Category Archives: Getting Started

SOAR Student Process for Fall 2013


1) Apply online as SOAR student: starting Feb 18th

 2) Take SOAR Assessment Test either in your career center or on GWC campus. For an appointment call:


 3) Complete Orientation

 4) Register for your classes on or after your registration date.

(Do not register late or you may miss out on getting into your ideal course!)


* It is your responsibility to check your mygwc email for your registration date, Financial Aid info, and anything related to your attendance.


SOAR online application instructions for students


We are giving the opportunity to High School seniors participating in the SOAR program to submit an Admissions application online.  The application filing period for Golden West College and/or Orange Coast College for Summer/Fall 2013 will open on Monday, February 18, 2013.    You must wait until this date before filling out an online application to the either college.  Concurrently enrolled High School students who may have previously applied to Golden West College or Orange Coast College for the spring 2013 semester must reapply as a first time student in college for Summer/Fall 2013.  Please follow the instructions below for the online application:


1.     Apply online at  On the GWC homepage, click on “Apply for Admission” which is located on the left hand side under “GWC Quick Links”

2.     After reading the information on the welcome page, scroll to the bottom and click on “Begin Application for Golden West College

Note: If you are planning on attending Orange Coast College instead of Golden West College, follow step 2 above but select OCC instead of GWC.

3.     New Users to the online application will need to create a new account.  Those students who may have previously applied online to the Coast Community College District (OCC, Coastline or GWC) will log on using their previously established account information.

4.     After logging in, select “Summer/Fall 2013” as the term you are applying for.

5.     On the Education screen, select “first time student in college

  1. On the online application, students must indicate their education level as “Received high school diploma from a U.S. school
  2. Students must also indicate their High School completion date is before the start of the fall semester.
  3. The last page of the online application is the “supplemental” information page.  On the supplemental page, it is very important that you answer the following question:

“As a High School senior, will you be participating in the Early Assessment program through your school?  If yes, enter the program code you received from your school in the box”


  1. Enter SOAR13 in the box for the question shown above


Online applications may take  up to 10 business days to process, at which point you will be emailed your Coast Community College District (CCCD) student ID number, a username and password to log in to your student portal.  You will be required to give your High School Counselor your CCCD student ID number when you sign up for SOAR testing so make sure you remember it or put it in a safe place for reference.


Some Internet Service Providers filter mail from the Coast Community College District so please check your trash/spam folder if you don’t receive an email response within 5 business days of submitting your application.  You can avoid this by adding and to your Friendly Approved Senders list.  This is especially important if you use providers such as AOL, Yahoo, Earthlink, MSN, Gmail, Hotmail, or Roadrunner and/or you use spam filters


The key to success is to become prepared, this is a must read for incoming students!

Currently in the State of California, Community College’s are a sought after resource for many reasons. High School students looking to begin their Bachelor’s degree at a fraction of the cost, community members brushing up on their skills for business, and workers looking to retrain to advance their careers or change careers. It is no surprise to those involved in our system that times are different now with the budget cuts. For all those looking to attend any community college you need to plan for your back up plan.

Life changes quite rapidly from our beginning plan at times, and this is no different when it comes to school. We would love to have things align perfectly, however what if things take a detour? Are you prepared to still move forward? Have you covered your bases? Think about it…the key to success is partly determination, but the main substance of success is built around preparation.

Today I am going to discuss with you this topic of preparation so that you can apply it to your goals,for your education and your life. One of my main reasons for choosing to address this topic is that I have been hearing a lot of mis-guided information about students not transferring, getting stuck, not getting classes, and not getting into programs. So, let’s talk about this. If you take a look at the history, students that come to the community colleges have many goals for education ranging anywhere from retraining to transferring. Now, with the “budget impaction” with the state this does mean that we have cut some courses and altered our schedules so that we can adhere to our funding. Rest assured that we are FULLY aware that the only reason we have classes, a college, a school system, and at the end of the day…a job, is because we are here to educate students. We do have students that are not getting their courses, some due to lack of flexibility in their weekly schedule, and most because they didn’t prepare and have now gone into a late registration.

So, how can you become prepared?
1) put your applications in online ASAP for the following semester. Keep in mind you only have to re-apply if you didn’t enroll in the prior semester. (HS SOAR students- sit for your test and mark GWC on the application for priority registration-local feeder HS only!)
2) Go to your scheduled orientation time! If you must re-schedule this, do it ASAP.
3) REGISTER on the date and time that is sent to you! (It will be sent to your mygwc account). Now let’s talk registration for a minute…you can go online at any point and take a look at the courses you are going to be enrolling in. It will tell you if there is still space in the class or if you need to possible have a back up course in mind. Word of advise…no matter where you are in the world, REGISTER ON TIME!!! Get to a computer and register. If you are late, it means classes are closing! Additionally, petition your ideal classes (meaning show up to the first class!).

