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Standard IIB: Student Support Services

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The institution recruits and admits diverse students who are able to benefit from its programs, consistent with its mission. Student support services address the identified needs of students and enhance a supportive learning environment. The entire student pathway through the institutional experience is characterized by a concern for student access, progress, learning, and success. The institution systematically assesses student support services using student learning outcomes, faculty and staff input, and other appropriate measures in order to improve the effectiveness of these services.


STANDARD IIB: Student Support Services

The institution recruits and admits diverse students who are able to benefit from its programs, consistent with its mission. Student support services address the identified needs of students and enhance a supportive learning environment. The entire student pathway through the institutional experience is characterized by a concern for student access, progress, learning, and success. The institution systematically assesses student support services using student learning outcomes, faculty and staff input, and other appropriate measures in order to improve the effectiveness of these services.

1.   The institution assures the quality of student development and support services and demonstrates that these services, regardless of location or means of delivery, enhance achievement of the mission of the institution and support student learning.


The Gavilan College Student Services department's mission is to provide "quality resources and opportunities that support students in meeting their educational goals, promoting life-long learning, and encouraging and facilitating personal growth and development" (2B.1). The Student Services Division offers a comprehensive set of student services that are aligned with Gavilan College's Principles of Community: "We embrace and celebrate diversity in all its forms (the heritage, achievements, uniqueness, and contributions of all our members) and seek to uphold an inclusive, open and enlightened community."

Gavilan Community College offers a wide array of student support services on campus, online, and on a limited basis at off-site locations (2B.2), from the recruiting and enrollment processes, throughout the first year, and the entire time students are enrolled at Gavilan College. Gavilan College understands that all students can benefit from support services and therefore makes the key components to increasing success and persistence (counseling, orientation, learning communities, services and programs for academically underprepared students) available to all students. Students are informed of these services at high school recruiting days, community events, word of mouth, on the Gavilan College website and in print in the catalog and Schedule of Classes.

Basic counseling services and Financial Aid information are available district wide, including limited access at the off site locations in Hollister and Morgan Hill. All online services are available to all students regardless of their location.

Former foster youth are served primarily through the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) and TRIO programs. A staff person from EOPS meets monthly with local social workers, probation officers and educators to ensure that foster youth are supported and encouraged to attend Gavilan College. EOPS, Admissions and Records and the Director of Public Information led an effort to grant emancipated foster youth access to pre-priority registration beginning spring 2012.

The matriculation process is designed to support a seamless transition from high school to college and assist students in achieving their educational objectives. This includes admissions, assessment, orientation, counseling, registration, financial aid and follow-up as outlined in the schedule of classes. These services provide a roadmap to student success.

The Admissions and Records Office maintains open access policies and procedures, listed in the catalog, class schedule, online and in the Student Handbook of Rights and Responsibilities (2B.3). Students are able to access admissions applications online and register for classes through Self Service Banner (SSB). SSB also provides online access to student records, registration, orientation and other web services. Admissions information is available in both English and Spanish. As a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), Gavilan College has a number of designated staff certified for language translation. Students can also apply and register in-person at the main campus, and at the Morgan Hill and Hollister sites. In order to ensure appropriate class placement, first time students' language and computational skills are measured by a placement assessment.

Gavilan College has a separate assessment process for students who request instruction in English as a Second Language (ESL). The ESL assessment is offered through the ESL Department, and consists of the Combined English Language Skills Assessment (CELSA) or the Gavilan English as a Second Language (GESL) examination and oral interview.   This assessment has been approved by the State Chancellor's Office, and was renewed in July 2012 for six years (2B.4).

Support services are available within programs and as stand-alone services; programs are available to students based on their academic needs, economic situation, interests, and/or demographic characteristics (age, ethnicity, disability). Some services are provided campus-wide for all students as well as those with specific needs or interests.

Support programs offered to students include categorically funded programs, such as Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS); TRIO; Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA), California PUENTE, and the Disability Resource Center (DRC). Student clubs and organizations are supported, such as the Associated Student Body, Doctors of Tomorrow, Cosmetology Club, and others. Instructional support services include the Basic Skills network for underprepared students, and special components of particular classes, for example: First Year Experience, Learning Communities and Supplemental Instruction. Stand-alone services include general counseling, available to all students including prospective students and their parents/families, a Career/Transfer Center, orientation (provided both in-person and online) and a Welcome Center staffed by trained students who answer general questions and guide new students through the initial steps of matriculation, and an online orientation to online classes, which provides support and training for students interested in taking online classes. Tutoring Services are available for a wide range of subjects, and specialized tutoring labs provide additional support for English, Math and computers.

The off-campus locations in Morgan Hill and Hollister offer the following student services; acceptance of admissions applications, registration, online orientations, assessment, general counseling, tutoring, and library assistance. Bookstore purchasing services are provided for the first week of classes. Students taking classes in Morgan Hill and Hollister, however, may participate in support services offered at the main campus.

