Counseling


Frequently Asked Questions


COUNSELING QUESTIONSExpand All | Collapse All

+-Can I attend RCC if I did not graduate from high school?

Yes. You can attend RCC if you meet any one of the following criteria:

  • Have graduated from high school or
  • Have passed the California High School Proficiency Exam or
  • Have passed the GED examination or
  • Did not graduate from high school but are 18 years of age or older or
  • Are an eligible high school student who has satisfied concurrent enrollment admissions requirements or
  • Are an international student who has satisfied specific international student admissions requirements.

+-Do I need an appointment to see a counselor?

There is daily walk-in counseling available for students needing quick questions answered in a timely manner. If you need to develop a student educational plan (SEP) or need to meet with a counselor for academic planning and major preparation you must schedule an appointment. Please call (951)222-8440 the counseling department at Riverside to schedule an appointment or to check on the walk-in hours:

+-What is a Student Educational Plan (SEP)?

A SEP is a plan which lists the classes you will need to complete your educational goal at RCC.

+-How long will it take me to complete the AS Degree?

You will need 60 degree applicable units to receive an associates degree including general education requirements. The length of time will depend on your placement in English, Math, and Reading classes as well as how many units you will take each term.

+-Do I need to send RCC my other college transcripts?

Students planning to graduate from RCC, or needing to use courses from another college/university as a prerequisite, must submit all official transcripts to RCC. Transcripts from other accredited institutions, submitted as official documentation of a student’s record, must be no more than 90 days old and in a sealed envelope.

+-Do I need to send RCC my high school transcripts?

High school transcripts are needed for various occupational programs and may be needed for prerequisite validations for certain classes, and verification of language requirement for UC.

+-Do I have to declare a major or commit to a degree or certificate program in order to attend Riverside City College?

No. You may take classes to learn a particular skill or for personal enrichment. However, if you are interested in achieving some long-term educational and career goals, extensive academic programs, services and resources are available. The more specific and more realistic your objectives are, the more helpful the faculty and staff can be in assisting you to meet those objectives.

+-What is a full-time student?

You must carry a minimum of 12 units for the fall and spring semesters to be considered a full-time student. For summer/winter, it is 6 units.

+-How many units must I take each term?

You are not required by the college to take a minimum number of units each term. The number of units you take will depend on several factors; such as the number of hours you are employed each week, your degree/certificate objectives, and your own timetable for graduation and/or transfer. There are also eligibility requirements if you are receiving financial aid, veteran benefits, or other kinds of benefits. Counselors are available to assist you with your educational planning.

+-How do I add an open class?

You may register online at www.rcc.edu on WebAdvisor. If the class is closed or has already started, you must get an authorization code or signature from the instructor. You may add a class on WebAdvisor or in person at the Admissions office before the published deadline dates.

+-What is the procedure for dropping a class?

You are responsible to complete a drop card and turn in to the Admissions Office or submit your drop request on WebAdvisor. Print a copy of the withdrawal for your records. Do not assume that instructors will automatically drop you for non-attendance. Check the schedule for withdrawal dates.

+-Do I have to repeat a class in which I earned a D or F grade?

Not necessarily. However, certain requirements may be met only with a "C" or better grade, such as the English and math competency requirements for the associate degree and all courses required for an occupational certificate. Also, if the course is specifically required for the major, you are generally advised to repeat a "D" grade and must repeat any "F" grade. Upon completion of the repeated class, the previous grade earned will be omitted from your grade point average and will be indicated as a repeat on your academic record.

+-How many times am I allowed to repeat a course?

Effective Summer 2012, students are limited to a maximum of 3 attempts per non-repeatable course including W's and substandart grades (D,F,NP.WF).

+-Will a counselor put together my schedule?

No. You are responsible to develop your schedule for classes each term. The counselor will make recommendations of classes and provide you with a SEP but you must put together your schedule.

+-What is a prerequisite?

When a course has a prerequisite, it means that a student must have certain knowledge to be successful in the course. The prior knowledge may be a skill (type 40 wpm), an ability (speaks and writes French fluently), a placement preparation score, or successful completion of a course (grade C or better in Chem. 1A). Completion of the prerequisite is required prior to enrolling in the class.

