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Frequently Asked Advising Questions

Which certificates and degrees does Highline offer?
The official source for a listing of academic programs is the college catalog. The Programs A to Z page also lists academic options alphabetically by area of study. New, or exploratory students might find Highline’s Pathways to provide a good introduction to the options. Pathways makes it easy for student to explore options and find a career or program that matches their skills, interests and abilities.

How do I choose a major/degree?
There are many options at Highline and beyond. As a community and technical college, Highline does not offer “majors”; however, advisors can encourage students to dedicate time exploring their interests, goals and values to select an academic program that is a good fit. Career Coach, the Career and Employment Center, and WOIS are key resources advisors can encourage students to access.

Students may seek to connect with advisors based on shared interests. Advisors can help students select an area of study or career goal by sharing your passion for your own career or discipline, and how you came to choose your own path.

Will my credits transfer from another institution?

For students transferring between Washington State community and technical colleges, the common course numbering system identifies equivalent courses. Students still need to have transcripts officially evaluated to determine how courses from another institution will apply towards their requirements at Highline. If the student is not seeking a credential from Highline, but is requesting to use a course from another institution as a prerequisite for a Highline course, unofficial transcripts from other colleges can be used to request an entry code. For non-domestic, institutions outside of the U.S., Registration and Records can provide guidance on the process for transcript evaluation.

Which classes do I need to transfer to a bachelor/university/4-year program?

Many classes at Highline are considered transferrable. The transfer institution determines which classes will be accepted and how they apply towards their requirements. Most institutions provide a course equivalency page which makes transfer planning easier. And many 4-year institutions have advisors dedicated to assisting transfer students with their admissions planning. Highline’s Transfer Center regularly hosts visits from 4-year institutions and is a great resource for all students who are considering transferring to earn a bachelors degree.

Highline’s transfer degrees are designed to meet general education requirements and the first two years towards a bachelors degree. However, each 4-year institution may have specific admission requirements, and many university majors require prerequisite classes with minimum GPAs earned before being admitted to a major program. Early exploration and planning is encouraged!

Students also have the option to stay on Highline’s campus to earn one of our five applied Bachelors degrees or transfer to the co-located University Center – CWU Des Moines.

Why is there a block on my registration?

Students may be blocked from registration for a variety of reasons. The Advising Tool is a web application that allows advisors to review a student record, including common blocks to registration. Advisors can guide students to view their own registration blocks by logging into Registration and Records provides an overview of common blocks.

Which classes should I take?

This may be the number one advisee question! Students have a wide variety of course options at Highline College. Advisors can help students identify appropriate classes by asking students about their academic goals, interests and background. If the student has identified a certificate or degree, advisors can show students how to access degree audit to find a list of required classes. The college catalog includes a printable degree planner for each of Highline’s degrees. The Advising Tool includes a Course Planner function whereby advisors can help students plan their classes by quarter using historical data from previous quarters’ class schedule. Pull up the students record first, then click “View Course Plan.”

If your student is seeking a degree at Highline that is outside of your area of expertise, guide them to the webpage for the department, and recommend they connect with the faculty or staff who have expertise in their area of interest. Students participating in special programs, i.e. Running Start or International Student Programs should meet with faculty advisors for career and transfer planning, while also remaining informed of their programmatic requirements on courses, credit loads or processes.

Which classes will count towards my degree?
For students who have earned credits, it is important to have a plan for completing remaining degree requirements. Most of Highline’s transfer degrees are general, allowing students flexibility to meet transfer institutions requirements. Students seeking more specific professional-technical (AAS) or Associate of Science (AS) degrees should work closely with their faculty advisors to stay on track towards their goals. The degree audit is an unofficial evaluation tool which applies students previous and current credits towards a degree. The college catalog lists general and specific degree requirements, including a list of courses which fulfill distribution areas.

How do/when can I register?

Quarterly registration dates are prioritized based on the number of credits earned at Highline, allowing students with the most credits the earliest registration time. The class schedule is published online just before registration begins. Students and advisors should review the class schedule in advance of their registration date and time, so students are ready to register at the earliest opportunity. Student learn the registration process in their new student orientation. Student can view their registration date and time through their MyHighline account.

How can I get help paying for college?
There are a variety of resources available to students to help meet the costs of college attendance. Early planning and thorough research is helpful in securing funds within the timeframe the student is seeking to attend. Advisors can refer students to programs to find out if they are eligible and learn how to apply. A few resources include: Financial Aid, generally for residents of Washington who have completed high school or their GED, Running Start for high school juniors and seniors, Workforce Education Services for professional-technical career training programs, and the Highline College Foundation for scholarships and grants. Advisors can also make students aware of the importance of building skills in Financial Literacy. Finally, advisors help students learn how to pay including options for making payments in installments (STEPP.)

What can I do to improve my GPA?
Some of your advisees may come to see you due to academic probation, to discuss course withdrawal options, or for general advice when they are struggling academically. Although all students are unique, research shows time management is an issue many students need to learn in order to balance their studies with their responsibilities and interests outside of college. Advisors can help students understand the amount of time they must devote to be academically successful, and to identify priorities. Advisors can also help direct students to campus resources including the Academic Success Center and the Counseling Center. Advisors can also encourage students to get connected on campus through the Center for Leadership and Service, or a culturally-based or identity groups such as AANAPISI, Puente, or Umoja. Other campus resources students may be eligible for include Access Services, TRiO, and Womens Programs. Advisors are key in reminding students the college is committed to helping them find ways to succeed!

Contact us at or (206) 592-3584.