Gavilan College is engaged in continuous, collaborative dialogue that supports access, learning, progress, and improvement. As a result of the college's integrated program planning process, the Student Services Division assures access, progress, learning and success through a full complement of quality student services and innovative approaches to student development. The Institutional Effectiveness Committee conducts regular program reviews and Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) have been established and assessed. On-going dialogue occurs through shared governance committees, and student focus groups that promote and enhance student learning.

All student services programs and departments were reviewed by the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) in the 2008-2009 academic year. Through the program review process, program recommendations were incorporated into the development of student, course and program learning outcomes to create a roadmap to success. All student services programs have developed Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and create and update annual program plans. SLOs include measurable outcomes and the results are used to improve the access and the quality of programs and services. In fall 2010, the Student Services Division completed a mid-term report through the review process of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) for all programs (2B.5). IEC review occurs every three to five years.

Student, faculty and staff contributions are vital to the continuous improvement of student services. Student surveys are conducted on a regular basis by student services departments, including outreach and recruitment, admissions and records, tutoring, health services, EOPS and DRC, and the off-site locations at Morgan Hill and Hollister sites (2B.6).

The Learning Council (LC) is a committee composed of representatives from across the college: students, instructors, classified staff, administrators, and managers. Its mission is "to identify and address barriers to student success in order to increase retention and persistence on our campus, promote those successful practices and systems that are already in place, as well as to create a campus environment centered on student success, empowerment, and engagement (2B.7).

A notable project of the Learning Council was the Student Voices Project. In spring semester 2011, the Student Voices and Inquiry subcommittee and students in the leadership class coordinated an event with the goal of having students provide feedback to the college. Two hundred and sixty-three surveys were collected asking students questions about their student experience. Data from the event was collected and shared with the LC in fall 2011 (2B.8).

A Veteran Student Voices event for military service members was conducted the following semester. Information was shared with the LC in fall 2011 and used to facilitate discussions for planning the expansion of services coordinated by the DRC for the college's veteran student population. A companion activity within the student voices event was entitled "Gav Listens," where administrators came and fielded questions from students on topics of their choice.

In fall 2010 the Retention and Persistence subgroup of the Learning Council conducted research on how technology is being used to improve student retention and how to create an integrated approach to an Early Alert program. In exploring these issues, the group reviewed and synthesized what was occurring at Gavilan College, as well as doing research at Cañada, Chaffey, and DeAnza colleges. The Gavilan College Early Alert Referral System (2B.9) was piloted in several developmental classes beginning Fall 2011 and in Fall 2012 began to serve all the Basic Skills classes, linking counselors and instructors to follow up with students experiencing challenges.

Technological advancements have been implemented to increase student access and success. The college began implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning System, Sunguard's Banner program, in the summer of 2008. Banner provides outstanding online access features for students. Through Banner's linked online portal, myGav (2B.10), students can check grades, view unofficial transcripts, register for classes and check financial aid status, or access MyDegreeWorks where they can view their education plans. The new system provides students access anywhere, anytime to matriculation services. A new assessment tool, Accuplacer is designed to provide more accurate placement for new incoming students. Accuplacer was implemented in 2012, and will be assessed after it has been in continuous use.

The Student Success Center was developed as a result of a federal Five Year Title V Grant awarded in 2010, entitled "Focus on the First Year: A Student Success Agenda" (2B.11). The project addresses fragmentation of the entrance system. The center focuses on students not served by other programs and serves as a place where students have access to computers and can print out assignments, receive tutoring services and counseling, and interact with fellow students and staff. The center has study rooms and a computer lab for students. Kitchen facilities are conveniently located to provide a welcoming atmosphere. The center includes small group rooms where students can study or collaborate on projects, two computer labs, and one large room for faculty presentations and discipline specific workshops. Offices are available for special services in collaboration with community agencies, such as mental health counseling. Santa Clara County Social Services provides mental health counselors to serve CalWORKs students on campus. In addition, in partnership with the DRC, a Memorandum of Understanding with the Santa Cruz Veterans Center was developed to provide mental health therapy twice monthly for veteran students in one of the "rotating" offices in the Student Success Center.

In 2011, the college created a new position to further student engagement and retention. The Student Activities Director role supports students through coordinated activities such as student government, clubs and organizations, creation of a club handbook, events such as Breast Cancer Awareness month, a "welcome back" event in the fall, and the March in March student advocacy event at the state capitol.

Gavilan College has recognized a critical need to serve students in crisis, and in spring 2011 a Mental Health Counseling Task Force, composed of students, staff, faculty and administrators, was formed. A model was developed and a proposal initiated to obtain funding to provide mental health services for the general student population. One outcome of the committees work was the acquisition of Kognito, a software program through which instructors and staff can engage in virtual role-playing to assist students in crisis (2B.12). A webpage was established to provide  "one-stop" access to mental health and counseling resources (2B.13). The College received a grant in the amount of $40,000 for two years to further develop mental health services

Persons of Hispanic descent represent a large portion of the population in the College's service area. Approximately 54 percent of the population is Hispanic, with Aromas (72 percent) representing the city with the highest Hispanic population and Morgan Hill having the lowest percentage (33 percent) (2B.14). The students of Gavilan College closely mirror our community at-large with 50.1 percent of students reporting in the Fall 2011 that they are Hispanic (2B.15).


