Counseling FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

List of questions (answers can be found below)

How do I see a counselor?

The Counseling Department is located in Building A (Administration).  Counselors are available from 8am to 6:30pm on Mondays, 8am to 4:30pm Tuesday through Friday.  The office phone number is (510) 748-2209.

Students can meet with counselors for same day or scheduled appointments.  Please note that same day appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis and scheduled appointments are very limited.  Students enrolled in online courses only who cannot come in person to the campus can submit their questions via e-Counseling after reviewing the FAQs.

Counselors are not assigned to students.  We recommend that students find a counselor they connect with and continue to meet with that one counselor rather than seeing multiple counselors.

Our counselors are committed to assisting you and providing professional and exceptional student services!

What is the difference between a class schedule and a catalog?
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 Bookstore or obtained on the College website.

 How long is a semester?
Fall and Spring semesters are 18 weeks long.  Summer session is 6 weeks.

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

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

How much does it cost to attend College?
All students are required to pay a California Community College Enrollment fee of $46 per unit.  If you are not a legal resident of California for one year and one day prior to the first day of the term, the Nonresident Tuition is $213 per unit and $6 Nonresident Capital Outlay Fee.

What does the course number mean?
Transfer and associate degree courses are numbered 1-199; associate degree applicable but non-transferable courses are numbered 200-249; non-associate degree applicable courses are numbered 250-299 and 348; and non-credit courses are numbered 400-699.

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?
The answer is yes to both questions.

Can I get my GED certificate at the College?
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 and testing information.

What do I do if a course is closed?
During registration, if you try to register for a class that is full or “CLOSED-Wait Listed” you will be given an option to sign up on the Wait List for that class until the Wait List fills.  For more information visit the Admissions and Records website here to learn more.

How do I add or drop courses after I have enrolled?
You can add or drop a class through the PASSPORT Student Administration System (  If you are attempting to add a course that you have previously been enrolled in and received a “D” , “F” , or “NP” grade or withdrew and received a “W”, to enroll in that class again, you must go in person to Admissions and Records and complete a Petition for Course Repetition.  Click here for more information.  Note: Non-attendance does not mean that you have dropped a class.  It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from a class.

How do I add a course that has a prerequisite?

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 the Peralta District, bring a copy of your transcript (can be unofficial copy) from the outside institution and meet  with a counselor.

You can also download the Prerequisite Clearance Request Form and fax or email it in.  Please note:  you must attach copies of your transcript and/or supporting documentation to the Request Form.

*If you have not completed a prerequisite course and would like to challenge the prerequisite submit the Petition for Prerequisite-Corerequisite Challenge 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 disenrolled from the class.

Will the college accept my previous college units?
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.

How do I apply for financial aid?
You can apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application on-line for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and fee waiver application available in the Financial Aid Office or FAFSA website.

Where can I purchase a parking permit and park my car? 

A semester parking permit is $40.00 ($10.00 for motorcycle permit) and $20.00 for summer session ($5.00 for motorcycle permit) can be purchased from the College Cashier’s Office.  If you plan to purchase a daily parking permit from the coin machine ($2.00 per day), you must also obtain a student decal to be displayed on the automobile window.

 How do I leave a message for an instructor?
Contact the appropriate Division Dean’s office for the instructor’s office hours and direct phone number.  Most instructors will also list how to be contacted on their course syllabus.

How do I find out my semester grades?
Semester grades can be obtained on the PASSPORT Student Administration System (

Where do I go to obtain a transcript?
You can order two free copies of your official transcript online. You can request for them to be mailed directly to any United States address, or you can pick them up from the District Admissions and Records Office.  An unofficial transcript can be printed on the PASSPORT Student Administration System (

Can anyone review my college records?
Records are private and, unless excluded by state or federal law, will not be released to anyone without your written permission.  Questions regarding the legislation and College’s guidelines should be addressed to the Vice President of Student Services

What is the e-Counseling key code for online students only to submit questions?
The e-Counseling key code is COACOUNSEL321