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Counseling Center FAQs

Q: How do I qualify for the AB540 nonresident tuition exemption?

A: This exemption is available to undocumented immigrants, permanent residents of the USA and the USA citizens who must have:

  • Attended a high school in California for three or more years; and
  • 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
  • Enrolled, or is registering to be enrolled, at a California Community College, a California State University or at the University of California after January 1, 2002.

Non-immigrant students are not eligible for this exemption. For more information, visit the IVC AB 540 / DACA webpage.

Q: Am I allowed to repeat a course in which I received a D, F grade or a "W"?

A: Yes, students are allowed to repeat a course in which a D, F, or "W" was earned. If a student repeats a course in which they received a D or F grade, s/he may petition that the original grade, units, and grade points not be computed in the cumulative GPA. Repeat Annotation Forms are available in the Counseling Center or Admissions and Records.

Q: What are electives?

A: There are three components to any degree: general education courses, major courses, and elective courses. An elective course is essentially any course that is not required for general education or for the student's intended major. 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.

Q: Are phone or online/web appointments available?

A: We have 30-minute phone and online appointments available for those who live too far or are unable to come to campus. To schedule a phone or online appointment call the Counseling Center at 949-451-5752 and request your preferred method.

Q: What is the difference between a class schedule and a catalog?

A:A class schedule includes courses that are offered at any given semester. A catalog provides you with comprehensive descriptions of all courses, programs, policies and procedures and can be purchased in the IVC Bookstore or obtained on the College website.

Q: Help! There are no appointments available, what do I do?

A: Keep trying. The Counseling Center makes appointments two weeks in advance, every other Wednesday. In addition, you can always come to drop-in counseling. Drop-in counseling is for quick questions that do not require a scheduled appointment. Drop-ins are limited to 5-10 minutes and are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Drop-in counseling is available anytime the Counseling Center is open. During the summer, we have very limited appointments so plan ahead and see a counselor during the Fall and Spring semesters.

Q: I am unsure of my major. What should I do?

A: For students looking for help on deciding on a major and/or a career, we have the following support:

  • Visit the IVC Career Center located in the Student Services Center (SSC 230) for career exploration resources, workshops and counseling appointments.
  • Take a Counseling 102 course (Career Exploration and Life Planning).
  • Make an appointment with a counselor.

Q: Does the date I apply to UC/CSU affect the decision for acceptance?

A: No, but it is better to apply before the deadline, typically November 30th for the following fall admission cycle. Spring and Winter may also be an option, see the IVC Transfer Center or a counselor for more information.

Q: When is the deadline to apply to a UC for fall admissions?

A: November 30 at exactly 11:59 pm. Please submit your application way before the deadline! Computers and networks can fail and the UC will not make exceptions. The UC application can be found at the My UC Application website.

Q: What is the deadline to apply to the CSU system?

A: Similar to the UC system the deadline for priority admission for the fall cycle is December 4, 2020 at exactly 11:59 pm. The CSU application can be found at the Cal State Apply website.

Q: What is the difference between UC TAG and TAP?

A: The UC TAG (Transfer Admission Guarantee) provides guaranteed admission for a specific UC campus and major.

The TAP (Transfer Alliance Program) is provided through UCLA and gives you the opportunity to enhance your ability to transfer to UCLA at the junior level. TAP is not a guarantee program. In addition, students must complete the IVC Honors Program to qualify.

Q: How many TAGs (Transfer Admission Guarantee) for the UC system can I complete?

A: Only one.

Q: Does the Cal State (CSU) system have a guarantee program?

A: Yes, it is called the Associate Degree for Transfer program. IVC students who complete a AA-T or AS-T will be guaranteed admission to the California State University (CSU) system. More information can be found on the Associate Degree for Transfer website.

Q: Are other transfer guarantees available?

A: Yes, check out the IVC Transfer Center website for further details.

Q: Who can advise me about transferring?

A: For students looking for help on transferring to another college or university, we have the following support:

  • Visit the IVC Transfer Center located in the Student Services Center (SSC 230) for transfer resources, workshops and counseling appointments.
  • Take Counseling 1 (Academic Planning), Counseling 2 (UC Student Education Plan), Counseling 6 (Academic, Career, and Life Success), Counseling 100A (Ed Planning for Certificates and Associate Degrees) or Counseling 100B (CSU Student Education Plan) course.
  • Make an appointment with a counselor.

