Matriculation: Orientation & Advisement

The Matriculation Process

The matriculation process (placement, orientation, advisement, and development of an education plan) starts students on the right path by assisting them in choosing, planning, and achieving their educational goals.

The process also provides essential information for planning a successful college experience. New students must complete the placement process, orientation, and at least an abbreviated education plan to earn priority registration, and they must complete a comprehensive education plan within two semesters to maintain priority. Students new to college (first-time student) or new to MiraCosta College should complete the matriculation process when they apply or as soon as possible thereafter. Students who matriculate may register earlier than non-matriculated students (this does not apply to concurrently enrolled high school students or students who have previously earned a bachelor's degree).

Although all students should matriculate, any applicant to the college may expressly refuse to participate in any matriculation service; however, those who refuse are not entitled to early registration privileges. Students can challenge or appeal any step in the matriculation process by emailing priority@miracosta.edu.

Steps to Becoming a Matriculated Student

Step 1: Application

Students complete and submit an online Application for Admission. MiraCosta College uses CCCApply to process all applications. Submitting an online application is a two-step process: 

  1. Create an OpenCCC account (CCC stands for California Community Colleges). 
  2. Then continue to "Start New Application" for MiraCosta College. 

After their application is processed, students are assigned a SURF ID number that they will use the entire time they attend MiraCosta College.

SURF is an online enrollment and student information system that allows students to manage their school-related activities. To access SURF, students use their SURF ID and a self-created password.

Step 2: Placement Process 

The MiraCosta College placement process provides students with the information needed to get started in the math and English courses that best support their educational pathway.

The placement process can be completed in a variety of ways:

  • MiraCosta Application

The MiraCosta College CCCApply application may ask students to provide the following:

  • High school grade point average (GPA)
  • Highest high school math/English course completed
  • High school math/English coursework and grades

To help with this step, students should have their high school transcript information accessible while applying. Students who provide this information will receive an email with their math and English placement information within a few days. This placement notification is also available in the Message Center located in the Student Center.

  • Didn’t provide information on the MiraCosta application?

Submit any of the following to Testing Services to complete the placement process:

  • Official or unofficial high school transcript
  • Multiple Measures Self-Report Update Form. The form is available at miracosta.edu/testing or in-person at one of MiraCosta's three campus locations.

Forms and/or high school transcripts may be emailed to testing@miracosta.edu or submitted in-person at one of MiraCosta's three campus locations.

Students who would like information and/or access to math and English courses outside of their placement may visit the Testing Services office or webpage to learn about the Guided Self Placement process. Some students may still need to take an Accuplacer ESL assessment for English/ESL placement.

For information on alternatives to assessment (including AP scores, EAP, and prior college coursework), visit miracosta.edu/testing or call 760.795.6685

Know Your Rights Under AB 705

Signed into law, Assembly Bill (AB) 705 requires California community colleges to maximize the probability that students will enter and complete transfer-level coursework in English and math within a one-year time frame. AB 705 requires that colleges use one or more of the following measures for placement into math and English courses:

  • High school Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • High school coursework
  • High school grades

For more information on student rights under AB 705, visit miracosta.edu/testing.

Step 3: Orientation

All students (new and current) can complete orientation in two ways: self-paced through SURF, known as Spartan Prep, or live in-person (currently offered through Zoom), known as Spartan Start. Completing orientation is a component of matriculation that can qualify students for priority registration if they are eligible. 

Spartan Prep gets students off to a great start on their college career and leads to higher student success. Spartan Prep is a guide for students to complete online orientation and advisement and develop a first-semester education plan. Students are introduced to college terminology, academic programs, and student support services, along with planning tools that will help them succeed at MiraCosta College. Students can also attend Spartan Start in August or January to get familiar with the campus, learn about social and academic resources, and connect with professors, staff, and students for a great start at MiraCosta College.

Step 4: Education Plan

One of the best ways students can keep their education and career goals on track is to create an education plan with a counselor. An “ed plan” gives students a roadmap for how to achieve their academic goal, including a list of courses and requirements, important dates and deadlines, and relevant transfer and career information.

Beginning fall 2014, new to MiraCosta College students are required to complete an education plan to earn and maintain priority registration. Students complete an abbreviated (one or two semester) education plan when they complete Spartan Prep online.

Students are encouraged to develop a comprehensive (four or more semester) education plan with a counselor as soon as possible but no later than the end of their second semester at MiraCosta College to maintain their priority registration. 

Step 5: Registration

Upon completion of the above steps—application, placement, orientation, and education plan—students receive a registration date and time. Concurrently enrolled high school students may register two weeks prior to the start of the fall or spring terms and one week prior to the primary summer term.