Student Success and Support Services

PCC promotes student success by providing support throughout the student’s time at the college through the matriculation process. Beginning Fall 2014, all first-time freshmen shall be provided and participate in mandated core services as outlined in Senate Bill 1456, The Student Success Act of 2012. 

Students who complete all three activities will receive priority registration. Please see below for more information on possible exemption from services and how they impact registration priority. Appeal processes are available through the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs.

 Orientation  ➤  Placement  ➤  Plan

  1. Orientation: an introduction of PCC and the various programs and support services available.
  2. Placement: PCC is no longer using placement tests as the primary method of assessing students for their knowledge and understanding of certain subjects. Due to changes in state law AB705, the college is using U.S. high school GPA and transcripts to place students into English and Math courses. Placement through a multiple measures process helps ensure students register for math, English, and other courses that are an appropriate starting point. Placement can also occur with use of courses previously completed at other colleges and universities. Visit the Prerequisite Office for support with this. Please visit the websites listed below for additional information and updates.  
  3. Education Plan: a tool to keep students on track developed through the collaboration of student and an Academic Counselor and tailored for the unique goals of each student.
Stage Action Website
Orientation Start here!
Placement Additional information is available on the placement website.
Educational Plan Students can complete an abbreviated (1-2 semester) educational plan in New Student Counseling Group Sessions or with an Academic Counselor. A more comprehensive plan (from start to goal) can be developed through workshops, counseling courses, or in one-on-one appointments with an Academic Counselor.

Appeal processes are available through the Dean of Counseling & Student Success Services.

Who Participates?

All incoming students are encouraged to complete the three Student Success activities. We believe these activities enrich the student experience for anyone entering the college whether for the first time or after an absence.  Depending on your background and educational goals, you may be exempt from some parts of the process; however, students choosing to be exempt from one or more of the activities are not considered to be “matriculated”, and are not eligible for priority registration.

Students who meet one or more of the following criteria may consider exempting themselves from one or more Student Success activity as noted:

  1. I have completed an associate degree or higher;
  2. I am enrolled at the college for a reason other than career development or advancement, transfer, attainment of a degree or certificate of achievement, or completion of a basic skills or English as a Second Language course sequence;
  3. I have completed these services at another community college within a time period identified by the district (documentation required);
  4. I have enrolled at the college solely to take a course that is legally mandated for employment as defined in section 55000 or necessary in response to a significant change in industry or licensure standards.
  5. I have enrolled at the college as a special admit student pursuant to Education Code section 76001. (c) Any student exempted pursuant to this section from orientation, assessment, counseling, advising, or student education plan development shall be notified that he or she is covered by an exemption and may be given the opportunity to choose whether or not to participate in that part of the services.

Assessment Services

Students are placed into English and Math courses based on their High School GPA and Grades. Your placement into English and Math courses is determined based on the information provided on your application for admission to PCC.

Course placements can be viewed in LancerPoint by clicking on My Classes and Academics and under Registration Tools click on View Placement Results.  Please allow 1-2 business days to receive your LancerPoint account information so that you can view your placements.      

For Chemistry 001A Placement, complete the online assessment to receive your placement (CANVAS based - Students enrolled in a class at PCC). Please contact the Chemistry Department if you are not enrolled in a class at PCC or have other questions.  

For ESL course placement complete the Self-Placement process to receive your placement.  Please visit the Prerequisite Office for additional information.  If you have questions please speak with the Counseling Center at 626-585-7251.  

Students that have taken classes at other colleges or have other academic work they would like reviewed for course placement can submit their transcripts to the Prerequisite Office.  Your course placements will be discussed during your counseling session.  Our goal is to assist students and their Academic Counselors in making course selections by providing accurate information on a student’s current preparation through the use of multiple measures.  


Course Enrollment Policy

The online assessment and self-placement tools are designed for initial placement in a course sequence for Chemistry 001A and ESL courses. Once a student is enrolled in the course, the professor’s evaluation and grade will determine whether or not a student advances to the next level. Students may not retest to challenge or skip a course in a sequence.

Retest Policy

The chemistry exam may be retaken one time after one month has passed and students must submit a request to retest to the Natural Sciences Division Dean.  ESL course placement challenges can be completed inside the New Student Online Orientation.  Please note that the exam cannot be retaken if you have started the Chemistry or ESL course sequence per division policy.

Assessment and Counseling

If you are in good standing, are not enrolled in pre-collegiate basic skills courses, are not seeking admission to a selective program, and meet either one of the following criteria, you are exempt from both the counseling, advisement and assessment components:

  1. Have a bachelor’s or higher degree from a regionally accredited educational institution; or
  2. Have an educational goal of “educational development/personal development/interest” and enroll in courses with no prerequisites and enroll in 6 units or fewer.


Testing may be waived if you have a recent (taken within one year) comparable or equivalent test score which the College accepts for Chemistry 1A and ESL course placement. Please present documentation of test scores to the Prerequisite Office in Building L Room 103D for consideration.

Prerequisite/Corequisite Enrollment Limitation

What is a Prerequisite?

A prerequisite is a specific level of preparation that students must demonstrate before taking certain courses.  In most cases, either assessment results or a course from PCC or another community college will satisfy the prerequisite requirement. Courses must be completed with a minimum grade of “C” to satisfy the prerequisite requirement. Students must present documentation of having completed a prerequisite course at another college, to the Prerequisite Office prior to registration. If the prerequisite course was taken at PCC, the prerequisite requirement will be automatically cleared.
Challenge Process

A student may submit the “Pasadena City College Prerequisite/Corequisite/Enrollment Limitation Challenge,” with supporting documentation, if he or she believes one or more of the following:

  1. The student has the knowledge or ability to succeed in the course or program despite not meeting the prerequisite or corequisite.
  2. The student will be subject to undue delay in attaining his/her educational goal because of the enrollment limitation or because the prerequisite or corequisite course has not been made reasonably available.
  3. The prerequisite, corequisite, or limitation on enrollment has not been established in accordance with applicable PCC policies and procedures.
  4. The prerequisite or corequisite is in violation of Title 5, Sections 55002 and 55003 of the California Code of Regulations.
  5. The prerequisite, corequisite, or enrollment limitation is either unlawfully discriminatory or is being applied in an unlawfully discriminatory manner.

Challenge forms are available on the PCC website at the Prerequisite Office webpage, or in person at the Counseling Center (room L104) or the Prerequisite Office (L103D). The student bears the initial burden of showing that grounds exist for the challenge. The challenge will be resolved in a timely manner, and if it is upheld, the student will be permitted to enroll in the course or program in question, provided that space is available. It is to the student’s advantage to file the form early to retain as much registration priority as possible. The student should review the challenge form itself for more detailed information and required procedures.
Please bring the form to the Prerequisite Office, L103D, or fax it to (626) 585-7187 with the appropriate documentation. Forms received without documentation will be denied.

New Student Counseling Workshop (Develop a Student Educational Plan)

The New Student Counseling Workshop with Academic Counselors will prepare you to select courses for your first semester, start your Student Educational Plan, learn more about Financial Aid and the importance of academic progress, about the resources available to you on campus and more. Schedule your New Student Counseling Workshop on the Next Steps website or contact the Counseling Center in L104. Email questions to