Gavilan College meets Standard II (B)(1).



2.   The institution provides a catalog for its constituencies with precise, accurate, and current information concerning the following:

  1. General Information College Catalog
  2. Requirements
  3. Major Policies Affecting Students
  4. Locations or Publications Where Other Policies May Be Found


a. General Information College Catalog

The Gavilan College catalog provides general information regarding the college and describes in detail the courses offered at Gavilan. This includes college policies and procedures, educational mission, principles of community, student services and instructional support, admission to the college, academic information, general education and transfer programs, associate's degrees, certificates, career technical programs, and a full listing of college administrators and full time faculty.  It includes information on student rights and responsibilities, and grievance procedures. Addresses and directions for each of the three campus locations (Gilroy main campus, Hollister site, and Morgan Hill site) are published in the catalog and on the Gavilan College website (2B.16). The Gavilan College Catalog includes the names of administrative staff, their respective areas, and contact information, as well as the names of the Board of Trustees and the contact information for each of the various disciplines at the Gilroy campus. Faculty listings include contact information, degrees, e-mail contact information and office phone numbers (2B.17). Beginning with the college profile and Principles of Community, Gavilan College emphasizes its commitment to education and its ethical integrity to all staff, students and the community (2B.18).

The Gavilan College catalog is revised every two years by a committee made up of Gavilan staff, faculty, and administrators. Addendums are posted online as needed between catalog revisions. A "live" database of course information is available online through Self-Service Banner. During update cycles, the catalog is reviewed for accuracy, format, and layout. Programs and courses which have been approved since the last publishing are added, and any that have been discontinued are removed. Admissions and Records staff and other front line personnel are invited to comment on the catalog "usability" and content based on the feedback they receive from students throughout the year.

 A printed version of the catalog can be purchased at the Follett bookstore at the Gilroy campus, or at the Morgan Hill and Hollister off-site locations. The current version (2011-2013) of the Gavilan College catalog is also available free of charge online on the college website (2B.19). Information is also available in alternate formats and in Spanish, the largest non-English language used in the Gavilan Joint Community College district.

The Gavilan College Catalog details the programs available at Gavilan College and the type of degrees and certificates awarded. Information about financial, scholastic, and personal aid programs is found within the student services and instructional support section of the catalog (2B.21). The financial aid application procedure is outlined along with various types of services available to students. Students are also made aware of their responsibility according to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Student services offered by the college include: Basic Skills Programs, CalWORKS, CARE, the Disability Resource Center (DRC), Extended Opportunity Programs & Services (EOPS), First Year Experience, Learning Communities, Math, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), Puente and TRIO. Instructional support offered to students include: High Tech Center and Learning Skills Lab (DRC), ESL Computer Lab, Math Lab, Go Print, Tutoring Services and Computer Place, and the Writing Center.

As the catalog covers two academic years, the academic calendar and the student fees, which may change more often, are published in the schedule of classes for each semester and posted on the college's website.

b.   Requirements

The catalog describes the admission and enrollment processes and requirements for students pursuing the various degree and certificate programs available at Gavilan College. The catalog indicates which programs offer a Certificate of Proficiency, Certificate of Achievement, AA/AS, and which programs are transferable to four-year institutions. Following the list of programs offered, the catalog describes each program individually noting the program's core requirements, and subsequent required courses. The information presented in the catalog is also available on the Gavilan College website (2B.21).

c.   Major Policies Affecting Students

Major policies and procedures affecting students are listed and described in the Gavilan College catalog (2B.22). These include the policy on Academic Honesty (2B.23), and the Standards of Student Conduct (2B.24). The standards include non-discrimination and harassment, and lists behaviors that are in direct violation to college, district, local and federal laws. Other policies concern sexual assault, smoking on campus, Family Educational Rights and Privacy, computer use, use of copyrighted materials, residency, course repetition and more.

The catalog provides contact information for all students and staff who believe they have been subjected to any type of harassment or discrimination. Complaints are filed by notifying the college's Equal Opportunity Officer, the Director of Human Resources.

The Gavilan College catalog also provides information about Gavilan's refund policies. (This information is also provided in the student handbook and on the Gavilan website.) Students may be entitled to a refund of their course registration fee(s) upon dropping or withdrawing from a course(s) (2B.25).

d.   Locations or Publications Where Other Policies May Be Found

The catalog includes the statement: "Policies and procedures are subject to Board review and may change without notice (2B.26). Students are invited to review current policies and procedures by visiting the Gavilan College website at"

Policies and procedures are also listed on the Gavilan College website and in the Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Academic Standards Handbook, available through the office of the Vice President of Student Services and student services programs (2B.3).

Students and the public can also access catalogs and Board Policies through the college library.


Gavilan College meets Standard II (B) (2).



3.  The institution researches and identifies the learning support needs of its student population and provides appropriate services and programs to address those needs.

a.   The institution assures equitable access to all of its students by providing appropriate, comprehensive, and reliable services to students regardless of service location or delivery method.


