Veterans Services at College of San Mateo - Counseling Services Guide
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Veterans Services
Counseling Services Guide

Counseling services support student veterans to enter or re-enter college for the purpose of using VA benefits to compete an identified educational goal at College of San Mateo:
  • Certificate Program
  • Associate Degree
  • Associate Degree for Transfer
  • University Transfer
  1. After completing College placement test in English or ESL and mathematics, or using the Prerequisite Equivalency Petition if you completed English and/or mathematics at a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, and after completing the College Orientation and Course Selection Workshop you are ready to use Counseling Services.

  2. When scheduling a counseling appointment or meeting with a counselor on Drop-In - Identify yourself as a Veteran. The counselor can assist you to review educational options at College of San Mateo, review requirements for your specific educational goal and college major, and work with you to create a student educational plan that includes courses required for your specific educational goal and major.

  3. As mentioned in the VA Check list, the EDR, and the Statement of Responsibility, if you have completed courses at colleges or universities outside of the San Mateo Community College District you are required to have these transcripts officially evaluated. To accomplish this, within the first three weeks of your semester of enrollment at College of San Mateo have your official transcripts sent to College of San Mateo Office of Admissions and Records. Then request an official transcript through the Transcript Evaluation Service (TES). See the District's Transcript Evaluation page for more information.

  4. It is highly recommended that a veteran select one counselor and work with that counselor to engage in and monitor educational planning while at College of San Mateo.

  5. The best time to meet with a counselor is where there is not the pressure of registration. Schedule an appointment early in the semester or at the mid-point in the semester for your educational planning and SEP. If you wait, counselors become busy and it is difficult to schedule an appointment. Counselors do not do SEPs during a drop in session. Be sure and plan ahead to secure a counseling appointment with the Fall or Spring semesters for an SEP!

  6. The Counseling Office has a strict "No Show Policy". If you schedule a counseling appointment, show up on time for the appointment. After two No Shows (tardies count as "No Shows") students can no longer schedule appointments and are restricted to Drop In counseling services which, for many, is not as convenient as scheduling appointments.

  7. For veteran's using VA benefits, counseling services must comply with VA regulations.

    • Although a veteran may be undecided in regards to his/her educational goal for the first semester, after the first enrollment term a veteran must declare a specific educational goal and major.
    • Each term a veteran must submit to the CSM Veteran's Office/Admissions and Records an accurate student educational plan (SEP) that is prepared by a CSM counselor. The SEP must reflect an educational goal achievable at College of San Mateo. Only Courses Required for the educational goal may appear on the SEP. (Although a student may enroll in classes that do not appear on the SEP, those courses are not considered for VA benefits.)
    • A veteran with transcripts from outside of SMCCCD must have those transcripts officially evaluated as noted in #3 above prior to having an SEP completed for the second semester or term of enrollment. (A counselor can provide a first term SEP for the purpose of apply for veteran's benefits with the official evaluation. After the first semester a counselor cannot provide an SEP without the official TES evaluation completed.)

  8. Each term veteran's with current SEPs are eligible for the highest registration priority. We highly recommend that veterans work closely with one counselor to assist him/her to analyze educational options, consider career opportunities, provide guidance and referral support, and develop educational plans that are meaningful and accurately guide the veteran to goal completion.