Tree Angle Upward in Student Services

College 101

Navigating Your Path Through College to Career


Over 350 students who took this class during the 2020-2022 academic year were asked: “What did you learn in College 101 that you are finding most helpful now?” Here are some responses:

  • “Everything…from starting college to setting goals”
  • “All about the career path that I am pursuing.”
  • “I now know how to access all the information I need for my future. I also have better study habits!”
  • “I learned about time management and meditations…which I am using now in my current classes.”
  • “I learned how not to be intimidated or scared to ask for or seek help.”

AND...if that wasn't enough...92% - 99% of students who responded said:

  • "I better understand how my own "story" is an asset in my college experience."
  • "College 101 was well worth my time!"
  • "I would definitely recommend College 101 to a friend."
  • "I am more confident with my decision making."
  • "I have a better idea where to find help on campus."



Starting school and taking the first steps in your educational journey is exciting. And maybe a bit scary. That's what this class is for - to help you settle in and feel confident as you navigate your first semester, and beyond.

LAVC has so many resources, organizations, offices, and people on campus who are here to help you. But one of the biggest predictors of college success has more to do with you and how you feel.

  • Students who feel like they belong in college and at their campuses are more likely to succeed.
  • Students who feel confident about their ability and skills to successfully learn new things are more likely to succeed.
  • Students who view the classes they take and the work they do as contributing to personally meaningful goals are more likely to succeed.
  • This class will help you grow in all three of these areas. You get to be the hero of your own story and choose your own adventure. Let the journey begin!

Each module of the class represents another step in your journey. You will do a bit of reading, discussing, and reflecting on the guiding questions and ideas for the module, and then apply what you have learned. Some of the guiding questions include:

  • What brings you to LAVC? Who are you now and what do you want to become?
  • What does LAVC have to offer you? What do you have to offer the community at LAVC and beyond?
  • What are the rules of this game we call college?
  • What is your superpower?
  • How can you build a SmartMoney toolkit?
  • How can you decode your professors (and other people)?
  • What problems (in the world, my career field) do I want to solve?

At the end of this class, you will have quite a story to tell! As a "captone" project for the class, each student will create a short video project telling their unique educational journey. Here's a sample created by Stefanie Ann Pacheco, a College 101 student in Fall, 2020.


To find sections of this class being offered each semester, visit the LAVC Class Schedule/Catalog and under "Subject" search for "College"


Dr. Christian Nova
EMAIL: @email
SPARK VIDEO: My Educational Journey - "The Signs Along The Way"

Check Out the LAVC College 101 YouTube Channel


This course is the result of the dedicated work of so many members of the LAVC community. Thank you to the following full-time and part-time teaching, library, and counseling faculty, representatives from Student Services and the Associated Student Union, representatives from Academic Affairs, and representatives of the AFT.

College 101 Guided Pathways Work Group

  • Fatema Baldiwala, English faculty
  • Andrea Barios Cabrera, ASU student representative/Student Life
  • Steve Barakat, Math faculty and chair
  • Xiao Behlendorf, Library faculty and chair
  • Maria Calpito, Director, Title V Grant (Teaching Innovations Academy)
  • Meghan Cason, Library faculty
  • Ruby Christian-Brougham, Psychology faculty and AFT President
  • Pat Cruz, ASU student representative/Student Life
  • Andres Cruzalegui, Counseling faculty
  • Jim Fenwick, Athletics Director
  • Monica Flores, Counseling Faculty - Student Life, ASU Advisor
  • Rebecca Frank, Anthropology faculty, Guided Pathways Navigator, Workgroup Chair
  • Vic Fusilero, Foreign Languages faculty and chair
  • Jennifer Hall. Psychology faculty
  • Eric Jones, Media Arts faculty
  • John Kawai, Math faculty
  • Cynthia Lopez, FYE/Promise Coordinator
  • Llanet Martin, Assoc. Dean, Student Services (Equity)
  • Anita Martinez, Counseling faculty
  • Patty Melody, Kinesiology faculty and chair
  • Liz Negrete, Dean, Student Services (Student Life)
  • Christian Nova, Music faculty and chair
  • Chris Petrini, Counseling faculty
  • Sherri Rodriguez, Dean, Student Services (Special Programs)
  • Miguel Sandoval, Counseling faculty
  • Grace Santiago, Counseling Faculty - Student Life, ASU Advisor
  • Daniela Soto, ASU student representative/Student Life
  • Joanne Waddell, Kinesiology faculty, AFT District President

College 101 Teaching Innovations Academy Content Developers

  • Xiao Behlendorf, Library faculty and chair
  • Christopher Childs, Media Arts faculty
  • Rebecca Frank, Anthropology faculty, Guided Pathways Navigator
  • Vic Fusilero, Foreign Languages faculty and chair
  • Eric Jones, Media Arts faculty
  • Edit Kocsis, Counseling faculty - CalWORKs
  • Christian Nova, Music faculty and chair
  • Sally Raskoff, Sociology faculty, Professional Development
  • Miguel Sandoval, Counseling faculty - EOPS/Care
  • Farzaneh “Fay” Sheikholeslami, Faculty Supervisor, Academic Resource Center
  • Luz Shin, Math faculty, Title V STEM grant director
  • Rebecca Stein, Anthropology faculty and chair, Guided Pathways Coordinator
  • Scott Weigand, Director, Academic Resource Center, Guided Pathways Navigator

With Special Thanks To:

  • Maria Calpito, Cooperative Director, Title V Engaging for Student Success
  • Karen Daar, Vice President, Academic Affairs
  • Deborah diCesare, Dean, Academic Affairs
  • Matt Jordan, Dean, Academic Affairs
  • Meredith Leonard, Earth Science faculty
  • Gary Bergstrom, English faculty, College 1 Coordinator, College of the Desert