UCSC Colleges

Review of Onsego GED Prep

Last year, due to the pandemic, I couldn’t attend the adult basic education course at our local community college since they closed, and I had to learn it all over the internet.

Well, I did a lot of research and used some trial versions of different online courses, and I discovered that one of the best online resources to get all set for the GED® test was the GED Prep Course designed by Onsego.

So last December, I passed my fourth GED sub-exam, and to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have been able to earn my GED so quickly if not for the efficient way this prep course got me all set.

The course uses video lessons and practice tests as the primary teaching methods, and there are also interactive quizzes, discussion areas, and links to additional learning resources.

The videos lessons can be standalone though usually, they are part of modules. Onsego’s GED Prep Course covers all subject fields addressed in the GED test and the course is recognized by GED Testing Service.

The 10 colleges of UC Santa Cruz

If you choose to attend UCSC, one of your first choices will be deciding which of the ten sub-colleges you want to live in. This decision can definitely be pretty daunting and unclear, especially if you’ve never visited the campus.

Many of the brochures that the school sends out don’t properly tell you what it’s like to live at a college, so I’ve taken some time to write a post about each college in hopes that you can make a more informed decision.

UCSC college system

UCSC is divided into ten sub-colleges:

  1. Cowell College
  2. Stevenson College
  3. Crown College
  4. Merrill College
  5. Porter College
  6. Kresge College
  7. Oakes College
  8. Rachel Carson College (formerly College Eight)
  9. College Nine
  10. College Ten

Essentially, your choice of college determines where you live for your first year or two of school. Your major won’t make a difference in what college you attend — all majors are allowed into all colleges. You’ll also be in classes with students from all colleges, so your academic life is not really affected by which college you choose. …

UCSC Colleges: Cowell College


In 1965, Cowell College was founded as the first college at UCSC. The college is named after Henry Cowell, who owned much of the property that UCSC exists here currently.

The Cowell family became wealthy by withdrawing the limestone from the hills and from raising cattle. Many areas around Santa Cruz are named after Cowell.


Cowell’s theme revolves around justice — what is it, and how does media define it?


Cowell is located in an extremely convenient spot on campus. Cowell is right by the bookstore plaza, which is the closest thing UCSC has to a central meeting area. Cowell is within walking distance of the east field (and all the athletic facilities).

The college is rather popular among GED graduates with college-ready scores, and many students with a GED reported they benefitted hugely from the GED prep course designed by Onsego which is recognized by GED Testing Service.

UCSC Colleges: Stevenson College

This post is a part of my 10-post series about UCSC colleges.


Founded in 1966, Stevenson was UCSC’s second college. Stevenson is named after Adlai Stevenson, a former Illinois governor who also ran against Dwight Eisenhower for president.


Stevenson’s theme is “Self and Society” — the theme revolves around how an individual can find him/herself and how he/she can later benefit society.

It’s definitely worth noting that Stevenson’s core course actually takes two quarters, but it fulfills more general education requirements than a normal core class. I did recommend not deciding on a college based on its theme, but be aware that the core class can be very tiring.

UCSC Colleges: Crown College


Crown College was founded in 1967. Unlike its predecessors, I don’t believe Crown wasn’t named after anybody in particular — the name Crown just sort of came along. The famous chemist Kenneth Thimann, who the Thimann labs at UCSC  are named after, was the first provost.


Crown’s theme and core course revolve around ethics with technology. What are the social implications of technology — how do we decide what is ethical and what is not?


Crown is located at the top of what is known as “Cardiac Hill”. This is a fairly steep hill that must be climbed to reach Crown and Merrill Colleges.

UCSC Colleges: Merrill College


In 1968, Merrill College became UCSC’s fourth college. The name “Merrill” comes from Charles Merrill Jr, an educator and philanthropist, who donated much of the money to make Merrill a reality.


Merrill’s theme is “Cultural Identities and Global Consciousness”. The core course involves readings detailing how people fight to preserve their culture as other powers spread through the world.


Merrill is located just next to Crown and above Stevenson. As such, Merrill is even more remote than either of these colleges. Merrill is surrounded by large redwoods, and it’s very peaceful up there.

UCSC Colleges: Porter College


Porter College is named after Benjamin Porter, the grandfather of three contributors to UCSC. The Porter family owned some of the lands of Porter Meadow (a meadow right next to Porter College) and donated this as well.

Porter was in fact named “College Five” for about 12 years before it received its official name. Porter opened in 1969.


Porter’s theme revolves around the arts. The core course explores Art and the social implications of famous works.


Porter College is located on the lower west side of the University of California, Santa Cruz, just south of Kresge College and slightly north of Rachel Carson College.

UCSC Colleges: Kresge College


Kresge was UCSC’s sixth college and opened in 1971. Kresge was named after Sebastion Kresge, who was the founder of K-Mart. Kresge was often jokingly referred to as “K-Mart College”.

The college was largely designed by students — the first provost taught a course titled “Creating Kresge College”. Even some of the apartments’ layouts were designed by students.


Kresge’s theme is “Power and Representation”. The core course revolves slightly around politics, as well as how individuals interact with their community.


Kresge is just up the hill from Porter, at the northwest corner of campus.

The media center near the center of campus and McHenry Library are a bit farther away, so you will need to do some walking to reach them.

UCSC Colleges: Oakes College


During the late 1960s, a black power group demanded an all-black college. UCSC compromised and instead founded a new college whose theme would revolve around ethnic studies. Oakes was opened in 1972 as “College Seven”.

Oakes College received its name in 1975. “Oakes” is the surname of Margaret and Roscoe Oakes, who made a significant impact in the founding of the college.


The theme for Oakes College is “Value and change in a diverse society”. The core course consists of readings and films about ethnic studies and how to live in a multicultural society.


Oakes College is located in the southwest corner of campus. Oakes is the “lowest” college on the hill.

UCSC Colleges: Carson College


Despite being founded in 1972, UCSC’s eighth college was unnamed for a long time, and for a long time, it was called College Eight. Now it is called Rachel Carson College. The reason College Eight wasn’t named so long is that there hadn’t been any benefactors who contributed enough money to have the college named after them.

The college was once nearly named “Adams College” after photographer Ansel Adams, but for long, College Eight was nameless.

That has changed now as College Eight at UC Santa Cruz was renamed Rachel Carson College. The college has always embraced environmentalism and writer and conservationist Rachel Carson has been widely credited with launching the contemporary environmental movement.


So College Eight, or now Rachel Carson College, is UCSC’s “green” college. The theme — “Environment and Society” — reflects on how humanity has impacted the environment. The core course involves readings about different ways in which our way of life has impacted the environment.