Q: How do I request an IGETC or CSU GE certificate when I am ready to transfer?

A:You can apply for IGETC and CSU GE certification on MySite. See a counselors for more assistance and to confirm you meet the requirements.

Q: Will a "W" count towards my gpa?

A: No, however an excessive amount of W's can cause a student to be put on progress probation or dismissed from IVC.

Q: What do colleges think about 'W's"

A: The more competitive a college is, the more they care about the amount of W's on a student's transcript.

Q: How long is a semester?

A: Fall and Spring semesters are 17-18 weeks long. Summer session is 6-10 weeks.

Q: How many units do I have to take to be considered a full-time or part-time student?

A: A full-time student enrolls in 12 or more units during a regular semester. A part-time student can enroll in as little as 1/2 unit to as many as 11.5 units.

Q: How many hours are you expected to study outside of class?

A: For every unit of credit, you can expect to devote 2-3 hours of study time outside of class. For example, if you are enrolled in 12 units, you are expected to devote an average of 24 hours a week toward study outside of classes.

Q: How much does it cost to attend College?

A: All students are required to pay a California Community College Enrollment fee of $46 per unit. If you are classified as a nonresident you will also need to pay additional fees. More information on nonresident fees can be found at: Bursars Office website.

Q: What does the course number mean?

A: In general, it relates to how the course works for degree applicable credit and transfer. University of California (UC) Transfer courses are numbered 1-99. California State University (CSU) transfer courses are numbered 1-199. Associate degree or degree applicable courses are numbered 1-299. Non-associate degree applicable courses are numbered 300 and higher.

Q: If I earn a certificate, can I return to complete an AA degree? If I earn an AA degree, can I return to complete a certificate?

A: The answer is yes to both questions.

Q: Can I get my GED certificate or high school diploma at the College?

A: No. Although classes can help prepare you for the GED, the local school districts and/or adult schools need to be contacted for GED preparatory programs, GED testing information, and high school diploma programs.

Q: What do I do if a course is closed?

A: If a class is full, you may add your name to the "Wait List." When an opening becomes available and you're first on the waiting list, you will be notified through your IVC email and an electronic APC (Add Permit Code) will be sent to you. This code will give you 24 hours to enroll in the course. If you do not enroll, you will lose your place on the Wait List and others below you will advance.

The first day of class, your instructor will drop students who do not show up and did not notify him/her of their absence in advance. If there are openings in the class, your instructor will then add students from the "Wait List" by giving those students an add permit code (APC).

Q: How do I add or drop courses?

A: You can add or drop a class through MySite. It is important to remember that it is the student's responsibility to withdraw from a class.

Q: How do I add a course that has a prerequisite?

A: A prerequisite means a condition of enrollment that a student is required to meet in order to demonstrate current readiness for enrollment in a course or educational program. A prerequisite course must be completed with a satisfactory grade, "C" grade or higher or a "P" (passing) grade.

If you are trying to enroll in a course that has a prerequisite, you must meet that prerequisite before you will be allowed to enroll in the class. If you completed the prerequisite course outside of Irvine Valley College, bring a copy of your transcript (can be unofficial copy) from the outside institution and meet with a counselor.

*If you have not completed a prerequisite course and would like to challenge the prerequisite submit the Request for Prerequisite Clearance Form. Complete the petition, attach any documentation you have, and submit it to the Admissions and Records Office. The petition will then be submitted to the Department Chair for their review. Your challenge will be resolved within five (5) working days. If your petition is approved, you will remain in the class. If it is denied, you will be notified and dropped from the class.

Q: Will the college accept my previous college units?

A: The college may accept lower-division units earned from accredited colleges or universities. Please bring an unofficial copy of your previous college units and meet with a counselor for more review.

Q: How do I apply for financial aid?

A: You can apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application on-line for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the California College Promise Grant (formerly the Board of Governors Fee Waiver Program). Other forms of financial aid can be found on the IVC Financial Aid website.

Q: How do I find out my semester grades?

A: Semester grades can be obtained on the MySite.

Q: Where do I go to obtain a transcript?

A: Information on how to obtain or send official IVC transcripts can be found on the Admissions and Records website.