Skip to Content

These are the most frequently asked questions from students. If you don't see the answer to a question you have, please submit your questions to

What is “timely completion?"

While an associate’s degree requires a minimum of 60 units, it will vary as to when a student will achieve this.  For students who know what major or career they want to pursue from the get go, they can complete 15 units every fall and spring semesters to achieve the 60 units to earn a degree in a particular major in 2 years. However, not everyone knows what major they want to pursue or are able to take 15 units every fall and spring semesters.  As a result, it may take longer for students to earn their degree.  Timely completion is to complete a program (degree or certificate) at a pace that compliments your, the student’s, out-of-college obligations (e.g., family, work, etc.) while minimizing enrollment in excess units.    

It should be noted that some programs require more than 60 units for their degree.  

Certain courses (i.e., general education courses) can also be taken during summer semesters to shorten the duration and/or lighten the course load during the fall and spring semesters.  

The majority of the courses are 3 units each so taking 15 units in a semester would mean taking ~5 courses.

If you change your major or if you enroll in a course that was not needed for your major, it may prolong your time to completion.

Examples of progression to completion:

  • If you take 15 units every fall and spring semester (you are considered a full-time student) and will be able to finish a degree in 2 years.
  • If you take 12 units every fall and spring semester (you are considered a full-time student) and will be able to finish a degree in 2 ½ years.
  • If you take 9 units every fall and spring semester (you are considered a part-time student) and will be able to finish a degree in 3 ½ years.
  • If you take 6 units every fall and spring semester (you are considered a part-time student) and will be able to finish a degree in 5 years.

I am a part-time student; how does Pathway to Completion help me?

Whether you are a part-time or full-time (taking 12 or more units Fall or Spring semester) student, you will still benefit from many of the features of Pathway to Completion.

  • Based on your major, you will be placed in the respective Career & Academic Community (CAC) and engage in all the activities offered by your CAC.
  • You can take advantage of the program maps and career exploration.
  • You will have designated counselors and specialists specific to your CAC.

As a part-time student, you will not be eligible for the Los Rios Promise Program (AB 19) that are only available to full-time students.

What are Student Support Specialists and how can they help me?

Each Career & Academic Community will have a team of Student Specialists. These specialists will reach out to you (via phone, email, and/or in-person) and provide support and guidance that are specific to your needs. 

The specialists will connect you with the college resources and services you need so you can achieve academic success.

What are Peer Mentors and how can they help me?

Peer mentors are students who have gone through a vigorous selection and training process.

Sometimes it is difficult to speak with a faculty or counselor—but it may be easier to talk to a fellow CRC student about the challenges you are encountering.

In addition, the Peer Mentoring is a wonderful opportunity for students who want to get involve, gain leadership skills, and help other students navigate college.

How will the college reach out to me?

You may receive text messages, emails or phone calls from the college or your Career & Academic Communities (CAC) team members.

Please do not dismiss these communications, as they are sometimes the only way we can connect with you and ensure that, when necessary, you are receiving the help and resources that you need.

Many of the communications are to check-in with you and to assist you in handling issues or difficulties you may be experiencing.

What are Career & Academic Communities?

Careers & Academic Communities (CAC) are a collection of degree or certificate programs that lead to related occupations, courses, or have similar learning objectives or outcomes.  These “communities” may be called different things at different colleges (i.e., “Area of Interest” at ARC, “Meta-Majors” at FLC). The CAC are designed to help you find a program of study that aligns with your educational and career goals. 

The eight CAC are:

The goals of CAC are:

  • To assist you on determining a particular major by exploring the related programs in an interest area (CAC).
  • To learn about the career options for a particular major and thereby help you select a major/program.
  • To provide you the structured support services specific to a CAC.
  • To allow for career exploration within a CAC.
  • To minimize unnecessary units if you are undeclared (undecided) but have an expressed interest or skill.
  • To connect you to a community at CRC.
  • To help you navigate the College, CRC website and catalog in a more meaningful way.
  • To orient you to the programs we offer that may be within the same interest area.

What does it mean to ‘belong to a CAC?’

Programs are grouped into Career & Academic Communities (CAC) based on their similarity in the course work, learning objectives and/or career outlook.

Each CAC has its designated Student Success Team (SST) that includes CAC specific counselors, specialists, peer mentors, faculty learning lead.

  • You will be provided with accessible and consistent counselors and individuals for academic advice and support.
  • When you have questions or encounter a challenge, you can reach out to the SST to get the assistance you need.
  • Each CAC will also provide a variety of different workshops/seminars related to that area of study/career options that students can attend.
  • Members of the SST will reach out to you and “check-in” to see how you are progressing.
  • Your classroom faculty will reach out to specialists or counselor if they feel that you may benefit from specific student services/programs.
  • CAC is created to provide you with a sense of community where you can engage with other students, faculty and staff that are specific to that area of study.

What if after completing 30 units, I still don't know what to major in?

We understand that it may be difficult to decide on a particular major. To help you, we encourage you to meet with your CAC counselor to determine if you are in the appropriate CAC and to narrow down you career and educational goals. 

Not selecting a major or an academic goal may affect your eligibility for financial aid.

