Steps to Success

Step #1 | Step #2  | Step #3  | Step #4  | Step #5  | Step #6  | Step #7  | Step #8  | Step #9  | Step #10

Step #1 - Apply to Attend

Complete an online application for admission at You will receive an email confirming your application and containing your student identification number (“G” number).

Step #2 - Apply for Financial Aid

You may qualify for state and/or federal financial aid. US citizens, permanent residents, and other eligible non-citizens should apply using the FAFSA at AB540 students who are unable to complete the FAFSA should apply for state aid using the the California Dream Application at Have the results sent to Cañada College (school code 006973).

Step #3 - Attend New Student Orientation/Initial Course Placement 

The college orientation program is REQUIRED and provides information about the registration process, college policies, academic expectations, educational goals, and student services. You can schedule a date and time to attend a college orientation by calling the Welcome Center at: (650) 306-3452.

Assessment tests are not required nor are they available for enrollment in English or math courses.  Placement in these courses is determined via a multiple measures assessment of high school achievement or through a process of guided self-placement.  Assessment tests are available for Non-Native English Speakers for placement into English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.

You are automatically EXEMPT from the placement process for English and math and may move directly to Step #4 if you fall into one of the following categories:

Have taken the Assessment Tests at Cañada College, College of San Mateo, or Skyline College.

  • Are a former student or new transfer student from another accredited college in the United States and have completed coursework in mathematics and/or English with a grade of “C” or better. (Must bring unofficial transcripts or other evidence of grades to your counseling appointment to verify this exemption.)
  • Can show evidence of completing the College Board Advanced Placement Test (AP) in English Language or in English Literature with a score of 3, 4, or 5.
  • Can show evidence of completing the College Board Advanced Placement Test (AP) in mathematics with a score of 3, 4, or 5. (Must bring AP scores to your counseling appointment to verify this exemption.)
  • You are a high school senior planning to attend either summer or fall classes at Cañada and have completed the CAASPP testing at your high school; your CAASPP results will place you into either transfer level English, Math, or both. 

Multiple Measures

All students who are not exempt from the matriculation process are placed into their initial English and math courses based on either their previous high school achievement, verified by a high school transcript, or through the Guided Self Placement (GSP) process.


English Recommend Placement Based on High School Achievement
Group H.S. GPA Recommended Placement
1 ≥ 2.6 ENGL 100
2 1.9 to 2.6

ENGL 105

(Including additional academic and concurrent support)
3 < 1.9

ENGL 105

(Including additional academic and concurrent support)


Math Recommended Placement Based on High School Achievement

Group H.S. GPA Recommended Placement
1 ≥ 3.0 MATH 145, 200, 201
2 2.3 to 2.9

MATH 200 + 800

3 < 2.3

MATH 200 + 800


BSTEM Mathematics
Group H.S. GPA Recommended Placement
1 ≥ 3.4 or... ≥ 2.6 & previously enrolled in a HS Calculus course

MATH 125, 130, 150, 225, 241


≥ 2.6 or… previously enrolled in a HS Pre-Calculus course

MATH 130 + 830

MATH 225 + 825

MATH 241 + 841

(Including additional academic and concurrent support)

3 ≤ 2.6 and no previous Pre-Calculus  Same as Group 2, above
  • To complete English and/or math placement Submit the Math and English Placement Form and attach a copy of your high school transcripts by: email to or by calling the Welcome Center at (650) 306-3452, Building 9, First Floor for more information.

The Math and English Placement Form can be found at:

If students do not agree with their English and/or math placement based on high school achievement, or if transcripts are unavailable they may complete the Guided Self Placement process with an academic counselor.

Students may voluntarily choose to enroll in courses below their recommended placement level.

Step #4 - Counseling

Upon completion of the College Orientation and Placement you will receive an appointment to meet with a counselor to discuss placement level, educational goals and to select courses appropriate to your academic readiness and educational/career goals.

Step #5 - Register for Classes

New non exempt students will receive their registration appointment once they have completed the College Orientation, Assessment and Counseling session. Use WebSMART to register for classes. Complete information regarding registration dates and procedures is available in the College Schedule of Classes.

After you have registered and paid for classes, you are officially enrolled at Cañada College. Be sure to attend the first class meeting and work with your professors to meet the challenges and demands of each class. Use Counseling services regularly by scheduling an appointment at least once a semester to meet with your counselor to discuss:

  • Progress towards your educational goals
  • Develop or update your Student Educational Plan (SEP)
  • Learn about important student services that enhance student success

Priority Registration

Priority registration gives specific groups of students the opportunity to register for classes early. Generally, groups are given priority based on maintaining a current Student Educational Plan, completing the Student Success steps, and earning a total number of units with the district.

To receive a priority registration date, students must be in “good standing”. The state defines “good standing” as students who are not on academic/progress probation (for two consecutive semesters) or on dismissal, or have not earned more than 100 degree applicable units. If you are on probation for two consecutive semesters or on dismissal, or have earned 100 units or more, you will not receive a priority registration date. You will be able to register after the priority registration process is completed. To appeal the loss of priority registration, complete the “Loss of Priority Registration and/or the California College Promise Grant (CCPG) Fee Waiver Petition” ( Completed petition needs to be turned into the Admissions & Records office.

Step #6 - Pay Fees (required)

Students are required to pay registration fees at time of registration, or have other sources (financial aid, California College Promise Grant (CCPG) Fee Waiver, Third Party Payer or Payment Plan.) Students will be dropped for non-payment of fees, after seven business days, or less, depending on when classes begin. Please see website for most up-to-date information on fee deadlines. Students will not be permitted to register with an outstanding balance.

Step #7 - Arrange Transportation and Parking

See additional sections on Parking in this catalog.

Step #8 - Purchase or Rent Books; Pick up your Student Body Card

See additional section on Bookstore in this catalog. Go to Building 5, Room 354, where the staff will take your picture and you your official Student Body Card. Please remember to update this card every semester you attend Cañada.

Step #9 - Attend Classes

Students are expected to attend classes regularly. See Attendance Regulations section in this catalog.

Step #10 - Get Involved with Campus Clubs and Take Advantage of Support Services

There are many support services and campus activities for you. See Student Services and Special Programs section in this catalog.

Students with disabilities who need assistance with any part of the matriculation process should contact the Disability Resource Center at (650) 306-3259.