+-If I get an AA/AS from RCC can I automatically transfer to a university?

No. You must complete the general education requirements and major preparation courses prior to transfer. Make an appointment with a counselor to develop your SEP.

+-What is the procedure for dropping a class?

You are responsible to complete a drop card and turn in to the Admissions Office or submit your drop request on WebAdvisor. Print a copy of the withdrawal for your records. Do not assume that instructors will automatically drop you for non-attendance. Check the schedule for withdrawal dates.

+-How do I apply for graduation?

You must complete the application for graduation on WebAdvisor at www.rcc.edu. In order to apply for graduation, you must have completed English 1A and Math 35 along with completion of 45 degree applicable units at the time of application. You must pay the $5 application fee through WebAdvisor or in person at Student Accounts.

+-What is an AA/AS degree, and which ones are offered at RCC? 

An "AA/AS degree" is an Associate of Arts and Associates of Science degree. It is a degree granted by Riverside City College. Each AA/AS degree consists of 60 units, and is a combination of general education, major, and elective classes. For more information about the AA/AS degrees offered at RCC and their requirements, see the college catalog.

+-What is the procedure for dropping a class?

You are responsible to complete a drop card and turn in to the Admissions Office or submit your drop request on WebAdvisor. Print a copy of the withdrawal for your records. Do not assume that instructors will automatically drop you for non-attendance. Check the schedule for withdrawal dates.

+-How do I qualify for the AB540 nonresident tuition exemption?

This exemption is available to undocumented immigrants, permanent residents of the US, and US citizens who must have: 
a) Attended a high school in California for three or more years; and 
b) Graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent thereof (e.g. passed the GED in California or the California High School Proficiency Exam or received a Certificate of Completion); and 

All students applying for this exemption must sign an affidavit. If a student is without lawful immigration status, the student must state that he/she has filed an application to legalize his/her immigration status or will file an application as soon as he/she is eligible to do so. Obtain more information from the Admissions Office.

+-What is academic probation, and how do I avoid it? 

Academic Probation: A student who has attempted at least 12 semesters units as shown by the official academic record shall be placed on academic probation if he or she has earned a cumulative grade point average below 2.0 in all units which were graded on the basis of the RCC grading scale. A student on academic probation for a grade point deficiency shall achieve good standing when the student's accumulated grade point average is 2.0 or higher. To discuss strategies for avoiding or getting off of Academic Probation, see an RCC Counselor.

+-What happens if I'm on dismissal?

Being on dismissal status is a serious matter. Students who have attempted 12 units cumulatively and have two semesters of substandard work are subject to dismissal. If you are on Academic Probation, you will be put on dismissal status if you do not achieve a 2.0 ("C" average) in the next full-term semester directly after the semester you were placed on probation. If you were on Progress Probation, you will be on dismissal status if you do not complete (with a grade of "D" or higher or "C") the required percentage of units in the next full-term semester (Fall or Spring) directly after the semester you were placed on probation.

  • If you are a continuing student and are on dismissal status, you need to petition to remain in school.  You will have to develop a readmit contract with the counselor to continue your studies at RCC. If it has been one or more semesters since your dismissal, you'll need to reapply to RCC and meet with a counselor to develop your readmit contract.

If your academic status seems to be heading toward dismissal, please make an appointment with a counselor so we can help you identify strategies to keep you in good standing!

+-Am I required to take the English or English as Second Language (ESL) and Math assessment?

Career and Technical Certificates are designed for individuals seeking short-term education and training in preparation for work. Ranging from 4.5 to 89 units, Career and Technical Certificates focus on a specific career area, and do not include General Education or elective classes. For more information regarding certificate programs please see the catalog. 

+-How may I receive career counseling at RCC? 

If you need assistance in identifying your career goal, writing a resume, preparing for an interview, or finding a job, career counseling services are available for RCC students at the Career Centerand Job Placement Office. To make an appointment or for more information about the services offered by the Career Center, please see the Career Center web site, or contact them at (951) 222-8072. In addition, you may want to consider taking Guidance 47, Career Exploration and Life Planning.

+-What classes should I take for my major? 