Gavilan College identifies the educational support needs of its student population through the admissions process, matriculation, and research data. The Gavilan College Office of Institutional Research collects data and publishes reports including Student Profiles by semester and other research studies in such areas as success, retention, and persistence. Research reports have been written for programs such as Service Learning (2B.27, 2B.28),  First Year Experience (2B.29), and Supplemental Instruction (2B.30, 2B.31).

Research is used by the student services programs in completing their self-study reviews through the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC). Each IEC review results in a list of recommendations that the program then includes in program planning and associated budget requests. This process allows the college to evaluate its learning support services and to determine if there is equitable access to its services for all students regardless of service location or means of delivery.

The Student Services Division has used strategies including focus groups, forums, surveys and feedback from community partners to better understand students' needs and to evaluate Gavilan College programs. All programs go through Gavilan College's ongoing cycle of review, evaluation, and planning to ensure they are serving students' needs, adjusting services as the data suggests and budgets allow.

Using this data, the college has engaged in an ongoing cycle of planning and improvement for the following services: basic skills assessment and orientation, English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment, financial aid, counseling, transfer and career services, tutoring services, retention and follow-up services, health services, and special student support programs such as Puente, Disability Resource Center, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), California Work and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) Math, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), and TRIO. Some programs conduct additional assessment and orientation for their special populations to meet individualized needs. Each student service program has an individual website that describes services and eligibility requirements, as well as contact information for the program (2B.32).

Gavilan College has focused recent attention and resources towards basic skills students with the goals of increasing persistence and success and generating degree earning and transferring students. The College has applied for and received several grants to help with this process, including a Basic Skills grant, a Title V Transfer Pathways grant, and a STEM grant (2B.33).

One of the projects created by these grants is Supplemental Instruction, bringing tutors into math, science, and English classrooms and adding additional tutors in its existing labs. The lower-level math course sequence was also reorganized. The First Year Experience programs within the English Department were supplemented with direct counseling support, and the Basic Skills Network, a counseling and academic support program, was incorporated into the Student Success Center (SSC) (2B.34).  The SSC provides one-on-one counseling, computer technology, and tutoring support to basic skills students (2B.35).

Gavilan Early Alert Referral System (GEARS) was funded by the Title V grant. In fall 2011, GEARS was piloted in seven courses to help identify and intervene with students who were experiencing academic challenges. In an effort to learn more about the effect of this system a study was developed to compare student performance and retention before and after the introduction of the intervention. Pre-GEARS classes were selected to match GEARS classes by course, instructor, semester, and, time of day. The pilot continued in spring 2012 with a total of 12 courses (2B.36). This program will continue to expand each semester as faculty become more familiar with the process. On-going dialogue is occurring about the findings of the pilot review reports during the regular Title V meetings.

In spring 2011 semester, a group of concerned faculty, administrators, professional support staff and students met to discuss the problem of student mental health. They sought to develop, fund and implement consistent and accessible prevention, education, mental health and crisis intervention services for our student population. Members met with community agencies and community colleges that provide mental health services, attended mental health trainings and developed a proposal to fund a licensed Marriage and Family Counselor to supervise interns to work with students on mental health issues. The group applied for the California Community College Student Mental Health Program grant and received an award in the amount of $147,551.63 over two years to institutionalize these efforts.

Recognizing that suicide is the second leading cause of death among U.S. college-age young people, the Task Force located funding to launch an innovative program to train faculty and staff in suicide prevention. Faculty and staff now may learn and practice the skills of identifying and addressing students who are experiencing psychological distress - including anxiety, depression, victimization and thoughts of suicide. Kognito Interactive: At-Risk for University Staff is a one-hour, online simulation in which faculty and staff engage in virtual role-play with student avatars showing signs of depression, substance abuse, bullying and thoughts of suicide. At the end of the training, users will have acquired both the tools to act as soon as they have a concern about a student and to refer them for additional counseling. A student peer-to-peer component of Kognito was implemented in spring 2012.

Acknowledging the growing enrollment trend of post 9/11 veterans and their families, a group composed of professional support staff, faculty, a manager and an administrator was formed in collaboration with the Gavilan College Learning Council to focus on student-veteran issues. "Student Veterans Voices" events were conducted, one in fall 2011 and one in spring 2012, to solicit and determine the unique needs of this population. In spring 2011 a Veterans Resource Center was piloted along with the development of a website (2B.37). Additionally, a partnership was developed with the Santa Cruz Mobile Vet Center in January 2011. The center visits the main campus to provide readjustment and benefits counseling. Access to Veterans Administration Services and community services is also provided to all military service members. In October 2011, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was developed between the Santa Cruz Veterans' Center and Gavilan College to provide on-going mental health services for combat veterans twice per month on campus.

