Ed plans help with degrees, transfers

Rattana Kim

An educational plan is a tool students may use to determine what classes they must take several semesters in advance. Counselors encourage students to create one as soon as they enroll at Los Medanos College. To highlight their importance, the counselors introduce ed plans at the new student orientations.

Student Hilary Lee put together her ed plan during her first semester at LMC in Fall 2010. Although she had to switch her courses around due to scheduling conflicts, which is common, the plan kept her on track.

“It maps out all of the classes you need for the whole time you’re here,” Lee said.

Counselors work with students to help identify their interests, what courses are needed for their major, and what pathway they’re likely to follow — such as an A.A. degree or transfer path. It gives students an idea of what classes to take, but is flexible enough to accommodate schedule changes. Students do not need to have clear goals or an exact plan right way, but it helps to push them in the right direction.

“It becomes a checklist,” Counselor Frances Moy said.

Although it is easy to change the ed plan if students change majors or class times, work schedules, or other personal businesses that conflict with the planned courses, “most students try to follow it,” said counselor Phil Gottlieb. “They want it, like it, and feel better knowing they are on track.”

If there are scheduling conflicts, Gottlieb recommends the best thing to do is see a counselor for advice. Even though students may not follow the plan exactly, they should choose the courses from it and try not to go off the path.

Without an ed plan, students could wind up taking too many unnecessary courses. It is crucial for those planning to transfer to take the right courses and see a counselor regularly as the requirements can change at any time. Counselors are constantly being universities with requirement updates.

“We have the up-to-date answers and we love to share them. What’s the point of keeping it all to ourselves?” joked Gottlieb.

It is easy and simple to create an ed plan. Students should set up an appointment to meet with a counselor.

The best times are before registration, during the months of September, October and November for the spring classes and the months of February, March, and April for the fall classes, so now is a good time.

Another option for getting help with an ed plan is drop-in counseling but it is not recommended, especially during registration when it gets so busy. Drop-in appointments are best for emergencies or short questions.

To makes an appointment to map out an ed plan, visit the counseling office, Room CC2-270 on the second level of the College Complex or call 439-2181, ext. 3334