Mother and small child next to CalWORKs logo

GAIN / CalWORKs Program

Welcome to CalWORKs Program at West Los Angeles College!

About CalWORKs at West

CalWORKs alumna speaks at Commencement 

GAIN/CalWORKs (Greater Avenues to Independence/California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids) is a government (both state and federal) funded program that offers temporary financial assistance, vocational & job skills training, as well as other support services.

Our office serves as a liaison between the college and the Los Angeles Department of Public Services (DPSS). Eligible CalWORKs participants must be referred by DPSS, known as the referral process, to assist participants with referral forms, new intake forms, academic advisement, educational plan, training verification, and assistance with Monthly Attendance Reports.

Our program goal is to assist program participants in transitioning from welfare to long term self-sufficiency and gainful employment through coordinated student services.

CalWORKs Program Participation Steps

We invite you to join our CalWORKs Program.


STEP 1 – Connect with DPSS

NEW PARTICIPANTS: Meet with your GAIN Services Worker (GSW) to request a Vocational Referral (GN6006). For those attending more than 1 school must additionally request for a Multiple Schools Referral (GN6390) Ensure you apply & enroll to WLAC.

To explore, apply for, or manage your CalWORKs Benefits, please visit BenefitsCal.
Any questions regarding benefits can be directed to Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) GAIN Office 877-292-GAIN,



PROVIDE and SUBMIT: Gain Referral, California ID/DL, Verification of Benefits (VOB), Intake Packet, Current Class Schedule, Comprehensive Student Educational Plan (SEP), and optional Ancillary Requests.


STEP 3 – WLAC Student Support Services

PARTICIPATE in the campus’s CalWORKs Orientation, the first step in learning about our program, its benefits, required forms, and our plan to help you succeed!

Meet with your CalWORKs Academic Counselor (by appointment) each semester/term to:

  • Develop a comprehensive Student Educational Plan (SEP), based on your Educational/Career Goals.
  • Meet the mandatory referral requirements and check-in each semester.
  • Learn of other student resources that can help you achieve academic goals!

File for Financial Aid each School Year & Seek out other WLAC Student Services & Tutoring Services.

**Counseling appointments for New Participants typically take place after orientation **

Click on our Join CalWORKs Flyer (pdf) to learn how you can join & participate in our CalWORKs Program!

Program Requirements & Study Policy

CalWORKs Program Requirements

Any student that meets the requirements listed below can participate in our CalWORKs Program. We strongly encourage each new student that meets the eligibility requirements to connect with their Gain Services Worker at DPSS to determine Program Eligibility and potentially begin the referral process.

  • Enrolled at West Los Angeles College
  • Has at least 1 child under 18 years of age
  • Receives at least $1 in Cash Aid from CalWORKs/TANF.
  • Is an Active Gain Participant

Study Policy

  • Credit Course: 3 Hours of Study Time per every 1 Hour of Class Time.
  • Noncredit Course: Credited as actual class time.


The CalWORKs Office is responsible for assisting referred and eligible CalWORKs participants with the following:

  • Academic and Professional Development Workshops
  • Academic Counseling Advisement, including Comprehensive Student Educational Plans
  • Childcare Assistance
  • Coordination of services/referrals for persons with learning disabilities
  • LA DPSS Referrals
  • Monthly Attendance Reports
  • On Campus or Off Campus Work Study
  • Priority Registration
  • Reimbursement/Standard Advance Payments/ Book & Supply Requests
  • Training for Workplace Readiness / Employment Verification
  • Tutoring Referrals

Communication & Staff


Email communication is the best way to connect with the campus’s CalWORKs Office. To better serve you, we strongly recommend for you to connect with the CalWORKs Office at least a ½ hour prior to closing time.

LACCD Student Email is available for students to email us at 

Please ensure to include your Full Name, LACCD Student ID Number, and best contact phone number. We will respond within 1 to 2 working day(s).

  • Inquiries/Requests: Students may connect with us via email for any inquiries.
  • Documents: Students may submit completed documents via email (sent from their LACCD Student Email Account) to Please allow 4-6 Working Days for review and/or processing.


  • Angeles Abraham, Dean of Student Services / EOPS Director
  • Esther Gelsi, CalWORKs Academic Counselor @email          
  • Laura Hurtado, CalWORKs Director, Student Services Specialist
  • Brian Jenkins, CalWORKs Case Manager, Student Services Assistant


Counseling Appointment
To reserve a CalWORKs Academic Counseling Appointment

CalWORKs Virtual Chat Services

Chat is available on Cranium Café during Virtual Service Hours. You can create a free Conex ED account -or- gain access with your LACCD SIS (Student Information System) Portal Login. Online services work best on Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browsers.

CalWORKs Forms & Resources

To explore, apply for, or manage your CalWORKs Benefits, please visit BenefitsCal.

Any questions regarding benefits can be directed to Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) GAIN Office 877-292-GAIN


Student Services Building, Room 330 (SSB-330)


Phone: (310) 287-4261

In-Person Hours

Monday to Thursday: 9:00am-5:00pm
Friday: Virtual Services only
Weekends: Closed
(Hours are subject to change particularly in Summer and Winter)

Virtual Services Hours

Monday to Thursday: 9:00am-5:00pm
Friday: 9:00am-1:00pm
Weekends: Closed
(Hours are subject to change particularly in Summer and Winter)