The Foster Youth Committee is composed of staff from the Vice President of Student Services Office, Admissions and Records, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), CalWORKs, Financial Aid, Disability Resource Center, TRIO and Public Information Office and has been meeting since fall 2010 to identify and serve foster youth on campus (2B.38). A website has been created; welcome letters have been sent to students who self identified as former foster youth on the Gavilan application and FAFSA. EOPS staff coordinated orientations for incoming foster youth and meets monthly with Foster Youth Agencies in Hollister and Gilroy to provide linkage with incoming foster youth. In January 2012, Assembly Bill AB 194 was implemented requiring community colleges to establish enrollment priorities for current and former foster youth up to age 24. Admissions and Records, EOPS and Management Information Systems (MIS) collaborated to provide outreach to former foster youth to inform them of the availability of priority registration services along with the other priority groups established; veterans, students with disabilities and EOPS students. This new provision along with AB 12, which allows former foster youth to remain in placement until age 21 as long as they are working or in school, may increase foster youth numbers.

The Hollister and Morgan Hill sites provide day and evening instruction; some assessment; orientation; counseling; access to computers; librarian research assistance; and peer tutors assigned to some English classes and labs, and there is one-on-one math tutoring available at the Hollister site during the summer. Neither site offers services such as tutoring or Writing Center consultation, which are available on the main campus. Both the Hollister and Morgan Hill sites undergo a regular and rigorous evaluation as part of the program review process (2B.39, 2B.40).

On-going budget reductions have impacted the College's ability to provide more comprehensive services at the Morgan Hill and Hollister off-sites. For example, due to the severe budget reductions that began in the 2008-2009 academic year, categorical programs such as the Disability Resource Center and CalWORKs lost the ability to staff counseling hours at the off-sites. Although there have been requests from students and staff for more comprehensive services at the off-sites, budget reductions have limited the college's ability to offer them to the extent desired although the services that are offered are of high quality.

Through the Distance Education program, the college is able to offer equal access to the learning needs of our students by providing online courses. The College has followed the national trend of continual growth in the number of online course offerings and of students enrolled in these courses. The last few years have also seen a demand for all instructors to have an online presence and to make course materials and resources available via the online format (2B.41). Gavilan College follows a Student Authentication procedure: students in the course management system use password-based authentication over an encrypted channel (2B.42). Distance education students can access online orientation, counseling, and library services, and participate in a noncredit course entitled "Introduction to Online Gavilan."

Students enrolled in online classes also have the opportunity to complete a Distance Education Survey after every semester (2B.43). Only a small number of students actually submit responses to the survey, although Gavilan College has followed an increasing enrollment trend for online courses. The Distance Education Committee is in the process of finalizing a Best Practices document for faculty who teach online courses in order to maintain the quality of the program. This document is being reviewed by Academic Senate for approval. The Distance Education Best Practices document outlines institutional, program, faculty and student responsibilities and recommendations on how to evaluate the program, courses, and instructional delivery.


Gavilan College does not meet Standard II (B) (3)(a). Students attending classes at the Morgan Hill and Hollister off-sites do not have access to the same array of services as students at the main campus.


  • Gavilan College will pursue development of Educational Centers in Morgan Hill and Hollister.
  • Develop a long-term budget and staffing plan for Student Services that includes the needs of evening, weekend, and off-campus students.

b. The institution provides an environment that encourages personal and civic responsibility, as well as intellectual, aesthetic, and personal development for all of its students.


The institution is composed of faculty and staff that care deeply about creating a positive learning environment that promotes student success. Recent efforts at ensuring that a good learning environment is created and maintained include the establishment and work of the Learning Council. In addition the college has adopted Principles of Community which serves as an ethical framework to strengthen the overall culture of the college.

The Learning Council organized a "Student Voices" activity in which students were asked to give candid feedback about how they experienced the college's learning environment (2B.8). Two "Gav Listens" activities were organized, in cooperation with the Student Veterans Club to solicit feedback from student veterans on their needs.

The Title V and STEM grants have all allowed faculty to obtain more training in what constitutes a good learning environment. For example, several faculty members have attended Supplemental Instruction training in Kansas City and many have participated in Basic Skills professional development opportunities. The college began offering Service Learning opportunities through some of its Social Science and English courses in 2008. The Community Service designated classes match students with various community groups where they assist and conduct research useful to their classroom assignments. The Writing Center, Puente program, and English Department regularly invite visiting writers to our campus, opening up these events to the community at large, which helps promote a sense of a larger world and aesthetic awareness.

Gavilan College has identified learning support, mental health services and community engagement as being vital to a good learning environment. For these reasons, it has created Learning Community classrooms, including First Year Experience programs, which includes an in-class tutoring component. Each of these is part of a regular cycle of evaluation and assessment.

Cultural arts activities are organized by faculty and include the annual "Bach to Blues" musical performance, bringing together  Gavilan College music faculty, students, and alumni with musicians from the community. The music faculty also organizes and promotes the Marian Filice Youth Piano Competition, bringing young musicians and their families to campus. Gavilan College has an ongoing partnership with the South Valley Symphony, which performs numerous events on campus and includes Gavilan College music students as performers.

The Gavilan College Theater department produces two major shows each year, a Children's Repertory production in the fall, and an adaptation of Shakespeare in the spring. The theater department also partners with artists in the community, including an ongoing partnership with the El Teatro Campesino theater company in San Juan Bautista. In October 2012, Gavilan College hosted the third annual California Folklorico Festival with a gala performance featuring professional folklorico dance troupes, a full day of workshops, and a community performance of local and amateur folkloricos.

