Student Affairs and Services

University Student Services

Mission:  Student Affairs exists to shape campus culture, promote community, and to foster student success.

Career Services

Career Services equips students to prepare and stand out for current and future employment.  They provide relevant resources, avenues for exploration, and experienced one-on-one career advising.  These services are free to currently enrolled students and alumni of Vanguard University.

Career advising topics include resume and cover letter assistance, mock interviews, job and internship search, LinkedIn profile assistance, career direction, choosing a major, graduate school preparation, and assessment results.

Events and workshops are offered to educate and engage students in networking and experiential learning opportunities.  Additional resources provided include a library of printed and online documents.

Their online platform, Handshake, allows students and alumni to schedule career advising appointments and identify on-and-off campus job and internship opportunities.  Career Services is located on the 2nd floor of the Scott Academic Center and may be reached at (714) 619-6474, or at Please visit for more information.

The Counseling Center

Professional Christian counseling services are provided through the Counseling Center. The Counseling Center is supervised by a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a licensed Clinical Psychologist.  Students can make confidential appointments to discuss their spiritual, personal, and emotional concerns. This service is provided for each student free of charge. Counseling appointments can be scheduled by calling (714) 662-5256, or online at  Walk-in assistance is also available.  The Counseling Center is located on the first floor of Smith Hall. 

Food Services

Meals are served regularly in the Café for all students. Resident students without kitchens must participate in a board plan, and can select from several plans offered.  Commuter meal plans are also offered, and individual meals may be purchased by off-campus guests.  Samson’s Café is available for handcrafted coffee drinks, pastries and a variety of salads and cold sandwiches.  Dining Dollars may be added to the meal plan at the Cashier in the Office of Accounting Operations. Any exceptions to food service requirements must be petitioned through the Disability Services office.

Health Center

The student Health Center, located in Smith Hall, strives to provide quality health and wellness in a safe, comfortable and confidential environment, as a supplement to the student’s existing health care plan for acute illnesses and injuries. The Health Center does not provide primary care services. Appointments may be scheduled online, by phone, or in the office. Services provided include diagnostics and treatment for common acute episodic medical conditions; administration of diagnostic test include strep, urinalysis, influenza and TB; care for minor injuries such as sprains, contusions, wounds and more.  Furthermore, we offer basic rehabilitation exercises, counsel for nutrition, exercise and weight management, and consultation and referral to a number of health professionals and facilities covered by the student’s existing medical insurance as appropriate.  You can reach the Health Center at 714-619-6471 or at  

Campus Public Safety Department

The Campus Public Safety department’s mission is to provide a safe and secure environment for our students, visitors, faculty, and staff.  Our desire is to reduce or eliminate crime and safety hazards on campus. We do this by partnering with you in upholding all university campus rules, regulations and all applicable laws and ordinances. This partnership allows for a safe and secure atmosphere where students and employees are able to pursue their life’s goals. The Campus Public Safety Department offers the following services: vehicle registration, parking permits, safety escorts, safety equipment monitoring, bicycle registration, valuable registration, lost and found, crime reporting, parking and traffic enforcement, safety and security patrols, main switchboard operator, environmental health and safety services, management of the emergency management program, and various other services. We can be reached at (714) 966-6799 or

ID Card

A VU student ID Card is required for use of university services such as the library, dorms, and computer labs. ID cards are provided to the student prior to the first day of school and are to be used for the entire duration of attending the university. If an ID card is lost, a new card may be purchased for $25. If a card is excessively used throughout the collegiate career and becomes worn, a student may trade in their old card in addition to a $10.00 fee for a replacement card. ID cards may not be hole punched, but clear cardholders may be purchased for $1. Please see the Information Technology Department for distribution of all ID cards.

The Veterans Resource Center

Our Veterans Resource Center (VRC) at Vanguard University has a primary mission to consistently engage our student Veterans in the pursuit of academic and personal success, this includes spouses and dependents. The Veterans Resource Center is accessible 24/7 access students who are using G.I. Benefits or Military Tuition Assistance Funds (TA).  Our Veterans are engaged in activities both on and off campus.

We are a 100% Yellow Ribbon Institution with no cap on the number of student Veterans who can apply that are Yellow Ribbon eligible.  The U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard a top 12 regional college in the west and a top Veteran-friendly college.

