The right Ed Plan to guide your future


A San Diego City College student walks into the counseling center, located in A-110, on Sept. 24. The counseling center offers to help students achieve their educational needs to help them prepare for graduation and transferring to a four-year university. Photo credit: Celia Jimenez

Destiny Ortiz

The semester has just begun at San Diego City College and classes are well underway. The counseling office and several programs on campus are flooding with students trying to figure out what classes to take and what are the next steps to transfer, graduate or both. It is crucial for students to have an education plan.

An education plan is a “road map” for students to decide the next step for student success. It is for the specific needs of students. This is where students would find out if they are on the right track.

Richard Rios, a Liberal Arts major at City College, felt the stress of figuring out what to do next in his life.

“I didn’t know if I was going to graduate,” Rios said.

Rios expressed his anxiety about not knowing if he was taking the right classes that would lead him to San Diego State to fulfill his dream of becoming a teacher. Rios received an abbreviated education plan to go along with his plans to graduate in the next year.

EOPS Counselor Salem Berhanu explained the difference between an abbreviated plan and a comprehensive one. In most cases, comprehensive education plans are used because this plan will be used for the entire time students will be at City, continuing on when they transfer, graduate or whatever their plans may be. Abbreviated plans are used for two semesters. Berhanu couldn’t stress how important it was for students to create an education plan.

“There’s no excuse for any student not to have one,” Berhanu said.

Berhanu explained there were several different places to create an education plan such as the general counseling center.

“It’s like going to see your friend in L.A.” Berhanu said. “How do you think you’re going to get there? By driving around for awhile and hope to find the place? No. You get your GPS and make sure your friend gives you the right address.”

Berhanu said that is how students should view education plans. It is for the students’ benefit to make sure they reach their goals in a timely manner. No one should be taking classes they don’t need.

MESA Director Rafael Alvarez shared the same sentiments as Berhanu. He was adamant about students having an education plan. Alvarez, with the help of his students, created an in-depth education plan for students to customize to their own plans.

Students need to be more aware of things such as their future and if they are taking the right steps toward it. Education plans aren’t an obligation but a necessity to students’ life plans.

“Students need to know we’re a learning culture. They need to know what that means,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez wants students to know it’s the student’s responsibility to know what they need to do to make their goals possible and it is the responsibility for student resources to guide them.

If you have any questions on how to obtain an education plan, you can call the Counseling office at (619) 388-3540.

If you would like to check out the education plan from the MESA program, you can visit