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Frequently Asked Questions

Please read the follow FAQ’s before posting your question to a counselor.

Counseling Appointments

  1. How do I schedule an appointment?
  2. Am I assigned a counselor?
  3. When is a good time to meet with a counselor?

Transfer

  1. How can I prepare to transfer to a four-year university?
  2. What are transfer admissions guarantees (TAG)?
  3. What is IGETC?
  4. What is CSU GE?
  5. When do I apply to transfer?

Course Planning

  1. What is a student educational plan?
  2. What is a unit?
  3. What is the difference between major requirements and general education?

AA/AS Degree and Certificate Programs

  1. What is an Associate of Arts(AA)or Associate of Science (AS) degree??
  2. Do I have to get an AA/AS degree to transfer?
  3. What is a Certificate?

How do I schedule an appointment?
  • Appointments for general counseling are available year round. Please drop by the Student Services Center, Room 212 on the Kentfield campus or call (415) 485-9432 between 9 am to 4 pm. Appointments are available up to two weeks in advance on a first come, first served basis.
  • For Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS) /CARE/CalWORKs, please call (415) 485-9605. Their office is located in Learning Resources Center 160.
  • Appointments with Disabled Students Program and Services (DSPS), please call (415) 485-9406. The DSPS office is located in Learning Resources Center 115.
Am I assigned a counselor?
You are not assigned a counselor unless you are part of a special program that requires counseling, such as Student Athletes, EOPS, CARE, CalWORKs, DSPS, PUENTE or Veterans.
When is a good time to meet with a counselor?
The Counseling faculty highly recommends that students meet with a counselor at least once a semester in order to more effectively and efficiently move toward their academic goals. Plan early, as the month prior to the first day of a new semester is the busiest time for the Counseling Department.

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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 for more information. Schedule an appointment with a counselor to develop an educational plan based on your major and the college/university of your choice. Completion of general education and major preparation is highly recommended.
What are transfer agreement guarantees (TAG)?
The Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) is offered by seven of the UC campuses. Each participating campus develops eligibility criteria and requirements are adjusted annually. It is very important for each student to meet with a counselor to determine TAG eligibility. TAG guidelines and deadlines are published and posted online. TAG applications are prepared approximately one year before transfer, but course planning to meet its requirements begins earlier than that. You can apply online for one UC TAG.
What is IGETC?
The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is a pattern of courses that community college students can use to satisfy lower division general education requirements for any University of California or California State University campus.  IGETC is an ideal GE pattern to follow for students who know they want to transfer, but who may be unsure which UC or CSU campus they will transfer to.  However, IGETC may not be ideal for high unit majors including certain  science or Engineering majors.  Students should consult with a counselor to determine if IGETC is the best option.  IGETC can be found on www.assist.org.
What is CSU GE?
The California State University General Education Breadth pattern is an ideal general education pattern to follow for students that know they want to transfer to a CSU campus. Completion of a CSU GE pattern may not be recommended for some science and engineering majors. If you have questions about which GE pattern to complete, please meet with a counselor.
When do I apply to transfer?
The UC/CSU campuses accept applications the calendar year before the semester of transfer. UC system takes fall applications during the month of November (apply online). The CSU system takes fall applications from October 1st – November 30th and spring applications from August 1st – August 30th (apply online). Private and out-of-state colleges have their own application procedures and deadlines, but a student should always try to submit early to remain competitive for scholarship and financial aid resources. The Transfer/Career Center is a good place to begin this research. Applications to private universities vary from campus to campus, ranging from October through March. Check each private university's website for specific deadlines.

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What is a student educational plan?
A Student Educational Plan (SEP) is your roadmap outlining suggested course of study on a semester-by-semester basis based upon your college major(s), transfer plans and sequence of courses. It is developed for the student with the counselor and can be revised when necessary.
What is a unit?
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 meets for one 50-minute "hour" of instruction or class time per week for the entire length of the semester. A lab/activity class may meet 3 or more 50-minute "hours" weekly for each unit earned. Some classes have combined units for both lecture and lab hours, such as biology or chemistry classes.
What is the difference between major requirements and general education?
General Education refers to a broad range of courses taken to increase a student's knowledge of a variety of subjects. They are courses outside your major and are required of all students receiving an AA/AS or BA/BS degree. These courses are listed in the Schedule of Classes and COM college catalog.

A major is a group or series of courses designed to provide intensive education or training in a specialized area.

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What is an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree?
Whether your degree is an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Sciences (AS) is determined by your major. To find out if your intended degree is an AA or AS, please refer to the COM college catalog. An AA/AS is awarded for completion of all requirements in the major, general education, and graduation requirements for a total of 60 units minimum.
Do I have to get an AA/AS degree to transfer?
No, an Associate Degree is not required to transfer. But, the courses required for an AA or AS degree can be integrated into your educational plan for students who would like to transfer and earn an Associate Degree. Some private and out-of-state universities may require an AA/AS prior to transfer to a university.
What is a certificate?
A certificate is a recognition that you have trained for an occupation or a set of skills. It does not require general education coursework, but rather focuses on vocational skills. College of Marin offers Skills Certificates which are less than 18 units. The college also offers Certificates of Achievement which range from 18-60 units. You may also apply coursework taken for a certificate to a later associate degree.

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