Freshman Priority Registration: Where are we? What’s Next?

Congratulations to all seniors out there counting down the days left until graduation – Your day is almost here.  On behalf of Golden West College we wish you all the best and hope you are as excited for the next chapter of your lives as we are.  With that in mind we’d like to take this opportunity to catch up on where students stand, and what to expect with regards to beginning their time at Golden West College (GWC).

At this point all students interested in attending GWC should have accomplished the following tasks:

  • Submitted a completed Admissions Application for the Coast Community College District and for Golden West College
  • Satisfy the online orientation component accessible via the student’s myGWC online portal
  • Attempt the English/Math Assessment Test (unless exempted by alternative means)
  • Filed a completed FAFSA application and/or BOG waiver
  • Requested transcripts of all AP, or IB test results; if available

If all steps have been satisfied as listed above, the next portion will require a little patience until the Freshmen Priority Registration (FPR) workshop invitation is sent to the student via email.  Students will be invited to attend a workshop on one of the follow dates – June 14, 15, or 16.  Email invitations are already being sent out and phone reminders will be made the first week of June.

On that day students will be provided critical information regarding their academic goals and curriculum at Golden West, and they will be afforded the opportunity to access their student portal to officially register for their first semester courses.  The waiting is hard, but soon…very soon students will begin the next chapter of the academic journey.

Questions? Try e-counseling at, or call Counseling at 714-895-8799.

For more information Assessment-related topics, call us at 714-892-7711 x51080.

GWC Re-test Policy Changed from 1 year to 1 week!

Just in time for new students starting college in Fall!

If you’ve tested recently, and would like a shot at improving your score, you’re in luck! Our assessment re-test policy is now 1 week for all tests (English, ESL, and Math). Students who placed into English 98 and 99, or Math 10 and 30 should try again to earn placement into non-remedial classes their first semester of college. Remember, anything below English 100 or Math 100 is not transferable!

To fully take advantage of this policy change, students should prep prior to re-testing. We have sample essays and math problems online to help you practice. Students have also used the free adaptive learning offered by Khanacademy to study for algebra and precalculus. This is your chance to improve your placement; make it count!

For more information, contact Assessment at

Major Matters: Advice for the high school transition.

For all students, whether heading to a community college or 4-year university, you will very soon be asked to declare and outline what it is you want to study – what to “major” in. While this is a very important decision, it is equally personal; it is imperative that you make this decision based on interests once you are ready to commit to an academic area.

Among the many misconceptions of the major is that it pigeonholes an individual into one specific career trajectory, i.e., an English degree is a must for future English teachers, studying computer science means you’ll be a programmer your entire career, and majoring in Psychology means you can be only a psychologist. On the contrary, a Bachelor’s degree provides students with fundamentals that manifest across multiple disciplines. In other words, your college degree should equip you with transferable skills to work in a variety of jobs!

Let’s take a closer a look at the example of the International Relations college major. Here are some courses you should expect to take in this field:

– U.S. foreign policy
– International organizations
– International Law
– World politics
– National Security
– International conflict
– Peace studies
– Global environmental issues

This major allows you to specialize in areas such as political science, economics, history, sociology, and foreign languages. Thus, here are just some of the careers that this major leads to:

– Foreign service officer such as Diplomat or Ambassador
– International/Immigration lawyer
– International journalist
– Positions with N.G.O.s (Non-governmental Organizations)

Skills you gain in college are meant to prepare youfor one of two paths immediately following graduation – either a continued educational pursuit of advanced degrees, or an understanding and preparation for entry into the workforce.

Ultimately, the purpose of a bachelor’s degree is to equip students with the tools necessary to be effective in an array of careers. As such, the specific academic area selected as a major is, to a certain extent, irrelevant because the large majority of what they will be taught are transferable skills. That being said, a background in engineering or the concrete sciences will have a significantly different conceptual approach than that of something in Education or the Liberal Arts; hence, it is of utmost importance that students have the opportunity to select the lens they most strongly identify with.

4 Most Costly Experiences for First-Time Freshmen

Today’s post is by Benjamin Olague, GWC Outreach Specialist. This kicks off our series on college transitions, higher ed insights, and student advising.

Remediation Pitfalls – For those students who demonstrate need for remediation in either Math or English, many will find themselves in a very inconvenient academic space. Not necessarily due to the prolonging of their graduation, but rather because of future pre-requisite needs for upper-division or major-related coursework. It is imperative that students prepare for and do their best on all readiness assessments and placement tests.

Lack of Financial Literacy – Credit card scams and high prices of books make campus finances a difficult road to navigate for First-Time Freshmen. As they begin their educational experience students find themselves overwhelmed and ill-prepared to manage large sums of financial assistance and due balances, leaving many of them in economic turmoil at a very young age. Students should be carefully taught how to understand the differences between grants, loans, scholarships, waivers, and payment balances, as well as how they affect one another.

Lack of self-discipline – For most students college is their first opportunity to live as adults without constant monitoring and support. This leads to a sense of freedom that typically breeds counter-productive behaviors that when compounded lead to poor student performance. As trusted educators and community members it is necessary that we reinforce the importance of this experience, and instill the best possible attitudes towards education within students.

