Student Services

Division: Student Services

Student Support Services

Counseling Services

Location: Sequoia | Visalia Campus | Visalia Phone: (559) 730-3715 | Hanford Phone: (559) 585-2500 | Tulare Phone: (559) 688-3000 | Webpage: Counseling

Counselors at College of the Sequoias provide complete educational and career guidance services. They meet with students on an individual or small group basis for a range of purposes: interpreting assessment results, recommending further assessment/testing, determining specific courses for immediate and future registration, developing a Student Education Plan, identifying students’ concerns and making appropriate referrals for services, and supporting the progress and successful achievement of the student’s goal through follow-up services. Personal and social concerns are also addressed as they relate to college success. Students are encouraged to take advantage of these services offered at no cost.

The purpose of counseling is to help students succeed in their studies through self-evaluation, decision making, careful planning, and commitment. Because accurate information is essential, our counselors are dedicated to ensuring that students receive current and correct information. This information is usually documented in a Student Education Plan which reflects the student’s current goal. Students wishing to change their goal should see a counselor to revise their Student Education Plan.

Counselors are available during the day either by appointment, on a walk-in basis, and through online request. Evening counseling is available by appointment only. It is advised that students make appointments well in advance of registration periods because of the high demand for counseling. Walk-in students should be aware that they may have to wait to see an available counselor.

Assessment/Placement Tests

Location: Assessment/Placement Test Office, Sequoia Building, 2nd floor | Visalia Campus | Phone: (559) 730-3737

All students are required to take the COS Placement Test for math and English if they have completed or will complete six (6) or more units AND plan to pursue either a certificate, Associate degree, or transfer program. All other students who plan to enroll in an English or math course or any course with an English and/or math prerequisite must also take the test. Students may be exempt from the Placement Test requirements based upon criteria listed in the Matriculation Policies section below.

Tests are administered throughout the year.

Matriculation Policies

Matriculation is a process that assists students in planning, choosing and achieving educational and career goals. It begins with applying for admission and ends when the student completes the expressed goal. The purpose of matriculation is to ensure access to appropriate programs and courses offered by the College and to facilitate successful completion of student educational objectives. Through a coordinated program between instruction and support services, the College promotes and sustains efforts to help students achieve their goals.

Matriculation is a partnership between the student and the community college. It comprises mutual responsibilities and agreements for both partners. Any student who enrolls in credit classes for the purpose of realizing an educational or career goal is considered a matriculant.

Matriculation brings the student and the District into agreement regarding the student’s educational goal through the District’s established programs, policies and requirements.

The agreement is implemented by means of the student educational plan.

  1. Each student, in entering into a student educational plan, will do all of the following:
    1. Express at least a broad educational intent upon admission;
    2. Declare a specific goal no later than the term after which the student completes 15 semester units of degree applicable credit coursework;
    3. Diligently attend class and complete assigned coursework;
    4. Complete courses and maintain progress toward an educational goal;
    5. Complete a student educational plan;
    6. Complete the COS Placement Test or other assessments;
    7. Participate in orientation;
    8. Discuss educational/vocational choices and class selections with a counselor prior to registration; and,
    9. Seek support services as needed and complete courses to maintain progress toward an educational goal.
  2. Matriculation services include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
    1. Processing of the application for admission;
    2. Orientation and pre-orientation services designed to provide to students, on a timely basis, information concerning campus procedures, academic expectations, financial assistance, and any other appropriate matters;
    3. Assessment and counseling upon enrollment, which shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
      1. Administration of assessment instruments to determine student competency in computational and language skills;
      2. Assistance to students in the identification of aptitudes, interests and educational objectives, including, but not limited to, associate degrees, transfer, and vocational certificates and licenses; and,
    4. Referral to specialized support services as needed.
    5. Advisement concerning course selection.

The District shall not use any assessment instrument except one specifically authorized by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.

All students who are deemed matriculants are required to participate in the matriculation activities. Non-exempt students may request exemption status by completing a form and presenting their case to the Counseling Office. Students who are exempt based upon the Exemption Criteria listed below are welcome to request any services or activity from the respective departments.

At College of the Sequoias, we believe that a process of assessment, orientation and counseling/advisement, called matriculation, will help students plan and achieve the student’s goals in college. The student may choose not to participate in parts of this process if he meets any of the exemption criteria. In addition, if a class has a prerequisite or corequisite and the student has not been through the assessment process, the student may be blocked from enrollment.

Orientation

All new students are expected to participate in an orientation to COS services and educational programs. Orientation content will be determined and updated by findings from satisfaction surveys and focus groups from randomly selected students who have completed orientation.

