Speaking to a counselor


Kealoha Noguchi photo by Justin Traylor

One of the biggest mistakes I have made at El Camino is not speaking with a counselor before I enrolled into classes for my first semester.

I wish I was aware of the importance of speaking with a counselor when I started at El Camino fall of 2017. I mistakenly enrolled into two classes that did not count towards my associates’ degree and essentially wasted a whole semester.

For those that have done four-year plans in high school, an educational plan is equivalent to that. If you did not do one in high school that is fine.

An educational plan, ed plan, maps out your future semester by semester with classes that you have to take to satisfy your educational goals.

Every student will have a different ed plan as it pertains to the path they have chosen. Path options include transfers, graduating, graduate-transfers. , and vocational programs.

El Camino offers more than 40 majors with about 10 vocational educational programs.

With all these options, it is important to speak with a counselor before starting your acedemic career to find out exactly what path you want to take.

This is a whole new ballgame, as now you have to pay for classes. Theres no need to enroll into unnecessary classes.

Not speaking to a counselor before enrolling has thrown me off track a little bit. I feel like I am behind because what looked like a good start has turned out to be a delayed one.

The only time I met with a counselor was after I took the placement tests and to discuss the major I wanted to pursue. The counselor told me what math and English classes I needed to take along with my major.

After taking the placement tests I only needed to take two math and two English classes along with other general education classes.

I expected to be done with math and English after my first full year, however the classes I needed were full. I had to the shift my focus onto other classes.

Since I could not take a math or English class, I enrolled into an art and a real estate class to total my units to 12. Fast forward to about the seventh week of the semester my art professor was going over the CSU general education transfer requirements and said that her class did not count.

At that point I didn’t want to just drop the class and get a W, so I pushed through and finished the class but it was distressing knowing that I was wasting my time for the last 10 weeks.

A silver lining however, is the other class I took was real estate practice. I enjoyed that class and I am now one class away from being able to take my real estate license.

My advice to incoming El Camino students is to construct an educational plan with your counselor before enrolling into classes because each semester counts and it would be devastating to have to waste one.

So how do you exactly make an appointment to speak with a counselor? The counselors’ office is located in the Student Service Building and there’s a separate office on the north side on the first floor.

When you enter the office you have to fill out an appointment sheet and turn it in on Thursdays by 1 p.m. for an appointment for the following week.

Also, for additional information you can call the Counseling Appointment Center (310) 660-3458.

Don’t be me, don’t wait until you get answers. If you have any questions regarding what classes are required or what classes you have to take, make an appointment to speak with the counselor beforehand.

It’s much better to be safe than sorry, and you also save your time and money.