Additionally, the college invites discussion and action regarding aesthetic practices such as creative writing, art making, theater productions, and digital art and movie creation. The Gavilan College television channel GavTV shows locally created content such as "Art is Essential" giving students the opportunity to learn television and video production skills and make links to writers and artists beyond the campus.

The art department maintains a schedule of exhibitions in the campus art gallery, located in the Gavilan College Library, and has also coordinated shows at the off-site location in Hollister. Exhibitions feature Gavilan College faculty and students, local high school students, and visiting artists. The art department also holds mural classes that bring art to local elementary schools and public buildings. Ceramics students have the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work every semester.

Student clubs often organize events, performances, and exhibitions that add to campus cultural life. In 2011 and 2012 several clubs joined together to host a "Walk for Health" encouraging students to reduce stress, enjoy the campus, and get in shape with a group walk. The Tada club stages performances and theatrical events.

The Associated Student Body (ASB) organizes cultural events, including annual celebrations for Dia de los Muertos, Black History Month, Women's History Month, and the Great American Smoke-Out. The ASB also provides opportunities for civic involvement through campus activities and student leadership retreats. Through ASB participation, students learn basic leadership skills and have the opportunity to engage in student government.

There have been two successful Veterans' Student Voices events. This event was designed to allow our veteran students to connect with each other and the college, and to voice and share ideas on how Gavilan can better serve veterans and their families.

To further support student life on campus, in spring 2011 the college created the Office of Student Activities, for which a director was hired to coordinate student activities.


Gavilan College meets Standard II (B) (3)(b).



c. The institution designs, maintains, and evaluates counseling and/or academic advising programs to support student development and success and prepares faculty and other personnel responsible for the advising function.


The counseling department faculty is composed of seven full-time faculty and sixteen part-time counselors. Full-time faculty members have assignments in articulation, ASB, Puente, Student Success, MyDegreeWorks, EOPS, and CalWORKs. Part-time counselors provide services in DRC, MESA, TRIO, Athletics, Basic Skills, Non-Credit, and STEM. Services provided in all areas include academic, career, crisis, and personal counseling, as well as career technical education and transfer counseling. Starting in the 2012-13 academic year, the counseling faculty will be leading a "Habits of Mind" series of workshops for students to focus of study and life skills that contribute to student success. Counselors work with students to develop electronic educational plans to ensure students meet their identified goals. Individual appointments and walk-in counseling are available in all areas. Appointments can be made by using a touch screen computer located in the Admissions office, online, or by telephone. General counseling services are provided at the Morgan Hill and Hollister sites. The department also offers online counseling services to address general, non-personal questions and concerns. Access is available continually and students receive a response to their queries within 48 business hours. Both students and staff can access an array of resources and information on the department's website (2B.44).

First-time, new students are required to complete an orientation, available online and in-person. The counseling faculty delivers the orientation and keeps the material current and relevant. The orientation session includes campus policies, procedures, and services. The orientation session also includes various video clips that present this information to students. The sessions are also available at both the Hollister and Morgan Hill sites. In-person orientation sessions for students enrolled in English as a Second Language classes are also offered each semester and are offered in both English and Spanish. In addition to working with students on an individual counseling basis, counseling faculty also teach courses that include information on college success, self-assessment, career development and peer counseling in addition to facilitating group sessions. They help students identify the degree, transfer or certificate program that best helps them meet their goals.

The counseling department collaborates with other departments on campus to ensure institutional understanding of student needs and requirements for college success. Counseling faculty actively participate on numerous committees, including but not limited to: curriculum, matriculation, District Technology, Strategic Planning, Institutional Effectiveness Committee, department chairs, the Academic Senate, Learning Council, Mental Health, and the Student Services Council.

Intensive follow up services are provided to targeted categories of students on a case-management basis, including those facing academic dismissal, students with excessive repeats, excessive units, and veterans. These categories of students have specifically assigned counselors. Counseling faculty lead group sessions, monitor progress and provide intervention strategies to assist students in attaining their stated goals.

Counseling faculty regularly obtain training through the department, and by attending seminars, workshops, and conferences. Counselors stay current in transfer advising regulations via routine attendance at University of California and California State University counselor conferences, articulation conferences and meetings such as the Northern California Inter-segmental Articulation Council, the California Inter-segmental Articulation Council, and Region 4 articulation officer's meetings.  Counselors attend training in providing services to special populations and related topics on a regular basis, such as educational and career counseling, mental health, and veterans.

University representatives periodically attend department meetings to provide updates or introduce new programs. Training for different counseling processes is offered throughout the year at department counseling meetings and staff development opportunities. Faculty and staff from various disciplines routinely attend department meetings to provide training or to collaborate with counselors on course or program updates. Bi-monthly department meetings also serve as a venue for cross-training among the counselors in each person's specialty area, for example; athletics, veterans, Basic Skills, MESA, TRIO, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, CalWORKs, and Disability Resource Center counseling.

All counselors (part-time and full-time) are knowledgeable in academic, career, crisis, and personal counseling as well as career technical education and transfer counseling. Those assigned to a specific program or population (such as athletics, veterans, disabled students, MESA, Trio, STEM) have additional expertise in the assigned area.

