What is the International Student Pathway?

As a PCC student, you'll be part of our award winning First Year Pathways program. It includes several components that are designed to help you succeed. The Pathways Program at PCC is a special, award-winning program that helps you get the classes that you need, supports you in your success for up to two years at PCC, and provides you with opportunities to explore your major and career goals.

The International Student Pathway has the following components:

  • A special one-week orientation program called iJam. (Resident students have a similar orientation called Math Jam, Design Jam, etc.)
  • A Pathways study center on the first floor of the V building.
  • A student success team, consisting of first and second year coaches, counselors, and tutors to help you adjust to the culture, meet and exceed the expectations of American college life, and give you the tools you need to complete your goals.
  • A student success course, College 001, designed to help you develop critical reading, writing, and college-level research skills, as well as develop academic and personal behaviors necessary to succeed in college. (Students with English skills at ESL level 2 or level 3 take COUN 010 instead of College 1.)

Pathways students receive the following benefits:

  • Priority registration, allowing you to register earlier than many other students
  • Easy access to the full student support team
  • Access to the Pathways Center, along with tutors, computers, and up to five pages of printing per day

All new international students are given the opportunity to be in the International Student Pathway from their first semester at PCC. Being a part of the Pathways program is not a requirement. Students can choose not to be part of this program. However, only international students in the Pathways program, or in a few other programs (athletes, student government, etc.), qualify for priority registration. Additionally, students must complete all of the requirements of the Pathways program during their first year at PCC to qualify for the second year of the program, including priority registration.


Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the International Student Pathway.

No. Participation in the International Student Pathway (ISP) program is not required. You can choose not to join, but if you are not a Pathway student, you will not receive the many special benefits of the program, like early registration to get the classes you need to transfer to your dream university as quickly as possible, or support from Pathway coaches, tutors, and instructors.

PCC has made many valuable learning opportunities and experiences part of the ISP. To get the most out of it, you will need to participate in all of these activities. The Pathway contract is a document that you sign agreeing to complete the ISP activities in order to get all of the benefits of the program.

Counseling 10 is required for all new International Student Pathway students placing into ESL levels 2 and 3. College 1 is required for all other ISP students. These classes are part of the Pathway contract. If you choose not to follow the contract, you will lose all the privileges of Pathway students, like earlier registration and extra support from coaches and tutors.
PCC offers many excellent services and resources to all PCC students. One of the goals of the ISP is to help you learn about and use these resources. In addition, the International Student Center staff are available to answer your questions and help you solve your problems. However, after the first year, you will not be able to register early with first-year Pathway students, and you will no longer have access to the coaches and tutors.
 Some international students arrive at PCC having completed courses at another college or university in the US. If that is your situation, speak with an ISP counselor or coach to create the best plan to help you succeed at PCC.
 Some new international students need a little extra time to improve their English language abilities. PCC has set aside “blocks” of classes to help you improve your English speaking, listening, reading, and writing ability. Since most college classes require English ability at the ESL level 4 or above, the ESL blocks are the best place for you to have 12 units of classes and improve your college-level English ability.