We recently created a Student Veterans Leadership Award for our graduating Veterans.  The top three Veterans are selected by their peers and are recognized at our year-end Student Veterans Challenge Coin Ceremony, receiving monetary gifts of varying amounts.

With over 30 degrees and certificates through our Graduate, Undergraduate, and Professional Studies programs, we have a place for you as a student Veteran.  Our student Veterans are currently enrolled across all three programs, with priority registration offered to traditional undergraduate Veteran students. Our Professional Studies program has been developed with four majors consisting of 5 and 8 week cohorts which allow many of our Veterans to keep full time employment while attending class one night a week.

Vanguard University believes in building relationships immediately with our student Veterans.  We have a dedicated Veterans Courtyard of Honor in the middle of campus that shows Vanguard’s commitment to respecting and honoring your service to our Nation.  Now we want to continue this honor by learning your story, while listening to your aspirations for your education and life after graduation.

Undergraduate Student Life 

Student Learning and Development

The Department of Student Affairs exists to shape campus culture, promote community, and foster student success.  Programs and services are designed to create a seamless learning environment so that learning is supported both in and out of the classroom. Because the University believes that personal development and education go hand in hand, a program of student development is maintained to assist students in all areas of personal growth, including their adjustment to university life.

Student Housing 

The University provides comfortable accommodations for traditional undergraduate students in a home-like atmosphere at a reasonable cost. Residence facilities are maintained both on and off campus and can accommodate students in a variety of settings, including traditional and apartment housing. The Residence Life Program is supervised by the Director of Residence Life, and each residence facility is under the supervision of a professional Resident Director or Resident Coordinator. The Residence Life staff also includes Resident Assistants who are spiritually and emotionally mature students living and working in each facility to help create community among the residents.

Because Vanguard University is primarily a residential University, all single freshman and sophomore students less than 21 years of age are required to live in university-owned housing unless they are residing with a parent or legal guardian. Additionally, on and off campus students are not permitted to live with members of the opposite sex other than their spouse and/or sibling (as long as sibling does not have another roommate of same gender).  Balboa, Catalina, Huntington, Laguna and Newport Halls come furnished with an extra-long twin bed, mattress, desk, chair, and a shared dresser.  Vanguard Center apartments are only guaranteed to be furnished with an extra-long twin bed, mattress and a refrigerator.  Students will need to provide their own linens, towels, blankets, pillow, and bedspread.  Residence rooms are designed for double, triple, or quadruple occupancy.

The University reserves the right to hold periodic room inspections of the residence areas without advance notice. The residence areas are closed during Christmas break, with the exception of the off campus apartments at Vanguard Center. The right of occupancy does not include Christmas Break. Additional information regarding Residence Life is located in the Student Handbook.

Eligibility to Participate

Broad participation is encouraged in the many student activities Vanguard University provides. Eligibility to participate in all co-curricular activities is determined in part by the student’s educational record.

Spiritual Formation: Chapel

Spiritual development and integration is a key distinctive of our Vanguard community. The Spiritual Formation Department helps guide students in their discipleship and formation as followers of Jesus, but does not exist to replace a local church community.  Chapel is not The Church, but The Church/the people of God gather together to worship Jesus and learn from His word in Chapel. Students are encouraged to invest in a local church community and serve within a church of their choice.  On campus, our community meets regularly in chapel and worship gatherings throughout the week.  Students are encouraged and equipped to explore regular rhythms and practices that anchor their spiritual life.  Spiritual Formation activities include chapel worship gatherings, Bible studies, pastoral Care meetings, small groups and special events in partnership with VU departments or outside Christian organizations. Through worship, prayer, Bible reading, and other spiritual practices, we hope to encourage men and women at VU to learn to model their lives around the life and ministry of Jesus.  In addition to these personal and communal practices, we aim to serve others here at Vanguard, within our local community or through local and global outreach.

Chapel participation is a requirement for all undergraduate students, as mandated by the University Board of Trustees with the intent of facilitating spiritual vitality and growth.  Chapel attendance is recorded and each student should monitor their attendance to ensure that they meet their requirement.  The purpose of this type of chapel accountability is to continually emphasize the importance of spiritual development during each student’s time at Vanguard.  To neglect the spiritual part of our development is to neglect a core part of our human experience. For that reason, we maintain chapel involvement as a requirement for the student experience—and take seriously this aspect of the student experience and education.  If a student does not meet their chapel expectations, there will be disciplinary actions in the form of additional fines, as instituted by the University and possibly further academic and/or cocurricular restrictions.  

