so that your music doesn’t distract you!)