CalWORKs Program Services

COVID-19 update

CalWORKs is here to help and answer your questions. Due to COVID -19, we have shifted to new and exciting modes of communication. You can now contact us within 3 different platforms. Any emails or phone messages will be answered within an hour during business hours.

Phone: (949) 582-4620
Email: Maria Castellanos(link sends e-mail)
CalWORKs Zoom Link


The California Community Colleges CalWORKs Program is a state mandated and funded program that assists current cash aid eligible parents.

The CalWORKs program at Saddleback College works collaboratively with Orange County Social Services and other community agencies to support student-parents in achieving their academic goals. The mission of the CalWORKs program at Saddleback College is to provide support and guidance for CalWORKs student-parents so they can thrive in their academic journey.

The CalWORKs program at Saddleback College promotes awareness, acceptance and respect for all diverse communities. The CalWORKs Program provides students with academic, personal and career counseling. In addition to providing clear and consistent educational planning and counseling, we also assist students with navigating the community college system by providing them with a bridge to on- and off-campus services.

  • Intake & Orientation: Students meet with a CalWORKs counselor who help to orient them to academic responsibilities and deadlines. The goal of this session is to ensure students have a clear understanding of key academic tasks and deadlines, which leads to overall success. The intake session and orientation to Saddleback College takes place after students are provided with a 4105 referral from their case manager. 
  • Education Plans: Students meet with their CalWORKs counselor throughout the semester as needed to ensure students have a long-term educational plan in support of the completion of their Associates Degree and potential transfer to a four-year university.
  • Case Management: Students meet with their CalWORKs counselor on an ongoing basis throughout their academic career at Saddleback College. The goal of case management is to ensure students receive the academic and personal supports needed to successfully remain in college and thrive. Case management also includes advocating for students when needed in the realms of county warrants, accessing IRS tax transcripts, child care, and other college-related concerns.
  • Personal Growth Workshops: Students are provided with monthly workshops facilitated by CalWORKs counselors and professionals in the community. Topics focus on networking, self-love, empowerment and self-advocacy with the goal of students developing a sense of community and personal growth.
  • Priority Registration: Eligible CalWORKs students are provided with priority registration to ensure they are able to select schedules that work with their personal/family demands, thus creating better opportunities for academic success. Eligibility is granted upon good academic standing at Saddleback College.
  • Books and Academic Supplies: The rising costs of books and academic supplies can be a serious impediment to academic success. CalWORKs students meet with their CalWORKs counselor to process request books for financial support to attain academic supplies that help students stay on course with their academic plan.
  • Work-study: Students are provided with employment opportunities via the work-study program. The goal of providing students with work-study is to promote sense of belonging, increase academic and career motivation, feel comfortable working in a professional environment, accountability and responsibility.  
  • Scholarships: Students receive support from their CalWORKs counselors to learn about scholarships as well as key deadlines and the necessary steps for submitting a strong application. CalWORKs counselors assist students with developing a strong personal statement so that they are competitive candidates for scholarships.
  • Referrals: CalWORKs counselors connect students with local community agencies who provide support with legal matters, domestic violence, personal counseling, and other critical social services​​​.