Student Government and Student Organized Programming

Vanguard University endorses and practices self-government by students. The Student Government Association (SGA) works within the larger context of the University community, its values, and objectives. Specifically, student government is a means to promote spiritual and academic vitality and growth. The SGA serves as a liaison between students and administration, staff and faculty, providing a means for discussion and solution of student issues.

All members of the student body are supported by SGA and can vote in elections for the SGA President and Executive Vice President. Also, students may vote for specific candidates running for SGA House of Representative positions that align with their respective demographic group, such as candidates running to represent a dormitory hall or academic major. More information can be found about SGA and elections with the updated SGA Constitution, which can be found at 

The Programming Board is an organization designed to promote various student activities. Board membership represents several departments of student activity. The Programming Board plans and promotes student activities, provides leadership training opportunities, and encourages a healthy, active student culture. The Student Senate and programming Board is a part of the office of Student Engagement (OSE), is advised by the Associate Dean of students and reports to the Vice President of Student Affairs.

In addition, there are many co-curricular organizations, activities on campus, and numerous student clubs.  For information about student club formation contact the Associate Dean of Students at ext. 5253.

Student Publications

The Vanguard Voice is a student publication of campus news and information of interest to the University community. Students who are interested in journalism and are enrolling for the journalism course are afforded excellent opportunities for development by joining the newspaper staff. The Vanguard Voice is a part of the English department in Academic Affairs.

Campus Recreation and Intramural Sports

Recreational and intramural opportunities are offered through VU Rec, which is a division of the Office of Student Engagement (OSE).  VU Rec seeks to provide the Vanguard community opportunities to live a healthy, active lifestyle, and to promote personal development through physical activity, sport leagues and tournaments, and outdoor experiences.  VU Rec offers a variety of opportunities for participants to find the activity they enjoy, including: softball, soccer, volleyball, flag football, basketball, dodge ball, ultimate Frisbee, spike ball, badminton, and many more. VU Rec also oversees the student fitness center open hours, open recreation time in the gymnasium, and open turf time on the soccer field, as weell as hikes and guided outdoor trips.  For more information regarding intramurals and recreations, please email

Theatre Arts

Vanguard is NAST (National Association of Schools of Theatre) accredited.  The Department produces five main stage shows plus a Senior Showcase by our graduating seniors each year, as well as a non-mainstage piece in the fall and a student directed one-act in the spring semester.  Popular Demand, the sketch comedy-improv team, performs twice a month.  The Department is also active in the annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and provides dance performance opportunities with the Vanguard Theatre Arts Dance Team.  The American Coast Theater Company (ACTC) operates in the summer on-campus as VU’s resident professional theatre company, offering professional internships to our students.  Students also assist in operating the American Coast Children’s Theatre. The Department has developed corporate relationships and opportunities for community outreach that can result in professional, paid performances. Majors can also participate in the Department’s weekly Theatre Chapel where they can lead worship and get involved in Bible study and group discussions. The Theatre Arts degree offers concentrations in Musical Theatre, Stage & Screen Acting/Directing, or Technical/Design. Students can pursue a Liberal Arts degree with an emphasis in Theatre Arts.  A Theatre minor is also available.

Musical Organizations and Events

The NASM-accredited Music Department at Vanguard University sponsors many musical organizations on campus including the University Concert Choir, University Women’s Chorus, Vanguard Singers and Band, University Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Concert Band, Chamber Music, and Barbershop and Beautyshop Quartets. Most of these performing ensembles represent the university at churches, schools, conferences, and conventions; travel on out-of-state and international tours; and make professional recordings. Recent tours and opportunities have included Germany, Czech Republic, Argentina, Philippines, and Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City. Membership in these musical ministry organizations is open to all undergraduate and graduate students by audition and interview.

The Department also presents two major concerts each year—at Christmas and in the spring semester. Various musical groups on campus participate in these two presentations. Concerts, recitals, and special events are offered regularly on campus by faculty, students, and guest artists.

General Expectations of the Vanguard Community

Voluntary Commitment

These expectations apply to each student while he or she is enrolled in a University program or residing in University approved housing. Each student is expected to exercise restraint in these matters even when he or she is not under direct University jurisdiction. These rules apply to on and off campus behavior and for the whole academic year, from the beginning of the fall semester or as soon as a student moves into on-campus housing or participates in university activities, until the completion of the spring semester including all vacation periods (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring break, etc.). The same expectations apply for all summer programs, such as summer courses, outreach trips, summer housing, etc.

