Advising

What advisors do

Green River international student advisors help with:

  • University transfer planning
  • Academic planning
  • Class registration
  • Choosing a major
  • Immigration advising
  • Cultural adjustment support

Come to us with any other questions you might have — we will try our best to help!

Meet your advisors

After you are admitted to Green River Community College, you will be assigned an advisor based on your major. Your advisor will send you a welcome email a few weeks before orientation. If you change majors during your studies at Green River, you may then change your advisor to the specialist for your area of study.

Ellen Lambert

Ellen Lambert

International Student Advisor
Advises: Business majors

Make an appointment with Ellen

Kim Mucke

Kim Mucke

International Student Advisor
Advises: Computer science, engineering, math & science majors

Make an appointment with Kim

Mim Phillips

Mim Phillips

International Student Advisor
Advises: Business and arts majors

Make an appointment with Mim

Andaiye Qaasim

Andaiye Qaasim

International Student Advisor
Advises: General studies, undecided, liberal arts, music majors

Make an appointment with Andaiye

Sandra Spadoni

Sandra Spadoni

Director of International Student Advising
Advises: Education, aviation, pre-health, technical, and language learning majors

Make an appointment with Sandra

Part-time Advisors (for drop-in advising)

Breanna Olason

Breanna Olason

Part-time International Student Advisor
Advises: Drop-ins

Bre grew up in Blaine, Washington and studied abroad in Germany during high school. She then went to Western Washington University, where she got her degree in Cultural Anthropology with a certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language. At university, Bre had an internship with an organization called Building Bridges with Rwanda; she created course curriculum and traveled to Rwanda as part of her work with this program. In addition to advising at GRCC she works for Refugee Women's Alliance in South Seattle as an after school youth program tutor for English language learners in grades kindergarten through fifth grade. Outside of work, Bre loves to be outdoors and enjoys snowboarding in the winter and wakeboarding or water-skiing in the summer.

Danice Warnke

Danice Warnke

Part-time International Student Advisor
Advises: Drop-ins

Danice Warnke joined the team of the Green River IPEL department in February 2014 as a part-time advisor. She previously worked for Kaplan International English at Highline Community College for five years, first as an ESL instructor and then as the Housing Advisor. Danice has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Washington State University. She also majored in French and lived in Nantes, France as a homestay student for one summer. After graduating she taught English at a private school in Funabashi, Japan for one year. She returned to the U.S. and worked in export sales for Nalley Fine Foods where she traveled to Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam and Germany.

Melanie Kaneshiro

Melanie Kaneshiro

Part-time International Student Advisor
Advises: Drop-ins

Melanie has a B.A. from University of Washington in Japanese Language and Literature. She is originally from Santa Barbara, CA. Melanie has lived in Japan and Singapore and has traveled in China, Hong Kong, Turkey, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Mexico and as well as a good number of European countries. She has worked with international students for over 25 years on a variety of campuses in CA as well as in WA State. Melanie loves serving international students at GRCC and is committed to helping them find success.

Appointments

Making an appointment

You can email your advisor for an appointment. You can also stop by our office to make an appointment with your advisor, or ask for help on many issues that can be taken care of by our front desk.

Drop-in advising

You can also ask to see an advisor for a drop-in appointment if you have a very quick question or if something is urgent and your regular advisor is not available. Our drop-in advising is usually done by a part-time advisor.

What is a drop in appointment?

A drop-in appointment is a non-scheduled meeting that should not last more than 10 minutes. These are for quick questions only; if your question(s) will take longer or are very complicated, we will help you make a follow-up appointment with your assigned advisor. Drop-in students are served on a first-come, first-served basis so you may have to wait.

Examples of questions for drop-in appointments:

  • Add/drop classes
  • Entry codes
  • Account blocks

Examples of questions for regular appointments:

  • Degree planning
  • Transfer planning
  • Work authorization (OPT)
  • I-20 extensions or other immigration problems

Hours and location

Advising hours

Advising is open 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday during the academic year.

Our location

We are located in the IVD building on the Main Campus. Our address is:

Green River Community College
IVD Building
12401 SE 320th Street
Auburn, WA 98092-3699

Our phone number is: (253) 288-3300

Front desk services

Our Front Desk Reception is the first place you see when you walk in our office (IVD building). At the front desk, you can get many questions answered or make appointments regarding advising, housing or tuition.

You can also submit requests for services. Please fill out the purple form at the front desk to request these services. Your will be emailed when your request is ready.

