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Advising & Counseling Center

Our Site: Welcome to the Advising Web. We want you to have the resources you need to ask the questions that will open the right doors. Advising tools and resources are grouped into clusters.

Not everyone needs everything, and these do not have to be moved through in this order, but these are the steps and the sequence most students find most helpful.

  1. Apply (get a student ID number)
  2. Fund your Education
  3. Assess Your Skills
  4. Student Orientation to Advising & Registration (SOAR)
  5. Entry Advising
  6. Register for Classes
  7. Buy Books (and other supplies)
  8. Attend (and do well)

Group advising and information sessions are offered for more than three dozen of OC’s degree and certificate programs. These sessions, conducted by program faculty, will give you an opportunity to make sure it is the program for you and provide you with an overview of program and advising requirements. Session information is available in three places.

  • Student Orientation to Advising & Registration (SOAR) is a free, 70-90 minute overview of basic tools, terms, and tips that will help you successfully navigate first-term registration. The self-assessment of SOAR learning outcomes is here so you can test your knowledge and prepare your questions.
  • SOAR+ (SOAR PLU$) can be attended by anyone. The “plus” will provide you with in-depth information on alternative funding sources including WorkFirst, Worker Retraining, Opportunity Grant, BFET, and SING.
  • Orientation to College (GEN-S 101) is a one-credit (all day) activity-based introduction to campus resources, college expectations, and some of the faculty and students you will be learning from and with at OC. It is a great way to get started.
  • Running Start - Contact their office for further details and to register for orientation
  • Veterans and Active Duty Military - Contact the Veterans Services Office for a Veterans Benefits Orientation.

Most Entry Advisors are located in the Advising & Counseling Center. They assist primarily new and first-year students. In addition to general entry advisors, specialty advising is available for students in some programs.

  • professional-technical
  • pre-engineering
  • pre-science
  • nursing and allied health


It is important for you (and the college) to know your level of skill and confidence in reading, writing, math, and technology use. Placement scores and transcripts can help identify any parts of your foundation that may need work, and can help advisors steer you toward courses in which you are ready to succeed. You can demonstrate these skills in a couple of ways.

  • Accuplacer
  • Reciprocity
  • Self-assessment (for technology skills only)
  • Submit a request for Prerequisite Review

  • We want to give you credit for what you have accomplished, including previous colleges, military service and training, high school (Tech Prep, Running Start, AP) and some other exams and certifications.
  • Official transcripts (sent directly to Registration & Records) will not be formally evaluated until you have an OC transcript to put them on – usually at least two weeks into your first term.
  • First term advising can use unofficial transcripts. Try to bring them with you. You can get copies at the Registration counter of any transcripts they have on file for you. 
  • If you want to use courses you took at another college or univerisity for placement into a course here at OC, submit a request for Prerequisite Review

These courses and communities of learners will help you bring your prior skills and experiences into the light and discover new ways of using them to connect with college opportunities and goals.

  • GEN-S 101 (1 credit) Orientation to College – great for all first term students
  • GEN-S 124 (4 credits) Transition Essentials – packed full of practical skills and tips for students going through changes
  • GEN-S 131 (3 credits) Student Success Skills – degree exploration and planning and success strategies for students new to college


Communities of Success

  • for Online Learning (with DIGL 101 and CIS 100)
  • for Social Justice (with American Culture & Equity Studies)
  • for Human Services (GEN-S 111 co-enrollment with HS 107)
  • for Welders (GEN-S 121-W)
  • for Student Athletes (GEN-S 121-A)
  • for Running Start (GEN-S 133)

Your quarterly PIN is our way of making sure new students are asking good questions and using the resources of advising to build success. Once you have fifteen credits on your transcript or an approved academic plan your Global Pin is all you need for registration, but until then be prepared to answer a few questions.

  • What is your program of study (or if you are undecided what are your plans and resources for program exploration)?
  • Who is your faculty advisor (and how and when do you plan to connect)?
  • What is your plan for completing foundation and prerequisite courses required for your degree?
  • What are you planning to take next term (and how do those courses bring you closer to your goals)?

Academic Plans help you keep on track, communicate with your advisor, and demonstrate progress. They never are intended as promises or contracts, and even after they are approved we expect you to revisit and update them as needed.

Some funding agencies require an advisor-approved academic plan that lists specific courses or options that are published in the Catalog as required for degree or certificate completion. These plans typically require an appointment to complete, so make sure the advisor you make an appointment with is the right one to help you with your intended program. Bring copies of all transcripts so we can help you avoid unnecessary (and potentially costly) duplication.

Financial Aid Petition for Extension (Aid Beyond Limits)
VA Advising Checklist

  • Information Sessions
  • General Studies Courses
  • Especially GEN-S 141, Career and Transfer Planning (2 credits) which is explicitly designed to help undecided students research, narrow, and pursue degree and transfer options that align with their goals
  • Faculty Advisors
  • Career Counselors

Our Mission: Student Empowerment

  • For New Students the emphasis is on orientation—clarifying what you bring and where you are headed—and making a good beginning.
  • For more experienced, Returning Students, we have brought together resources that will guide navigation and support decisions for a strong finish.
  • If you already know what you want to ask, you are welcome to skip to our annotated list of Tools & Guidelines, or simply Ask an Advisor.
Our People: Advisors are trained professionals, here to assist in the development, pursuit, and accomplishment of individual academic plans that align with students’ academic and career goals.