There will be three available options for students to fulfill their orientation requirement:

  1. Online, interactive orientation.
  2. First Giant Step Orientation to be held just prior to the beginning of the Fall semester and will consist of a large group general session followed by small group breakout sessions for the following areas:
    1. General college information;
    2. Educational program review: certificates and degrees;
    3. Graduation requirements;
    4. Transfer General Education requirements with online resource information;
    5. Campus tours of support services;
    6. Distance access skill development for college website;
    7. Student support cohorts for follow-up interventions during the semester with advisors;
    8. Registration for first semester classes.
  3. Face-to-Face Orientation during the first two weeks of Fall and Spring semester.

Students completing one of the Orientation options (listed above) are enrolled in IS 220 (Orientation) and will receive 0.5 unit of credit for the process and will be billed accordingly.

All students will be able to register for classes their first semester but must take Orientation prior to registering the second semester at COS.

Exemption Criteria

Any student who has completed an associate degree or higher is exempt from the orientation, assessment and counseling requirements. However, all students are required to meet course prerequisites, which may require placement testing.

Additional exemption criteria are as follows:

Assessment Exemption

(Note: Students receiving Veterans’ educational benefits must take the appropriate placement tests before enrolling in remedial (300-level) Math or English courses.)

COS does not accept placement test results from other colleges unless the tests are the same as used at COS. All placement test cut-off scores are validated against COS courses per Matriculation regulations.

  1. Math Test: Students are exempt from the Math Test in the following circumstances:
    1. Not enrolling in a math class or a class that lists a math prerequisite and/or advisory AND student is not working toward a certificate, degree or transfer program; or
    2. Enrolling in a MATH 360 Pre-Algebra; or
    3. Presenting a valid college transcript demonstrating successful completion (grade “C” or higher) of math courses equivalent to courses offered at COS; or
    4. Presenting a valid score report reflecting a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus AB, or a score of 3, 4, or 5 on the AP Calculus BC, or the AP Statistics Exam.
    5. Presenting CSU EAP score report indicating “Ready for CSU college-level math course.”
  2. English Test: Students are exempt from the English Test in the following circumstances:
    1. Not enrolling in an English class or a class that lists an English prerequisite and/or advisory and not working toward a certificate, degree or transfer program; or
    2. Presenting a valid college transcript demonstrating successful completion (grade “C” or higher) of English courses equivalent to courses offered at COS; or
    3. Presenting a valid score report reflecting a score of 3, 4, or 5 on the AP Language Composition or the AP Literature and Composition test.
    4. Presenting CSU EAP score report indicating “Ready for CSU college-level English course.”

Orientation Exemption

Students are exempt from the orientation requirement if:

  1. Previously participated in a COS orientation; or
  2. Transferring to COS from another college; or
  3. Enrolling in 6 units or less and have no plan to obtain a degree, certificate or participate in a transfer program. It is highly recommended that students who qualify for an exemption participate in the online Orientation as a guest.

Counseling Exemption

Note: Students receiving Title IV Financial Aid and/or Veterans’ educational benefits are not exempt from counseling requirement

Students are exempt from the counseling requirement if:

  1. Transferring to COS from another college; or
  2. Enrolling in 6 units or less and have no plan to obtain a degree, certificate or participate in a transfer program.

Exemption Procedures

Any student who is considered non-exempt from the matriculation services by District criteria (mentioned previously), yet wishes to be considered for exemption for one or more of the activities, shall be directed to the Dean of Student Services.

Resources

Welcome Center

Location: Sequoia - 104 | Visalia Campus | Phone: (559) 730-3730

The Welcome Center provides services to help new students make a smooth transition into College of the Sequoias and helps continuing students locate resources and services they may need while attending the College. Additionally, the Welcome Center can help with questions regarding admissions, registration, financial aid and more.

COS Bookstore

Location: Giant Forest | Visalia Campus | Phone: (559) 730-3751

The bookstore carries textbooks and supplies as well as emblematic clothing, gifts and college memorabilia. The COS Bookstore encourages students to visit the bookstore before the semester begins. Textbooks are arranged by department, course, instructor, and section number. Textbooks prices and formats/available options are listed on the shelf tags below the books. Different options for purchasing textbooks are available:

  • Online at: cos.bncollege.com (have them delivered to your residence for a fee or pick up your order at the store).
  • Sign up for the Textbook Payment Plan (see an associate for details).
  • Rental: a major credit card is required in order to secure textbook rentals. All rentals must be returned by the due date. If textbooks are not returned by the due date, the full price of the book plus processing fees will be charged.

Personal checks, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express are accepted for payment provided a driver’s license and student ID number are presented. All returned checks are turned over to CHECK AGAIN for collection and assessed a $30.00 service fee.

Refunds and Exchanges

Dates will be posted each semester.