The classes required for your major depend both on the major you choose and on your academic goal. For example, the courses required to transfer to a university may differ from those required for an AA/AS degree. To learn of the specific courses required for your goal, please meet with a RCC counselor. An excellent resource for this information is available on www.assist.org. This website links all 109  community colleges, 23 CSU campuses, and 10 UC campuses.

+-Am I assigned a counselor

Counselors and counseling appointments are not assigned. Instead, it is important that you find a counselor that you are comfortable working with. Once you find that counselor, make an appointment to see him or her at least once a year! 

+-How can I meet with a counselor?

To meet with a counselor, please schedule an appointment by calling the counseling office, Riverside: (951) 222-8440

+-What is Pass/No Pass, and how do I take a Pass/No Pass class? 

Pass/No Pass is a good option if you want to take a class, but don't want the grade to impact your grade point average. If you receive a "C" grade or higher in the class, the grade will appear as a "P" (for "pass") on your transcripts, and you will also receive the units for that course. If you receive a "D" or an "F" in the class, however, a "NP" (for "no pass") will appear on your transcripts, and you will not receive the units for that course. In either case, the course will not impact your grade point average. Some courses are only graded P/NP and some instructors offer P/NP as grade options.

+-What are the different degrees

There are several different degrees that are offered by community colleges, colleges, and universities. The degree that Riverside Community College offers is the Associate of Arts (AA) degree and the Associate of Science (AS) degree. Commonly called "two year degrees," AA/AS degrees are granted upon completion of 60 semester units of required coursework. 
The two primary degrees offered by colleges and universities are the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree and the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.  Commonly called "four year degrees," these degrees are granted upon completion of at least 120 semester units of required coursework. After obtaining their bachelor's degree, some students go on to obtain their Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) degree. Commonly called "graduate degrees," these degrees focus specifically on courses in the field of study, and are granted upon completion of at least 30 semester units of required coursework. 
Some students continue their education and pursue their PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degree. Commonly called a "doctorate degree," these degrees can be obtained in almost any major, and take approximately three years of full-time study to complete. 

+-What are electives?

There are three components to any degree: general education classes, major preparation classes, and elective classes. An elective course is essentially any class that is not required for general education or for major preparation. Electives are often required in order to accumulate the number of units needed for your degree or for transfer. Meet with a counselor to determine if the elective class you are considering is applicable for your degree or for transfer. 

+-What are general education courses?

GE courses are courses that all students take regardless of major. GE classes are designed to provide you with a broad base of knowledge, and usually include the areas of English, Math, Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, and Physical & Biological Sciences. 
For students pursuing their Associate of Arts degree, please consult the catalog for a full list of general education requirements, or make an appointment with a counselor. For students preparing for transfer, please consult the Transfer Center web site for specific general education requirements, or make an appointment with a counselor. 

+-How do I calculate my GPA?

Your GPA, or grade point average, is the main indicator of your academic performance in college. GPAs are based on the following system: 
Grade Points
A = 4
B = 3
C = 2
D = 1
F = 0
To calculate your grade point average, multiply the letter grade points by the number of units in the class. For example, if you received an "A" in English 1A, a "C" in Math 52, and an "F" in Guidance 45, you would have:

Class

Grade

Points

 

Units

 

Grade Points

English 1A

A

4

X

4

=

16

Math 52

C

2

X

4

=

8

Guid 45

F

0

X

1

=

0

Total

 

 

 

9

 

24

Divide the number of grade points by the number of units attempted, and that gives you your Grade Point Average. In the above example, the GPA would be 24 divided by 9, which equals 2.66.

+-How can I get an incomplete in a class? 

A grade of incomplete may be granted for a course(s) if you have an unforeseeable emergency that prevents you from taking the final examination or completing other end-of-semester course requirements. If this is the case, discuss your situation with your instructor. If your instructor approves your request, an "I" will appear as your grade. You will complete an "incomplete contract" with the instructor. The instructor will determine what grade will be issued if the final requirements are not completed. You have up to one year to complete the final course work, at which your final grade will be assigned. The incomplete grade contract is available on WebAdvisor.

+-What do I do if I'm an International Student?

Because International students have specific requirements for both admission and for academic planning, it is important that you work directly with the International Student's Office. 

