Cerritos Complete is now complete

Edgar Mendoza, Staff Writer

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Following in the footsteps of fellow community colleges, Cerritos College will soon announce the changing of Cerritos Complete, a program that offers one-year of free tuition to first-time freshmen, into a two-year program.

Cerritos Complete is open to anyone with a high school diploma, or anyone completing equivalency. The only other entry requirement is that one must be a first-time college student unless they have participated in the Dual Enrollment program.

The program is intended to serve as a fast track for students to get their degree and transfer to a four-year institution.

In addition to free tuition, it offers priority enrollment as well.

Other benefits include step by step assistance and an easy to follow an educational plan tailored just for the student.

These benefits will remain the same, with the only change being the addition of a second year.

For those already enrolled in the program, they need only maintain a 2.0-grade point average, and successfully complete the classes outlined in their educational plan.

If these criteria are met, they will then be offered the second year of Cerritos Complete.

Cerritos Complete member Regina Campbell said, “Getting a second year was a really cool surprise that came almost out of nowhere. Since the requirements are the same, it’s nice to not have to worry about much else other than focusing on your classes.”

The Cerritos office of School Relations has already begun onsite admissions, through which those interested in the program can complete the first few steps with one on one guidance.

Student Ambassadors visit high schools in teams of two, enrolling up to 40 students in the program over the course of a 45-minute session.

These applications and promotions have begun well before the official announcement in order to meet the deadlines for the program.

Desiree Alvarez, a student who recently enrolled in the program, said, “I’m super excited to get the free tuition, it’s a big help. The way I see it, all I have to cover is books and parking, so it’s like getting a free degree.”

The process to enter the program has not changed, still consisting of seven steps. In steps one through three, potential students must first complete and submit FASFA, along with a Cerritos College application and intent form.

The next step tasks them with completing the self-report tool, which evaluates their high school transcript information in order to suggest the best possible courses for them.

Once these four steps have been taken, they need only attend an orientation, which takes place during a four-day summer intro course, before enrolling in their fall classes.

The change is expected to have a significant impact in the lives of many, as approximately 75 percent of Cerritos college students are on some form of financial assistance.

It remains to be seen how this change will affect enrollment numbers as well as the number of students who transfer or obtain a degree.

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