Not selecting an academic goal/major may prolong your time to completion.

Consider interning or enrolling in Work Experience to get a better feel for an area of study that you might be interested in.

By declaring your major, it allows the college to better plan the courses to offer so you can achieve timely completion.  

How do I change my major?

You can change your major anytime by meeting with a counselor and to create or update your educational plan.

The educational plan is your path to completion of your academic goal. It is based on the courses required for your selected major or certificate as well as course requirements for those who plan to transfer to a 4-year university (e.g., CSU or UC).  

I am only here to take 1 or 2 classes. Can I still do that?

Yes! Not everyone comes to CRC to complete a program.  We are still a community college and members of our community are welcome to enroll in any of our courses that they are eligible for. 

How does Pathway to Completion help you? Make sure you read the section on “Students Interested in Enhancing Personal Knowledge/Skills” under “Pathway to Completion & the Student.”

How do I know if my classes will transfer to a CSU or UC?

In each course description, it will list if the course is transferrable to a CSU or a UC.

To check to see if a course articulates to a specific CSU or UC course (requirement), look for the C-ID notification (on the course description). Make sure the C-ID matches what is required by CSU or UC.

You can also go to  to determine if a particular course will transfer to (meets the requirements) or what courses you can take at CRC that will meet the requirement for a specific CSU or UC program.

What is general education? Is it necessary?

Each degree has it set of required program courses. To earn an associate’s degree, you need to complete the program required courses and courses to meet all the general education (GE) requirements. 

There are 3 sets of general education requirements that are offered at CRC.

  • Local/CRC GE requirements.
  • CSU GE-Breadth requirements (transferrable to CSU).
  • Intersegmental general education transfer curriculum (IGETC) GE requirements (transferrable to both UC and CSU).

The GE requirements you need to take will depend on your educational goal.

  • If you do not plan to transfer to a CSU or UC, then you can complete the local GE requirements.
  • If you are certain that you are transferring to a CSU, then you can complete the CSU GE requirements. However, if you are not certain and want to leave your options open, you can complete the IGETC GE requirements that will meet the CSU as well as the UC GE requirements.
  • If you are certain that you are transferring to a UC, then you need to complete the IGETC requirements.

What is the purpose of GE?

  • General Education provides a common educational experience for students. While the State prescribes GE course requirements, CRC faculty ensure that general education courses cultivate knowledge, skills, and values that are characteristic of a learned person.

How do I choose a general education course?

We understand the confusion and overwhelming challenge it can be to select a GE course.

Some of the course requirements for a program may also meet certain GE Area requirements (known as double counting). The program map is helpful because it identifies the program courses that meet specific GE Areas and the GE Areas that you will need.

Some programs have made some recommendations for specific courses within a GE Area. (Refer to the program map.)

Other programs allow you to select any of the courses available that meet the GE Area(s).

To help you navigate and to provide more structure and meaning to the GE classes you take, CRC is in the process of developing a theme-based general education "pathways" programs. The GE-theme approach will group GE courses into academically or socially relevant themes for a more meaningful college experience.

What is an AD-T (or AA-T or AS-T)?

In response to SB 1440 and the Student Transfer Reform (STAR) Act, CRC has developed Associate Degrees for Transfer (also known as Associate of Arts-Transfer (AA-T) or Associate of Science-Transfer (AS-T) degrees). 

These degrees were created to meet common lower-division requirements for general education and major preparation for most CSU campuses with a similar major.

Students completing an AD-T will receive priority admission with junior status to the CSU system, although not necessarily to a particular major or campus.

You should meet with a CRC counselor to discuss whether one of these degrees is an appropriate pathway for your transfer goal.

Check out which majors offer an AD-T.

What is the difference between an AA and an AS degree? What is a certificate program?

AA and AS Degrees

Earning either the Associate of Arts (AA) or the Associate of Science (AS) degrees indicates that the student has completed a course of study that consists of 60 (or more) units, program course requirements, and general education requirements.

The specification of “arts” and “science” pertains to the separation of the disciplines under the Arts or the Sciences.   

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges states, “An Associate of Science is defined as an associate degree in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or in the area of career technical education (CTE); all other degrees would be designated as an Associate of Arts…For example, in the discipline of photography, a degree that is focused on the fine arts aspects would be an AA. However, a degree that is focused on application, such as commercial photography, would be in the career technical education arena and thus an AS.”


CRC offers two types of certificates:

  • The Certificate of Proficiency is awarded when students complete a program of study that consists of 18 or more units.
  • A Certificate of Achievement is awarded to students who complete a program of study that consists of 12-18 units.

Typically, the certificates are offered in the career and technical education areas (e.g., Computer Information System, Early Childhood Education, health related programs, etc.).

Many of the certificates can lead to an associate degree in the same field.

Some of the certificates are recognized by the industry as job preparedness, others demonstrate enhanced training/knowledge in a specific field.

Certificate programs do not require meeting the general education requirement.

What is the Promise Program (Los Rios Promise Grant - AB19)?

As part of the Los Rios District, CRC believes all students in the Sacramento region deserve a quality college education and cost should not limit access. The Promise Program removes financial barriers for students interested in pursuing higher education.