Absence of Support Systems – Perhaps the most damaging factor to student success is the lack of adequate support that students encounter. While we all have the students best intentions in mind, as well as the most positive opinions of their abilities this all too often translates too unnecessarily harsh repercussions when students make the slightest slip up. Moreover, family members regularly hold students to unreasonably high standards; feeling that it is necessary for students to spend every free moment studying or engaged in school work. Though this may on occasion be appropriate to rectify poor student behavior, but most commonly it is just reflective of students needing to take a much deserved break.

If you’re a senior, you’re just about three months from the end of high school. Consider what you feel ready (and not ready) for, and have this conversation soon. You can speak with your counselor, teacher, family, or GWC.

GWC proudly supports STEAM with our new Biotechnology course. Get started while still in High School!

STEAM is a term used in education starting in Elementary School. What is it? It is the acronym used for the link between Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Golden West College’s Biotechnology course combines the use of these areas of discipline in an innovative, career focused way. Steve Lustig spearheads the course development and instruction at GWC, tying the world of graphics and design with the intrigues of science and technology.
“The goal of any good STEAM education should be to integrate creativity and the arts into project based interdisciplinary education to create well-rounded, fully engaged, imaginative students who are prepared for new, innovative, economic opportunities in a rapidly changing world. The foundation for this specific scenario is fundamental drawing and how that thread weaves its way through all aspects of modern digital technology in learning and creating for science.” – Steve Lustig, GWC Biotechnology Instructor
Steve has taken this GWC course offering to new heights by linking up with the surrounding K-12 schools and offering for the students to take part in his courses while still in high school.
To learn more visit:
Start GWC in 11th or 12th grade! Find details at:

Among GWC Alumni is Emmy Winner Justin Krumb

As for many alumni, Emmy winner Justin Krumb’s success started at Golden West College. An alumni of the GWC Broadcast and Video Production program, Justin found his success in the Entertainment industry. He was recognized by his peers earning an Emmy for his documentary, The Next Wave- a Tsunami Relief Story, along with many regional nominations for directing, editing and camera work. His work has appeared on ESPN, Fox, National Geographic TV and PBS, and his films have been screened at film festivals including the Sundance Festival.

It is really exciting to be able to see where our alumni end up and in what facet they have used their GWC education and his story is just one of the many successes GWC Alumni have accomplished. Justin came from our Broadcast and Video Production program, transferred on to receive a B.A. in Radio/TV/Film from CSU Long Beach, and founded Rough Cuts Productions as a producer/director with a focus on feature documentary and television production. His success in his industry tells of both of the quality of education provided at Golden West College, and fruition of student perseverance.

To learn more, visit

Take Math Your Senior Year in High School!

We often hear that you don’t need math your senior year. However, by keeping up with your math skills, you have a better opportunity to place higher on the math assessment test. The old saying, “use it or loose it” is specifically applied to this subject. In many cases, the longer a student takes a break from math, the lower their test scores will be.  Each student will need to take a math placement test to determine their first successful course placement level. These testing scores will sit on your record for up to two (2) years. Entering college at the remedial level in math is one of the primary reasons a student takes longer (sometimes much longer) to graduate. A student’s major of choice will determine the required coursework for math. Most students can avoid this delay by taking math during their senior year.

Do you Accept EAP Results?
Golden West College will accept EAP results if students have been designated “college ready” on their STAR test. Students are then placed into the lowest level of transferrable English and Math courses. However, something to pay attention to is that their college major determines their requirements for math. If the major requires higher levels of math, such as Engineering, it is in the best interest for the student to take the assessment test and enter at the highest level possible.

GWC ranks #6 in the State for community colleges, becoming a lead in the Coast District

GWC has ranked #6 in the State in a May, 2015, study for all community colleges conducted by, becoming the leader in the Coast Community College District. The critera for ranking was based on affordability, accessibility, retention, and graduation and transfer rates. They also used key success indicators from the National Center of Education Statistics, and the University of California and California State University systems to find and rank the best community colleges in California.
“Golden West College is a major transfer all-star; its combined UC and CSU transfer rate placed it in the top 10 percent of all California community colleges in 2014. It also offers a sizable share of online classes — a feature a full one-third of its students flex each year. These distinctions are not the only factors that draw students to Golden West: it’s also set in Huntington Beach, the true Surf City USA, home to one of the state’s most popular beaches and the laid back lifestyle for which the area is known.”

Top 25 California community colleges
1. Saddleback College (Mission Viejo)
2. Santa Monica College (Santa Monica)
3. Cypress College (Cypress)
4. Las Positas College (Livermore)
5. Pasadena City College (Pasadena)
6. Golden West College (Huntington Beach)
7. Folsom Lake College (Folsom)
8. MiraCosta College (Oceanside)
9. Napa Valley College (Napa)
10. El Camino Community College (Torrance)
11. Irvine Valley College (Irvine)
12. Cosumnes River College (Sacramento)
13. Orange Coast College (Costa Mesa)
14. Woodland Community College (Woodland)
15. Chabot College (Hayward)
16. Cuesta College (San Luis Obispo)
17. American River College (Sacramento)
18. Merced College (Merced)
19. Reedley College (Reedley)
20. San Joaquin Delta
21. Fresno City College (Fresno)
22. Glendale Community College (Glendale)
23. Sacramento City College (Sacramento)
24. Fullerton College (Fullerton)
25. Citrus College (Glendora)
*National Center for Education Statistics, 2013
**California State University, 2013; University of California, 2013; National Center for Education Statistics, 2013
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