Books purchased for short-term classes must be returned on or before the first day of class.

A COS Bookstore receipt must be presented for any refund or exchange; new books must be in perfect condition to return; a refund will not be issued if books are written in, unwrapped, soiled or stickers are removed.

Buy Back Policy

Students can sell their books back at the COS Bookstore. Wholesale prices may be offered during the semester. At the end of the semester, books may be worth up to 50% of the selling price IF they are being used again on campus AND the bookstore needs additional quantities. If the bookstore does not need the books, a wholesale price MAY be offered

Dates and times for the end-of-the-semester buyback will be posted at the bookstore and campus. The bookstore cannot guarantee the buy back of any book at any time.

The staff at the COS Bookstore is here to serve our campus. For questions or requests, please contact the Bookstore by phone at (559) 730-3751 or by e-mail:

Dorianna Mendietta, Bookstore Manager
doriannam@cos.edu

Karyl Johnson, Operations Coordinator
karylj@cos.edu

Charles Slaght
charless@cos.edu

COS District Police Department

Location: Blue Oak - 903 | Visalia Campus | Phone: (559) 730-3726

The COS District Police Department functions for the protection of school, students, staff and facilities. Call 911 for emergencies only. Student parking permits can be ordered online at sequoias.thepermitstore.com. Daily parking permits can be obtained from the parking permit machines located in the parking lots.

Early Alert

Early Alert will allow students to learn of their mid-term grades, any areas of concerns and to read comments written by their instructors for the classes they are taking at COS. Early Alerts are disbursed in two ways:

  1. An e-mail message will be sent to the student’s COS Giant e-mail account.
  2. Early Alerts will appear online on Banner Web.

    Students are encouraged to ask their instructors to submit an Early Alert on their behalf and to seek assistance from the many student programs and services available at COS. For more directions on how to access Early Alerts, visit: www.cos.edu/earlyalert.

Campus Parking

Parking facilities on campus are limited. Students are encouraged to participate in car pools or ride public transportation rather than drive their own vehicles because of the added safety, financial savings, and parking congestion. Purchase of a parking permit does not guarantee a space will be available. The District is not responsible for losses due to theft or damage. All parking lot users are urged to lock their vehicles and not leave valuables within view.

Those who do bring vehicles are required to purchase a permit and to obey ALL parking regulations. Citations may be issued by the District Police to anyone who is in violation of the college parking policy or California Vehicle Code. A brochure containing parking policies is available at the District Police Office.

Students wishing to park on campus must pay a $25.00 fee for a semester parking permit and a $10.00 fee for a Summer parking permit. Fall or Spring semester permits are valid for Summer semester. Permits may be purchased online at sequoias.thepermitstore.com. If you are wanting to purchase an additional parking permit for another vehicle at a discounted rate of $10.00 you will need to bring the registration of both vehicles to the District Police Department for approval. A grace period of two weeks is provided the first two weeks of Fall and Spring Semester. Permits are not required during this time. This does not apply for the summer session. Students not wishing to purchase a semester parking permit may purchase one-day parking passes for $2.00 from the dispensers located at the following locations:

Visalia Campus

Parking Lots 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 9

Hanford Campus

Breezeway between the Education and Public Safety Buildings and Lot 2

Tulare Campus

Lots 1, 2 and 3

Permits must be picked up as soon as purchased as a limited number will be issued.

Parking permits must be permanently affixed to the vehicle in the prescribed manner.

Parking refunds will be available to students withdrawing from school prior to the end of the second week of instruction. Students withdrawing from school after the second week will not receive refunds.

Refund Procedure

  1. Apply for parking refunds at the Cashier’s Office in the Sequoia Building.
  2. A $3.00 service fee will be deducted from all full-time and part-time permit refunds.
  3. Parking permits must be returned to the Cashier’s Office before refunds will be processed.
  4. A refund check will be mailed in 6-8 weeks.

Access and Ability Center

Location: Sequoia - 10 | Visalia Campus | Visalia Phone: (559) 730-3805 | Hanford Phone: (559) 583-2500

The Access and Ability Center (AAC) serves COS students with a variety of disabilities, including students with mobility, vision and other health impairments, students with hearing and speech difficulties, and students with learning disabilities that affect acquiring, storing and/or retrieving information. The AAC also serves students who have acquired brain injuries and developmentally-delayed learners with the potential for hindered achievement and college success.