These requests for service include, but are not limited to:

  • I-20 travel signatures
  • replacement I-20 (if you lost your I-20)
  • visa support letter for visiting relatives
  • letter verifying full-time enrollment
  • certification letter for full-time enrollment
  • IESL transcripts (academic transcripts are ordered from Enrollment Services)
  • tuition refunds

Passport, I-20, Visa

Prepare the following documents ready for presentation upon arrival at the airport. Be sure to hand-carry these; do not put these in your checked luggage.

Valid Passport

  • You will need a passport issued by your country of citizenship and it must be carried whenever you travel to the USA and outside of the USA. The info on your I-20 form, I-94 card, and other official documents normally match the information in your passport.
  • Non-immigrants are required to have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months when entering the USA.
  • Green River IP recommends that you allow at least 6 months to renew your passport while in the USA. To renew your passport once in the USA, contact the closest embassy or consulate for your country of citizenship.

I-20 Form

  • Your I-20 indicates the start and end dates of your program, your level of study, major, financial cost of your program, and the source of your financial support such as family or government funding. It is your responsibility to make sure the info on your I-20 is accurate and up-to-date.
  • It is recommended you keep all original I-20 forms issued by Green River and other schools, as well as make back-up copies for your records. DHS may ask for copies of previous I-20 forms when you apply for work permission or other immigrant-related benefit (e.g. OPT, change of visa status, reinstatement, etc.)

Valid F-1 Student Visa

  • Address of where you will live in the USA (on- or off-campus address)
  • Evidence of financial resources, such as bank statements
  • Evidence of student status (e.g. letter of acceptance, tuition receipts, transcripts)
  • Receipt for SEVIS fee, form I-797

See also: Getting a Visa

Orientation Week

We look forward to meeting all new students during Orientation Week, which will provide a comprehensive orientation to Green River including: placement tests, class registration, campus tour, an overnight camp, and a trip to Seattle. It is very important to attend Orientation Week to get off to a good start on your academic journey at Green River Community College!

Testing & First Quarter Registration

Students who have met the English Proficiency Requirements for direct admission into academic programs will take the COMPASS test during orientation to determine class placement.

COMPASS is a computer-based assessment of reading, writing and math. There is no time limit. Results are available immediately after completing the assessment, and during orientation students will be given the chance to take COMPASS up to two times for each subject area. Based on COMPASS scores, advisors will then register students for first quarter classes. Students can make changes to their class schedule, within the guidelines of course placement set by the school.

Appropriate placement is important as it impacts a student’s progression through their program and academic success. Sequencing of courses is dependent on the requirements listed for each area of study.

Preparing for COMPASS Placement Testing

Your advisors strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the COMPASS test in advance.  The more that you prepare, the more comfortable you will be when you take the test and the better chance you have of getting a score that accurately reflects your skills. Students are allowed to use a basic calculator during the test.

For more information on the COMPASS test see:

Test Re-takes & Alternatives

Can I retake the COMPASS test? If you think your COMPASS placement scores do not reflect your academic ability, you may retake the COMPASS within the following guidelines:

  • Compass retakes are limited to one per quarter (January-March, April-June, July-September, October-December)
  • Instructor permission to retake is required for students currently enrolled in ENGL 081/100 or READ 084/094. Instructor permission is also required for students currently enrolled in IESL and for those enrolled in Accelerated College Reading & Writing (ACRW).
  • Retakes not complying with these restrictions, including those taken at other institutions, will not be recorded or used for placement purposes.
  • Retake fees are $10 per section. Fees are non-refundable.

WAMAP Math Testing

The Washington Mathematics Assessment and Placement (WAMAP) another option for Math placement beyond the COMPASS test. Students can explore taking WAMAP after they have already tried COMPASS during orientation. Students should take the test for the math class they are attempting to enter. For example, if you wish to get into Math 072, take WAMAP for Math 072. Students are only allowed to tests for each math level once. The WAMAP is done on the computer in the Testing Center and is untimed, taking approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. It costs $10 per test. Fees are non-refundable.

See also: Assessment & Testing Center

Special First Quarter Classes: FFS, ISCE, ACRW

Foundation for Success (FFS)

Program Cost: $100.

This one quarter program is required for all incoming students. FFS helps students establish a strong learning foundation, enabling and supporting them in transferring to a top university. FFS offers students adapting to a new culture and language the extra help that can make a difference between success and failure in their first quarter. Students in FFS will have many opportunities to develop and perfect their skills. They will work alongside a Peer Mentor, who will be available during in person meetings and also via text or email. Peer Mentors are experienced Green River students who can speak to new students from their own experience, while listening to concerns, answering questions, and supporting the successes of new Green River international students as they begin to navigate their own academic journey at Green River!

International Student College Experience (ISCE)

Program Cost: $100.