Compliance with the Law

As Christians and members of society, all students are expected to comply with local, state, and federal laws when enrolled in a VU academic program, living in University housing, or engaged in any University sponsored activity. Students should expect the University to cooperate with law enforcement agencies and to initiate disciplinary proceedings when violations of such laws occur, if the infraction also violated VU behavioral and community standards. Students arrested or charged with a crime while enrolled or residing at VU must report this information to the Vice President for Student Affairs within 72 hours.

Church Attendance

Even though Vanguard seeks to be a Christian community, it is not, nor can it substitute for, the Church. Therefore, students are encouraged to identify with a local church of their choice and to attend church services regularly.

Biblical standards

Students shall not participate in or associate with practices known to be morally wrong by Biblical standards.


It is necessary to maintain some minimal regulation consistent with respect for one another and in conformity with civic health and safety codes. Students may be shoeless on lawns or in residence halls, but not in the Library, classrooms, administrative offices, or the Café. Swim wear is limited to water and shirts are to be worn in public settings. Students' casual and formal attire should reflect good taste and modesty.

Knowing Presence Contribution

Students may be held accountable for an incident if they directly participated in a violation.  Students must refrain from being in an environment in which other students are violating community standards (such as consuming alcohol) or local, state, and federal laws.


Guard against attitudes such as greed, jealousy, pride, bitterness, needless anger, an unforgiving spirit, harmful discrimination and prejudice such as that based on race, sex, or socioeconomic status.

Spiritual and Social Expectations

Vanguard University is a Christian academic community that encourages individual integrity and responsibility in accordance with a biblical understanding of Christian discipleship and its social and ethical implications.  The Vanguard Community understands the primary call of the Christian faith—as expressed by Jesus—to seek to love God with our whole being and to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Men and women who enter this community are expected to pursue this call through the cultivation of a virtuous character, developing intellectual and constructive participation in the life of the university.

Undergraduate students will abide by basic community standards consistent with a virtuous Christian life as well as other rules appropriate to the university’s aims and goals. The university recognizes that a student’s personal commitments and lifestyle may differ from these standards; however, every student is expected to comply with these community standards while they are enrolled.  These requirements include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Abstaining from any practices that violate the biblical standard for Christian living: such as drunkenness, gluttony, stealing, causing dissention amongst community members, slanderous or profane language, dishonesty, occult practices, premarital sex, adultery, the use of pornography, and other sexual immorality.
  • Refraining from the possession or use of alcoholic beverages, all forms of tobacco, non-medical narcotics, and hallucinogenic drugs (including marijuana).
  • Using discretion and restraint in conduct relating to the media, arts, internet, language, social dancing, as well as organizations with which one associates.

By enrolling at VU students accept the above statement of responsibilities.

Student Handbook

A copy of the Student Handbook of campus and resident guidelines is available online through the student portal (login credentials required). Students are expected to be familiar with its contents and to conduct themselves in accordance with its provisions. The university reserves the right to make changes and periodic updates to the handbook at any time.

Intercollegiate Athletics

Mission: The Intercollegiate Athletic Program is dedicated to the holistic growth and development of all student athletes, teaching them to lead Christ-centered lives on and off the field of competition. The program encourages a high standard of academic and athletic excellence that embraces character building. Along with the specific-sports instruction, the department seeks significance by providing the student athlete with the knowledge to impact his/her world through a lifetime of service to Christ.

Vanguard University participates in intercollegiate athletic programs that include competition in seventeen sports. Women’s sports include: soccer, track and field, cross-country, basketball, softball, volleyball, golf, stunt, and beach volleyball. Men’s sports include: soccer, track and field, cross-country, basketball, golf, wrestling, volleyball,  and baseball. The Athletic Department is affiliated with the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

The Vanguard University Athletic Department adheres to the Champions of Character standards endorsed by the NAIA. The program is founded on the five core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship. One goal of the program is to provide application models for coaches, student athletes, fans, parents, and game officials: application models that can be taught in practice and modeled in competition. These models enable coaches and athletic personnel to intentionally teach and build teams of character..

Vanguard University has coaches that are certified Champions of Character instructors plus student athletes trained, engaged, and equipped to provide character base presentations for any school, team, youth organization, or business organization in the community.