Student Health Center

Location:

Giant Forest | Visalia Campus | Phone: (559) 730-3880

Education Building | Hanford Campus | Phone: (559) 583-2530

Building A | Tulare Campus | Phone: (559) 688-3060

All registered students are eligible for confidential health care services in the Student Health Center, most of which are supported by the Student Health Fees. Health services include over-the-counter medications, nurse assessment, testing of blood pressure, glucose, vision and hearing, immunizations, communicable disease control, pregnancy testing, and tuberculosis testing. Psychological and mental health screening and counseling by mental health professionals are also available and provide different stages of services depending on the level of care the student requires. The Student Health Center also provides an emergency food pantry and snack station, along with monthly health education awareness events.

Food Services

College of the Sequoias offers students several food service areas.

In Visalia, food options such as Carl’s Jr., COS Café and TaCOS are located in the Alta Peak Student Union. They are open Monday through Thursday 7:30am – 7:00pm and Fridays 7:30am – 1:00pm. Both breakfast and lunch are served at TaCOS and Carl’s Jr., with breakfast orders ending at 10:00 a.m. COS Café serves lunch only between the hours of 8:00am – 2:00pm.

A snack bar (food court) with an outside seating area is located at the north end of the Giant Forest building. The snack bar offers a variety of snacks (including candies, ice-cream, crackers, and cookies) a variety of drinks, light lunches and sandwiches. The snack bar is open 7:00am – 9:00pm Monday through Thursday, and 7:00am – 2:00pm on Fridays.

In Tulare, food options are available in Building A as well as vending options in Building B.

In Hanford, food options are available in the student lounge.

Housing Services

Location: Giant Forest - 123 | Visalia Campus | Phone: (559) 730-3736

The Housing Bulletin Board is in a glass case located in the Sequoia building breezeway.

The Student Activities and Affairs office provides a Housing Bulletin Board to assist students in locating apartments, rooms or houses in the local area. Anyone interested in obtaining a rental or posting a rental listing should stop by the Student Activities and Affairs office. Note: COS only provides information for rentals and does not provide housing or participate in the rental process.

Transfer Services

Location: Giant Forest - 204 | Visalia Campus | Phone: (559) 737-6110

California Community college students can begin their college studies at a community college and transfer to a four year university to obtain a bachelor’s degree. With the assistance of a community college counselor, students will complete their lower division requirements (freshman and sophomore years) at a community college and transfer into the university at their junior level. COS strives to ensure that all students have the opportunity to obtain a bachelor's degree  by establishing degrees that promote transfer, courses that articulate to four year universities, and articulation agreements that benefit the student by limiting the amount of time and money spent at the four-year institutions. For more information, visit our Transfer Center located in the Giant Forest building, Visalia Campus.

Insurance Coverage for Students

All students are covered by an accident insurance policy that provides coverage for accidents occurring during school-sponsored, supervised curricular and co-curricular activities. The policy coordinates with students’ personal insurance so duplicate benefits are not paid. STUDENTS INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT that occurs on the college campus or at a college-related function MUST FILL OUT AN ACCIDENT FORM AND CLAIM IN THE HEALTH CENTER.

Students may also buy voluntary health insurance through COS during registration. Coverage may be extended to include spouse and children. Although the plan is a voluntary one, the College recommends that every student be covered by this policy or an equivalent one. Extreme financial hardship can result when a major illness or accident occurs and there is no insurance protection. More information is available in the Health Center (Giant Forest building).

Student Leadership

Student Senate

The Student Senate of College of the Sequoias is the official student body organization. Upon payment of the Student Activity Fee at registration, students become official members of the Associated Student Body and are represented by the Student Senate. Upon payment of the Activity Benefits Fee, students are issued an activity sticker which entitles them to participate in activities of the organization, as well as other benefits, as long as they remain in good standing. To see a full list of current benefits, please view the Student Activities and Affairs webpage. Most activities which concern the student body as a whole are sponsored by the governing body, Student Senate.

The business of the Associated Students is carried out by the Student Senate. Elected members comprising the Student Senate Executive Board are: Student Senate President, Vice-President, Student Trustee member, Student Body Ambassador, and five Commissioners [Activities, Clubs, Records, Finance, Publicity].

Clubs and Organizations

Location: Giant Forest - 123, Student Activities and Affairs Office | Visalia Campus | cos.edu/studentactivities

All clubs on campus are officially chartered by the Student Senate.

Students are encouraged to become active in one or more of the various clubs at COS to enrich their college experience. A list of clubs, with their advisors and meeting times, is posted online and on various bulletin boards.

Any group wanting to be organized as a club at COS must be chartered through the Student Senate. Forms are obtained in the Student Activities and Affairs Office located in the Giant Forest building. 

Student Activities

Location: Giant Forest - 123, Student Activities and Affairs Office | Visalia Campus | cos.edu/studentactivities

COS recognizes its responsibility for students’ emotional and social growth. The College, therefore, offers a variety of co-curricular programs, including student government, athletics, music groups, clubs, assembly programs, community service projects and social activities.