You can also entertain the thought of backing yourself up by having applications in at other campuses. Hey, it’s free…and you only use your registration time if you need it! I tell this to high school seniors all the time, back yourself up with us even if you are “positive” you are being accepted to your four-year university of choice. The consequence of not doing this means you could be in late registration (meaning less class options).

So in remaining in today’s theme…BACK YOURSELF UP, BACK YOURSELF UP, BACK YOURSELF UP! You hold the keys to your success, so lets get moving!

Contact me with any questions you may have!



Learn how to sell yourself…not literally of course!


In order to get the job you want now, the career you want later, the life you want, the income you desire, the soul mate you may be looking for, the connections to your future…you have to learn how to market your best asset…YOU!


When you look at what a resume’ is, an interview, a first date or your college applications are, the most common ground is that it is a reflection of you. These are ways to build and create buy-in from the person, company, or college of your choice.  There is never a better time than now to learn skills to help you create a blueprint for the ways to market you as a person and what you are capable of.


Some ways to learn and refine these skills are certainly offered here at GWC. The possibilities are endless. You have your interpersonal communication classes to learn how to interact with others effectively (and network), public speaking classes to help in times when you need to address a group of people (or put to rest any fears of interviews), Writing and English classes to refine your writing skills, foreign language courses to be an asset to your employer and the community, and the Career Center and workshops to help you build your resume’. These are just a few of the endless opportunities to advance your skills and deliver your message. Remember to ask those you work for, learn from, or do community service with for letters of recommendation. Start building a portfolio. In some cases businesses like to see your work, not just hear about it.


Have you ever spoken to someone after hearing him or her give an amazing and effective speech? Nine times out of ten, if you ask them how they got to be such a motivational speaker you may receive the response “I get so nervous and dread public speaking!” It is a refined skill, not just a passion. I can relate to this, as I speak in public situations all the time, and trust me when I say I did not race to the podium when I first learned this would be part of my career.


Most of the time in school or your career we all tend to look to the next task to complete for some other purpose. Start paying attention to what you are learning or creating and find a way to make it work toward your goals. Open your eyes to the things and people around you. Every moment you leave your house, desk or office is an opportunity to connect with new people…and you never know what role that person could play in your future.


To our upcoming generation…you are the leaders of our future. Use us to get there!


How to not get “stuck” at a Community College


I have been in my position here with the college for over four (4) years now, and without fail the most common question I get is “do students get stuck for years at GWC?” The answer is no, when you are speaking of the word “stuck.” In taking a look at this term, it assumes that something happened to the student that is out of their control. This “getting stuck” phrase is a complete mis-conception. Now, this being said, students can (in any college atmosphere) set themselves behind in their education, causing them to put in additional semesters and therefore spending more money.

Before I get into the various causes for student set-backs, let’s take a brief look at why students come to a community college to begin with. Being one of the 112 community colleges in the state of California, GWC is designed to offer students options for their education and/or career training at a fraction of the cost of a private vocational school and four year university.  We offer options for transfer, re-training, career certificates and Associate of Arts (A.A.) degrees-which are your two-year degrees. In identifying each student’s individual needs, we find that not all students’ original plan involves a transfer to a university.  Some students come to take exploratory classes, some re-train after losing a job or changing careers, and some follow the career certificate path in order to get the training necessary for careers in such fields as Nursing, Criminal Justice, Automotive, Cosmetology, etc. These are all careers that do not currently require an advanced degree.

Ok, now let’s talk how a student who is transfer bound can set themselves back.  First word of advice for High School Seniors…TAKE MATH YOUR SENIOR YEAR! If you are anything like me, when you don’t keep up your math skills, you lose them. This can set you back in the number of classes you will have to fulfill, and therefore semesters depending on where you place in math on your SOAR placement tests (Math/English placement) and what your major will require.

Next possibility is one that is most common, not knowing your major. Community Colleges are geared to help these students explore their major options at minimal cost. It is very common for students to be uncertain at the end of their senior year, and even for those who seem certain, the average major change per student even at the UC and Cal State level is 3 times. Students need to be careful when switching majors at the university level as it can change their admission to the college, the school they attend may not have the desired major of their choice, and it is expensive to add classes to your overall goal at the four year level. But in simple terms, adding classes= more time and more money no matter where you go to school.