+-Can RCC help me find a job?

f you're looking for a job, RCC can help! Our Job Placement Office has many off campus job listings for students, and can also help you conduct a computerized job search. Please contact the job placement office on the Riverside City Campus by calling 951-222-8480. If you want to work on campus contact student financial services.

+-What is a major or program of study? 

A major/program of study is the primary focus of your degree, and is the area in which the greatest depth of knowledge will be developed. If you need assistance determining your program, make an appointment with a counselor to discuss your options and your goals. You will also want to make an appointment with a counselor to discuss the courses necessary to prepare you for your program. If you are undecided about a program you may want to take Guidance 47: Career Explorations and speak with a counselor.

+-What is the maximum number of units I can take in a semester or winter/summer session?

The maximum number of units you may take during the fall/spring semesters is 18. The maximum for the winter and summer sessions is 9 units. You must see a counselor to approve more units.You must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA or higher to exceed the maximum with the approval of a counselor.

+-How do I get started at RCC if I'm a new student

If you're a new student to RCC, your first step is to complete the on-line application by going to www.rcc.edu. After that you will need to take the assessment test. Next, you must schedule group orientation meeting. Call your home campus counseling office to schedule your orientation. At the orientation you will receive a one semester educational plan to get you started withthe right classes at RCC.

+-How can I get counseling for personal problems

If you are experiencing constant stress, fighting depression, or having other personal problems, please make an appointment to see our psychologist in the Health and Wellness Center. 

+-What is the difference between schools on the semester system vs. quarter system

Schools on the semester system have two terms per year, not including summer or winter sessions. The fall semester and the spring semester each last between 16 to 18 weeks in length. Schools on the quarter system have three terms per year, not including summer sessions. The fall, winter, and spring quarters are between 10 and 12 weeks in length.

+-Is RCC on semesters or quarters

RCC is on the semester system, and has two 16-week terms, the fall and spring semester. We also have a winter session with classes 6 weeks in length, and a summer session with classes 6 or 8 weeks in length.
All of the UC schools are on the quarter system, with the exception of UC Berkeley, which in on the semester system. Most CSU schools are on the semester system, with the exception of CSU Los Angeles, Cal Poly Pomona, and Cal State San Bernardino. Private schools may be on either the quarter or semester system.

+-How can I improve my study skills

One of the best ways to improve your study skills is to enroll in Guidance 48, College Success Strategies. This class will help you learn various study skills and strategies for note taking, studying for tests, taking tests, setting goals, and managing time

+-How can I prepare to transfer to a four-year university?

To prepare to transfer to a four-year university, it is important that you make an appointment with a counselor to discuss the specific requirements for your university and major. You may also want to consult the Transfer Center web site for more information or visit the transfer center at any of the three campuses. In addition, you may want to enroll in Guidance 46 - Introduction to the transfer process.

+-How do I transfer classes from another school to RCC? 

If you want to transfer classes from another school to RCC, first have your transcripts from that school sent directly to: Riverside Community College, Admissions and Records, 4800 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside, CA 92506. You should also always have your own copy of transcripts for reference for use in counseling sessions. 
Once you have your transcripts, make an appointment with a counselor to determine if your classes count toward an AA degree and/or transfer, and to have an official evaluation completed. You must be enrolled in classes at RCC in order to request an official evaluation of transcripts from other courses.

+-What is a unit

A unit is the amount of credit you receive for successfully completing a class. Units also give you a clue about the approximate number of hours the class meets each week. For example, a 1 unit class will meet about one hour per week for the semester, while a 5 unit class will meet about 5 hours per week for the semester.
Units also are an indicator about the level of difficulty of the class. The more difficult the course, the more units you receive for successfully completing that class. For example, you would receive 1 unit for completing a swimming or study skills class, while you would receive 4-5 units for completing a chemistry or calculus class. 

+-How many units should I take per session? 

The number of units you should take per session depends on what other commitments you have in your life, such as work, parenting, etc. It will help you in planning your schedule if you have an idea about how much time you need to dedicate to your classes, so here is a good rule of thumb:

For taking classes in a semester, multiply the number of units you will be taking times 3. That will tell you how many hours you will need each week between going to class and doing homework outside of class. For example, if you are planning on enrolling in 12 units in a semester, you will need 36 hours (12 x 3) each week to dedicate to school - which is 48 hours - a full-time job!

