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 Orientation and Assess Your Skills in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics (required)

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 required for enrollment in English, English for Non-Native Speakers, mathematics courses and any course that has an English, reading, or mathematics prerequisite. Assessment tests are required for most of the Associate degree and university level courses. Math placement test results are valid for up to two years. There is no expiration date for the English placement test results.

Students have 2 options to complete the testing requirement:

  1. You can take your assessment tests the same day following completion of the College Orientation, or;
  2. Select a date from the Assessment Test Schedule and make an appointment by calling the Welcome Center at: (650) 306-3452. (Note: this options requires the student to schedule a separate date to complete their College Orientation.)

You are automatically EXEMPT from taking the Assessment Tests 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. (Note: For any results that do not place you into a transfer level course you will have to take the COMPASS assessment test for those sections.)
  • Multiple Measures Assessment Program: You are a current year California high school senior or graduated from a California high school within the past 3 years, and meet the following criteria for high school English and/or Math classes:
    • English: completed 11th or 12th grade English, Composition, Advanced Composition, Expository Reading and Writing, Secondary English/Language Arts/Reading, AP English Language, AP English Literature, IB International English Language with a cumulative GPA of 2.3 and a grade of B- or higher in one of the courses listed above
    • Math: completed an equivalent of Algebra II, Integrated Math 3, Higher-Level Math (Statistics, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus) in 11th or 12th grade with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 and a grade of C or higher in one of the courses listed above
    • Students with approved English results are eligible for English 100
    • Students with approved Math results are eligible for math 125, 130, 140, 200, 241
    • Alternate Placement Test Form
    • Submit the Alternate Placement Test Form and attach a copy of your high school transcripts by FAX: (650) 306-3457, email to or in person at the Welcome Center (650) 306-3452, Building 9, First Floor
  • If using high school transcripts for placement into transfer-level Math to meet the Basic Math Competency for Associate Degree requirement, students MUST provide an official high school transcript for verification.  This does not apply for Associate Degrees for Transfer or for meeting Math transfer requirements to four year universities. 

Step #4 - Counseling

Upon completion of the College Orientation and Assessment, you will receive a 30 minute appointment to meet with a counselor to discuss assessment results, 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 a 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 current Student Educational Plans, complete the Student Success Process, 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 BOG 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, Board of Governors Fee Waiver, Third Party Payer or Payment Plan.) Students will be dropped for non-payment of fees on a rolling basis. 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.