Advice from Counselors

BY Kandee Soza

J-101 Staff Writer

CN/Steven Adamo

Counselor Carmen Soto from East Los Angeles College hosted “Start at ELAC & Go Anywhere: Tips from Your Counselor.” 

This meeting took place on Zoom, where Soto discussed some tips and tricks about college at ELAC. 

ELAC’s motive is, “ELAC has an international, multicultural student body that complements the 14 communities comprising its primary service area,” said Soto.

 “The college offers both academic transfer courses, which prepare students for admission to four-year colleges, universities and occupational programs which prepare students for careers in two years or less.” 

The first tip was understanding how ELAC can help students achieve their academic and career goals. 

Soto explained the meaning of a bachelor’s degree and how long it could possibly take to complete it. A bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate degree, also known as a Baccalaureate degree. 

Typically, it can take approximately four years to complete, but it may vary for each student. Sixty percent of students finish their Bachelor’s degree within six years. 

A bachelor’s degree is important because it is a standard entry into many professional careers. 

Opportunities increase by earnings, network, satisfaction with employment as well as increased mobility, personal growth, civic engagement and general advancement. 

The higher education in California consists of six ladders. The first to stand would be a High School Diploma/General Education Diploma, followed by a certificate, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s and a doctorate’s degree. 

Soto said, “Most students who attend a community college like ELAC want to pursue a bachelor’s degree or higher; in order to do so, they must transfer.” 

Transferring is the process of completing required general education and lower division major coursework at community college in order to attend a four-year university. 

The benefits and challenges transferring from ELAC were discussed. 

Some benefits include priority consideration for transfers from California Community Colleges, explore and strengthen areas of interest, and course flexibility.

Some challenges may be losing focus, managing various and different general education and major course choices, a completely new and different experience.

ELAC counselors serve many purposes like providing academic, transfer and career counseling. 

Counselors recommend academic strategies to support progress, apply ELAC policies and procedures according to a student’s needs, to develop Student Educational Plans for students and more.

Counselors at ELAC create and provide a Student Educational Plan as a guide for their college career; it is a plan of recommended courses and when to take them. 

It is to be updated at least once a semester by meeting with a counselor to make changes over time based on transfer and educational goals and your personal scheduling needs. 

Some counseling tips include meeting with a counselor at least once a semester to update a Student Education Plan. 

Soto emphasized the importance of updating the courses needed to reach your educational goal. Counselors receive updates about new certificate and degree options as well as transfer updates. 

Counselors are available for all students and do not enroll students into their desired courses, the students do, so it is important to be realistic about your desired schedule.

To find more information, students may access the given resources at the ELAC website for more information. 

ELAC Counseling and ELAC Transfer Center on YouTube contains informative videos that may be accessed as well. 

Students may also get more information on social media by the ELAC Counseling Department and the ELAC Transfer Center

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