Remember, it is not the number of classes that will determine how busy you will be - it is the number of units you enroll in. Taking three classes that total 7 units is very different from taking three classes that total 11 units. 

The general guidelines for the number of units you should take in a semester are as follows (the maximum allowed is 18): 

40 hours of commitment per week (work, parenting, etc.)- take 3 to 6 units
30 hours per week - 3 to 6 units
20 hours per week - 6 to 9 units 
10 hours per week - 9 to 12 units 
Fewer than 10 hours per week - 12 to 16 units 

Since the Winter and Summer sessions are only 6 or 8 weeks long, the classes are much more condensed, move at a more rapid pace, and meet for more hours and more days each week. 
For taking classes in a shorter session, multiply the number of units you will be taking times 6. That will tell you how many hours you will need each week between going to class and doing homework outside of class. For example, taking 6 units in the summer session means you'll need about 36 hours (6 x 6) each week to dedicate to school - again, almost a full-time job! 
The general guidelines for the number of units you should take in a Winter or Summer session are as follows (the maximum allowed is 9):

40 hours of commitment per week (work, parenting, etc.) - 3 units 
30 hours per week - 3 units 
20 hours per week - 3 to 6 units 
10 hours per week - 6 units 
Fewer than 10 hours per week - 6 to 9 units

+-What is the Financial Aid Number for RCC? 

The RCC Financial Aid Number is 001270. 

+-Can I repeat a placement test?

Students may appeal to retest one time:

    • After 12 months has passed from previous test and the student has not taken a class in that academic area or
    • Based on compelling evidence that the initial placement level is not an accurate reflection of the student's ability or
    • After proof of appropriate academic intervention has occurred.

Please Note: Once the student has begun the course sequence, retesting is not allowed.

+-How do I apply to RCC?

To apply to RCC you must submit an online application by going to www.rcc.edu. Click on "Going to College." 

+-How do I find out about the programs, majors, degrees and certificates offered at RCC?

You may refer to the college catalog to view the certificate programs offered at RCC, Associates Degree requirements, and general education requirements for transfer (IGETC and CSU general education patterns).

+-How do I find out my registration date and time?

You need to check webadvisor to find out your registration date. You may register any time on or after your date.

+-How do I prove that I meet a course prerequisite?

If you've met a prerequisite by taking a course at another college, bring an official transcript to the counseling office and make an appointment to see a counselor. For English or Math prerequisites you must complete the course prerequisite form which you can get from the counseling office. 

+-How do I receive credit for AP (Advanced Placement) test scores?

Mail or bring an official copy of your scores from The College Board to the counseling office or contact the AP Program office at (609) 771-7600 and have them send a copy to RCC.

+-How do I receive credit for coursework taken in another country?

Your international college transcript must be evaluated by an approved private organization. The evaluation is then reviewed by RCC evaluators.

+-How do I request an evaluation of coursework from another institution?

Send an official transcript to the Admissions office. After you have enrolled in coursework at RCC, you may meet with a counselor who will request a transcript evaluation if necessary.

+-What is the IGETC (Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum)?

The IGETC is a series of courses that community college students can use to satisfy lower division general education requirements at any CSU or UC campus. The majority of the units must be completed at a California community college. IGETC will permit a student to transfer from a community college to a campus in either the California State University or the University of California system without the need, after transfer, to take additional lower-division, general education courses.

Completion of the IGETC is not a guarantee of admission or a requirement for transfer to a CSU or UC, nor is it the only way to fulfill the lower-division, general education requirements of the CSU or UC prior to transfer. Students may find it advantageous to take courses fulfilling CSU's general education requirements or those of a particular UC campus - depending on the institution/major the student is pursuing. 

Interested students should contact a counselor for further information.

+-How do I request CSU/IGETC Certification?

Complete the transcript request form on WebAdvisor or at our transcripts office - located in the admissions building.  Be sure to check the box for IGETC or CSU certification.  By doing so, your official transcript will be sent to the institution you have requested along with notation of certification.

+-Where do I purchase the college Catalog? Where can I get a schedule of classes?

The college Catalog may be purchased at the Bookstore or viewed online. The schedule of classes is available at the bookstore for free or it can be viewed online.