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Matriculation: Orientation & Advisement

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 advisement to be eligible for priority registration, and they must complete a comprehensive education plan within two semesters (or 15 units) 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

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 United States 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:

High school transcripts may be emailed to 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. 

For information on alternatives to assessment (including AP scores, EAP, and prior college coursework), visit 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

Step 3: Orientation

All students (new and current) should complete Spartan Start orientation to learn about academic programs, support services, college terminology, and develop planning tools that will help them succeed at MiraCosta College. Completing orientation is a component of matriculation that can qualify students for priority registration, if they are eligible. 

Students can access Spartan Start Orientation through Spartan Prep in their SURF account. 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 Spartan Start Orientation and a first semester education plan exercise that outlines how students can select semester coursework that aligns with transfer and/or degree goals.   

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 are introduced to the collaborative process and value of creating an education plan in an academic counseling appointment or “New Student Course Selection” workshop.   

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 eligibility for priority registration. 

Campus Locations

MiraCosta Community Learning Center

1831 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA 92058
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MiraCosta Oceanside Campus Building

1 Barnard Drive
Oceanside, CA 92056
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Tour Oceanside
MiraCosta San Elijo Campus

3333 Manchester Avenue
Cardiff, CA 92007
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Tour San Elijo
MiraCosta Technology Career Institute Building

2075 Las Palmas Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92011
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Visit Learning Center