One of the common set-backs I have currently heard about from students who have been part of our GWC family are those that have chosen one of our career certificate programs as their path, and decided not to take their math and English placement tests because it is not required. Well, they later decided to get their AA or to transfer, and now they hardly even remember the basics in math, and writing essays in a certain format has become foreign. When they did test for placement, they were placed in a remedial course (which doesn’t even count, it is a refresher). The way to avoid this is to take your placement tests in the spring time of your senior year (SOAR testing- stay tuned for the SOAR blog). These placement tests will sit on your records in our system for 2 years, giving you some time to decide what direction you are headed in your education. If you took the placement tests at another community college, or you want to attend another community college and you did your testing with GWC, keep in mind that we accept each other’s testing scores. Just take your test results to the assessment center at the school of your choice.

I certainly hope that this has helped clear up this topic. Please feel free to contact me at anytime with your questions and/or concerns. We can address any of these in a part 2 of this blog if they come up.


Best Regards,



One man’s passion refines a generation…have you found yours?




I woke up this morning to the news that we had lost one of our generation’s most influential innovators, Steve Jobs.  As I read through a few of the articles posted in regards to his passing, I came across one of his motivational speeches- in my opinion, his most life-changing motivational speeches. As I watched this YouTube video of his 2005 Stanford University Graduation Speech (PLEASE watch at!), I realized how much of an influence this speech could be for our current, as well as our incoming students.

In his speech he addresses the most pivotal points that shaped his career and personal life. He also discusses the importance of finding your passions, which we convey to students that their major of choice should reflect. To look at your education, not as a task, but as a path to teach you the tools to get where you want to be…wherever that is. Take tools from your everyday learning and apply them to how they can help move you forward towards YOUR goals. As Steve mentions, you will learn to connect your dots.

I cannot tell you how often I hear the question “What if I don’t know my major or what I want to do?” My answer is open ended. Explore. But don’t waste your exploration either. Take a look at what jobs intrigue your interest. Then look at what educational experiences can help you get there.  I say experiences because you do want to make every class you take work for your goals. In the video, Steve addresses how he related his education to his goal…and look where that took him! Education is in basic terms exactly that, to learn about something-or everything. Now that you are headed into college, the fun part is to find your passion…and pursue it. Connect with your teachers and build your networks. This opens future doors, and to connect with those doing the job is priceless.

Now, one thing you will learn from this speech (if you didn’t already know) is that Steve Jobs dropped out of college. What he does talk about is how he “dropped in” to learn about subjects that interested him. He used his educational experiences to refine his product empire. One major point I need to make is that there are a few human beings that have become extremely successful without going to college. But hey, if it didn’t happen to me- and trust me I begged for the opportunity to be “naturally genius”- then most likely you are like the rest of us, and need some fine-tuning when it comes to learning what will help you succeed.

Keep in mind that everybody’s passion is different. Everyone’s success is self-measured. So, take the time to explore yours. You never know, you could be the one who changes our future, so don’t live someone else’s life…create YOURS!




Did you know you can go to college for FREE as a High School student?

Does the word FREE intrigue your interest? If that doesn’t do it, then maybe the idea that you can start college early and get some units (aka college credit) under your belt while your still in high school will!

Before I tell you how to play the game, let me first identify a few important things. First, this applies to Junior (11th grade) and Senior (12th grade) level students only. Second, you cannot enroll in any Physical Education courses as an Early Start (get to know this term-this is what we call you if you take advantage of this opportunity) student-liability purposes. This Early Start (see, I told you I would reference it!) program is designed to help high school students progress in courses beyond high school levels, provide an opportunity to explore courses or majors of interest, and acquire college credit as soon as possible. It offers FREE tuition to these students, however the book and materials costs (if applicable) do not apply.

Now, even the word FREE comes with a price (welcome to the responsibility of becoming an adult!). What do I mean? Well, here’s how to play the game…a form to fill out. The form that you will need to fill out is called the Early Start K-12 form. You can get one of these forms from your high school Career Center, or you can stop by our Admissions and Records office at GWC for one. The form requires a parent and principal signature. This is to be sure that adding another obligation to your schedule will not take away from your commitments in high school or at home. It is important that you remember to list all of the courses that you may be interested in registering for on this form. It does not mean you have to register for all of them, it just clears you to register for one of them at least. You will then turn in this carbon copy k-12 form to our Admissions office.

IMPORTANT- please apply online to GWC at You will then receive registration information via mail or email ( if you provide an email on your application, we will email you your info).

If you have questions on this, email me through my contact button at the top of this website page.