The counseling department undergoes review every three to five years through the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC). The self-study includes data and feedback generated through student surveys, focus groups, and on-going departmental meetings (2B.45). Data collected through the evaluation process is used to improve services. The department seeks to continually enhance and modify services to ensure student development and success goals are achieved. In recent semesters, the counseling department has focused on expanding services to students at the Morgan Hill and Hollister sites (2B.46). Department goals include to retain students who are in academic jeopardy and to promote the college as a viable "two year transfer option."

The counseling department has directed its attention to the following strategic initiatives that enhance student development and success:

  • establishment of a regular presence at both off-sites throughout the year
  • development of online delivery options for two guidance courses as well as the new student orientation
  • development of an online counseling service
  • implementation of the college's "Transfer Institute"
  • development of online and face-to-face workshops for students in probationary or dismissal status
  • re-implementation of in-person orientation sessions at all three sites
  • implementation of MyDegreeWorks (electronic educational plans and degree audits)
  • implementation of counselor training sessions

Access to student services continues to be enhanced through the use of technology. As of 2008, Gavilan College students have been able to complete online registration on Self-Service Banner. Students can also access grades, transcripts, and financial aid information online. As of 2010, the myGav portal allows students to sign on once and have access to these resources online all in one location. To assist in student access, Title V has funded four computer kiosks that are located throughout campus, each designed by the Art Department to blend in with the campus atmosphere.

MyDegreeWorks, a new educational plan software and degree audit system, was implemented by the department during the spring 2010 term. The implementation required counselor training and the development of new institutional processes and procedures to ensure students would have access to viewing their degree objectives, current status toward degree attainment and their educational plans. The software allows students to track their education plan and to assist with scheduling decisions for registration by accessing their myGav portal. For those students who are undecided or leaning towards multiple goals, there is a feature on MyDegreeWorks called ‘What if". It allows the counselor to help the student see what further courses or requirements need to be met for a particular major other than the one the student has identified. It has additional features including a GPA calculator, which assists the student determining her or his academic standing. The Title V grant provided laptops for all counselors to increase their ability to help students access online services, including registration and review of their educational plans.


Gavilan College meets Standard II (B) (3)(c).



d. The institution designs and maintains appropriate programs, practices, and services that support and enhance student understanding and appreciation of diversity.


Gavilan College's philosophy is dedicated to being an "exemplary, student-centered community college" that values inclusiveness, embraces diversity and values "the respect and worth of all individuals", in an environment of mutual r espect for all of its students, staff, and the community. The commitment to these core values is demonstrated in a number of ways.

Gavilan College values include "inclusiveness and mutual respect for all of our students, staff, and community". In support of this value, the college has a cultural diversity requirement for its general education courses and is currently reviewing requirements. The college supports student service programs with special populations such as the Disability Resource Center (DRC), Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), California Work and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), Math, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), Puente, TRIO, and English as a Second Language (ESL). These programs provide opportunities for students who may not otherwise have the means to seek a higher education to succeed at Gavilan College. The DRC sponsors Disability Awareness Month for the entire month of October. Awareness activities are provided to educate and promote understanding and acceptance of our diverse student population.

The English Department offers theme-based classes, covering gender equality, ethnicity, and the necessity and importance of diversity in all aspects of a healthy society. Courses such as the Sociology of Minorities, Women's Lives in Recent U.S. History, and Cultural History of the Mexican-American represent cultural perspectives.

The college supports a variety of diverse clubs and events on campus. Student clubs have been established to provide opportunities for students to participate in scholastic, social, political, cultural, and recreational interest areas. Club activities are coordinated and supported through the Associated Student Body (ASB). Students are encouraged to start clubs if they have an interest that is not represented on campus (2B.47).

The faculty recently considered and acted to maintain a cultural diversity requirement of six units of approved classes in order for students to earn a Gavilan College associates degree.


Gavilan College meets Standard II (B) (3)(d).



e. The institution regularly evaluates admissions and placement instruments and practices to validate their effectiveness while minimizing biases.


Gavilan College has evaluated it admissions and assessment instruments to determine effectiveness and minimize bias. Until recently, all students have taken a paper/pencil assessment test.

To improve placement accuracy and access to services, the College recently migrated to a computerized assessment. An assessment task force researched different assessment tools. The task force, composed of faculty and staff with knowledge of the assessment process, reviewed materials and data on different assessment tools used by other colleges in California. Based on these reviews, the committee members decided on Accuplacer. Accuplacer is a web based assessment tool that will streamline the assessment process more effectively. A Title V grant provided the funding needed to purchase this tool.

Gavilan College provides a separate assessment for students who want English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction. In most cases, students self-identify for ESL, but the AAdmissions and Records staff or the Assessment Coordinator may also encourage students to take the English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment, which is conducted by the ESL department. The ESL Department advises AAdmissions and Records of the testing dates for each semester and then conducts the assessment and placement of students within the ESL program. The assessment includes two different objective tests, the Combined English Language Skills Assessment (CELSA) or the Gavilan English as a Second Language (GESL) examination and an oral interview. The ESL Department conducts periodic norming sessions to maintain inter-rater reliability of scoring. The ESL assessment has been approved by the State Chancellor's Office, and was renewed in July 2012 for six years (2B.4).