Learn more about eligibility requirements by visiting the  Promise Program page.

What is the California College Promise Grant?

The California College Promise Grant (formerly Board of Governors or BOG Fee Waiver) is available specifically for you at California community colleges and will waive your per-unit enrollment fee. You must apply for it every year during registration for the upcoming summer and/or fall semesters.

Read more about eligibility requirements of the California College Promise Grant and other grants at our Financial Aid Grants page.

Do I need to complete my college transfer-level math and English by my first year? If so, why?

If you are seeking to transfer to a 4-year university, you are highly encouraged to complete your college transfer-level math and English your first year.

In adherence to AB 705, California community colleges, such as CRC, are required to create the opportunity for students to complete college transfer-level math and English in the first year.

Where can I get assistance to obtain food?

Fresh Success

Fresh Success is an education and job training program serving Sacramento County CalFresh recipients who are enrolled in 6 or more units at CRC in an AA degree or certificate program.

CalFresh participation is a mandatory requirement for Fresh Success eligibility. We can help you apply for CalFresh.

To be eligible, you must meet the minimum requirements:

  • Receiving or eligible to receive CalFresh (formerly know as Food Stamps) on your own case or your parents' case.
  • Not receiving CalWORKs benefits for yourself (you may receive benefits for your children).
  • Be enrolled (not wait-listed) in 6 or more units at CRC in a  Career Education program.
  • Be enrolled (not wait-listed) in 6 or more units at CRC, including at least one Basic Education class (remedial level English, Math) or one ESL class.
  • Be a Sacramento County resident.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Have a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.

Hawk Spot Food Pantry

The Hawk Spot Food Pantry is a partnership between the Elk Grove Food Bank and CRC to provide food and basic necessities for our students experiencing food insecurity. The program aims to provide a safe space to support student wellness and to reduce the impact of food insecurity. It is staffed by Student Ambassadors.

It is located in T-111 and is open Monday and Tuesday, 12-1 p.m. and Wednesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment (via email

To be eligible, you need to be a CRC (or ARC or SCC or FLC) student.

Where can I get assistance?

Search online for available programs near you at the Aunt Bertha website.

What is the First Year Experience (FYE)?

FYE is designed to give new students a strong start to college by providing planning, support, and guidance as students begin their educational journey. Faculty and staff will help you find the right courses for your major or academic goal.

Benefits of FYE includes

  • Access and assistance with priority registration
  • Participation in the 2-week summer experience
  • Assistance in getting textbooks for fall and spring semester upon completion of the summer experience
  • Individual counseling, tutoring, mentoring and educational planning
  • FYE faculty and staff support throughout your 1st year at CRC

What is Starfish? (Coming Soon!)

Starfish is a software program that we use to connect you with people and services to help you be successful.

You can also use Starfish to schedule an appointment with your instructor, counselor and/or support staff.

Starfish will also show you your academic progress towards graduation or completion of your academic goal.

The dashboard will show you your current and previous courses and measure it against your degree or academic goal.

What is the Schedule Builder? (Coming Soon!)

The Schedule Builder allows you to an easy way to build your class schedule that accommodates your out-of-classroom commitment.

The Schedule Builder allows you to filter classes based on your ‘restrictions’/preferences of time, day, campus/center location, class availability (open, waitlist, closed), proximity to other classes, etc.

It will provide all possible class schedule scenarios so that you can enroll in the one that best meet your needs.

What is a Program Map?

A program map is a suggested sequence of courses necessary for the completion of a degree or certificate for a particular program.

It includes a recommendation of semester-to-semester courses to take, pre- and co-requisites, semester(s) the courses are offered, and the format they are taught (i.e., online, hybrid).

The program map also provides general career information and employment outlook in the selected program of study.

The goals of the program maps are:

  • To inform you of the course-taking sequence and requirements for your selected program of study.
  • To provide you with a view the program as a whole.
  • To allow you to make informed decisions and appropriate plans toward timely completion.
  • To save you time and money by minimizing enrollment of unintentional excess units/courses to completion.

Go to Program Maps.

What are Student Success Teams?

Each CAC has its own Student Success Team (SST) that is specific to that area of study.

The SST is composed of counselors, specialists, peer mentors, and faculty.

Members of the SST may contact you to provide assistance if they see that you are falling behind your academic goals.

The SST is there to guide you through college.

The SST may offer career workshops, transfer information, scholarship/financial aid information, career outlook, and more.

Make sure you get to know the SST in your CAC and take advantage of all it has to offer.

How can I explore career options and choose a major?

We want to help you explore possible careers and develop an educational plan to get you there.

If you are not sure what you want to pursue, then you can begin broadly and select a Career and Academic Community (CAC).

The intent of the CAC is to help you choose a major based on your interest, knowledge, skills and abilities. By selecting a CAC, you will be exposed to classes related to your area of interest as well as connect with faculty familiar with specific career options that may be of interest to you.

Attend the workshops offered by a CAC to learn more about the career options.

Connect with the Counselor associated with that CAC to explore your interest and options to help you decide on a major and a path to a career.