This one quarter course is taken during the studentís first quarter and is required for all new Green River academic international students (except IESL graduates). The course prepares new international students for academic success at Green River and beyond by providing essential information and practical skills that will help make the transition into the college community and US as seamless as possible. ISCE provides the opportunity to learn about the university transfer process, college success strategies, and the expectations within the American collegiate classroom. By the end of the quarter, students will have gained a set of skills that will help them perform successfully in class, an indispensable list of college resources, knowledge of how to benefit from each school they have shortlisted, and a wealth of practical information about how to achieve academic success. This course counts for up to 2 credits towards the required 12 credits of full-time enrollment per visa regulations.

Accelerated College Reading & Writing (ACRW)

This is a specialized class for international students who are in academic coursework but whose COMPASS placement score for reading and writing were under the minimum for the first level of classes in the English department. This course counts 5 credits towards the required 12 credits of full-time enrollment per visa regulations, although credits do not show in a studentís online schedule. Advisors will register students who qualify for this course. Students in this course will be guided by the instructor in determining the optimum time to re-take the COMPASS placement exam.

Register for classes online

  • Five weeks into the quarter - check your registration access time: Visit online services to check the day and time you can register for classes.
  • Use the Schedule Planner tool to help you look for open classes.
  • You can use the following tools when selecting courses:
  • Don't forget to pay tuition immediately after you register for classes. You may pay by credit card, cashier's check, money order, wire transfer, personal check (from a U.S. bank) or traveler's check. To pay by credit card, use the Credit Card Payment Authorization form or pay via the online system. If you need additional time to pay, you can register for the STEP payment plan.
  • Remember to buy books for next quarter and consider selling your textbooks for the current quarter to the bookstore.

Tips for a successful quarter

  • DO NOT DROP BELOW 12 CREDITS without specific permission from your International Student Advisor. If you drop below 12 credits, you will be out of status for your F-1 visa requirements and will have to leave the U.S. immediately.
  • Remember to check your student email account daily. You can check it by visiting http://grcc.greenriver.edu/student-email/.
  • Utilize the various free tutoring centers on campus.
  • Counseling and Health Services offers many student success workshops; check their website for the schedule.
  • Your instructor is a great resource too! Find all staff/faculty contact information online.
  • The Holman Library has quiet study areas, computers for student use, and a circulation desk.
  • Check the college calendar for important dates including finals, holidays, and registration dates.

Degree and Academic Planning

Academic Planning is long-term planning for course work required for you to achieve either an AA or focused classes in order to transfer to your transfer university. Students are advised to follow these steps when planning their Academic Goals at Green River and beyond:

  • Decide on your Major. Most students have an idea of what major/area of academic focus they would like to study, but some do not, or change their mind. Make an appointment with your International Student Advisor to discuss potential majors and career interests.
  • Academic Pathways. Once students choose their intended major it is important to find out what courses are required for that degree and/or to transfer to a university upon completion of the degree at Green River. You will plan your courses together with your International Student Advisor during your New Student Advising appointment, which you will schedule between weeks 4-8 of your first quarter.
  • Where can you transfer? Choosing a University in the United States. There are many things to consider when choosing a university or college to transfer to after Green River. Some considerations include (but are not limited to), Where do you want to study? Does the university offer any special academic or other programs you are interested in?
  • In order to assess your needs and desires for a transfer university, it is important to develop a list of criteria you want to use to evaluate colleges, compile a list of possible colleges and universities, and gather all your resources and information about each school you are considering, before narrowing your list of universities to 4 or 5 ‘finalist’ choices. You will get tools and advice on this choice during your time in FFS and ISCE, and then you will meet with your International Student Advisor to discuss your target schools and refine your transfer plan.

How to transfer your SEVIS record

  • After you have been admitted to your transfer school, visit the IP office or email your advisor to obtain the Green River exit forms. Fill out Exit Form Part 1 and 2 and bring a copy of your acceptance letter. If new university requires their transfer-in form, make sure to print it out and give it to your advisor.
  • What date can your SEVIS be transferred? If you are currently enrolled, pick a transfer out date after the last day of your final quarter at Green River. Please contact your advisor if you have a special situation and have any questions about your SEVIS transfer date. SEVIS transfers will not be transferred until you have completed the quarter, have your acceptance letter, and have completed Exit Forms 1 and 2.

Request a Transcript

Applying for Graduation

  • Two quarters before you plan to graduate, you should apply for graduation at the Enrollment Services office. The specialists in Enrollment Services will process your application and email your Green River email account to let you know the exact classes you need to complete to graduate as planned.

Your Diploma

  • All diplomas and certificates will be mailed two months after the quarter ends from the Green River IP office. The IP office will contact you via email to confirm your mailing address before sending your diploma by express mail, free of charge.