Gavilan College is in the process of implementing Accuplacer as an assessment tool, and expects to begin use in January 2013. (It will not be used for ESL assessment, which will continue as currently practiced).

The math department recently completed an extensive research project on the validity of assessment test scores and success rates in the math courses. The result of this project provided the data necessary to update the cut scores for the assessment test, and is currently being programmed for Accuplacer. Additionally, the English department has formally conducted research and evaluation of cut scores during fall 2011, and those results are reflected in the set up for Accuplacer as well.

Gavilan College is also in the process of implementing CCCApply, the statewide online application tool used by many California Community Colleges (2B.69). CCC Apply will make it possible for students to fill out an application for admission electronically.


Gavilan College meets Standard II (B) (3)(e).


Evaluate the effectiveness of CCC Apply and bias and validity of Accuplacer once they have been implemented and are in regular use.

f. The institution maintains student records permanently, securely, and confidentially, with provision for secure backup of all files, regardless of the form in which those files are maintained. The institution publishes and follows established policies for release of student records.


The Office of Admissions and Records maintains the academic enrollment records of Gavilan College students. Student records are kept in file cabinets located in a separate room away from the office area. Student records on microfilm are located in a fireproof locked vault. All offices in the Admissions and Records are kept locked and there is an alarm system that is activated each evening. Staff members are trained in confidentiality and Federal Education and Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations, and review sessions are provided periodically.

Gavilan College is required by law to follow Title 5, Section 59023 for classifying documents for Records Retention/Destruction. The California Code of Regulations lists the types of documents that must be maintained permanently, and those that can be destroyed after a designated amount of time. Records are stored in a secure area with limited access. Gavilan College follows the release of student records policy (2B.48), which is based on FERPA

Gavilan College and FERPA confidentiality policies are listed in the Gavilan College catalog (2B.66) and schedule of classes (2B.67), as well as on the college website (2B.68). A discussion of FERPA rules is included in the training provided by the director of admissions and records at faculty orientation sessions. FERPA regulations are also discussed informally with counselors, staff from admissions and records, financial aid and the Hollister and Morgan Hill sites at monthly staff meetings.


Gavilan College meets Standard II (B) (3)(f).



4.   The institution evaluates student support services to assure their adequacy in meeting identified student needs. Evaluation of these services provides evidence that they contribute to the achievement of student learning outcomes. The institution uses the results of these evaluations as the basis for improvement.


The institution evaluates the effectiveness of its student support services through the integrated review and planning cycle. As of summer 2012, 94 percent of student services had defined Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and 94 percent had assessed those outcomes (2B.49). Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) are aligned to Program Learning Outcomes (PLO). SLO assessment and measurement results are reported on the SLO assessment report site (2B.50).

Student satisfaction surveys were developed to obtain a broader view of how the college is meeting student needs. Categorical student service programs conduct evaluations on a departmental and interdepartmental basis to address the effectiveness of the services provided. For example, EOPS has used an annual survey to assess and adjust their counseling services and to develop a process to disseminate book vouchers that meets the students' needs in a timely manner. Departments use various formats for surveys conducted at the program level to ensure the accuracy of the results. Staff reviews survey results as a department to ensure all areas of concern pertaining to the student learning outcomes are addressed. Recently completed surveys include:

  • Admissions and Records Survey Spring 2010 (2B.51)
  • Tutoring Center Follow-Up Survey Spring 2010 (2B.52)
  • EOPS Satisfaction Survey 2010  (2B.53)
  • Financial Aid Survey Fall 2011 (2B.54)
  • Counseling Department Evaluation (2B.57)
  • Student Connection Survey, Summer 2011 (2B.55)
  • Student Success Report Spring 2012 (2B.56)

The results of the institutional surveys, department surveys, performance, and student satisfaction surveys are used to improve, modify, or add services and to align with student learning outcomes. Data collected as a part of an SLO assessment may be used to modify a service or inform an objective in a program plan. As an example of this linkage, SLO data collected by the Hollister site manager as part of her program learning outcomes suggested that she needed additional bookstore hours available at the site (2B.63). This evidence informed an objective in the 2011-2012 Hollister site program plan (2B.64). The additional service was added for students at the Hollister site and then this progress was documented in the 2012-2013 Hollister site program plan (2B.65).

The Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) conducts a program review cycle every three to five years. Each program uses data to complete a self-study, leading to recommendations for improvement. For example, the Office of Admissions and Records was reviewed in 2008-2009, along with all other student services programs (2B.58). Each department then incorporated IEC recommendations into annual Program Plans (2B.59) that were tied to Gavilan College Strategic Plan goals and objectives.


Gavilan College meets Standard II (B) (4).



Standard II (B) Evidence

Last modified: February 28, 2013
Gavilan College Red Diamond 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Red Diamond Gilroy, CA 95020 Red Diamond (408) 848-4800