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Student Services and Instructional Support

Student Learning Outcomes

Use of services and support programs will enable Gavilan College students to:

• identify and use appropriate support programs and services

• create achievable educational goals

• identify and advocate for their personal and educational needs

Academic Skills Assessment (Placement Assessment)

Placement assessment will help ensure that students are enrolled in courses that match their abilities in language and computational skills. Placement scores, together with other indicators of a student’s abilities, are used by counselors to recommend appropriate course placements.

First-time college students are expected to complete the college skills assessment designed to measure their achievement in reading, language usage, and mathematics. This placement assessment is administered in English and is not intended for applicants to the English as a Second Language (ESL) program.

Federal regulations require students who do not have a high school diploma, General Educational Development (GED) certificate or California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) and who are applying for financial aid, to take an “ability to benefit” assessment. If you have a high school diploma (or equivalent) from another country you are exempt. See page 16 (Ability to Benefit Test) for information on assessment for non-English speakers.

Students who have previously taken the assessment may retest after thirty (30) days. You may re-assess only once per semester. The assessment schedule is available on the Gavilan webpage.

Students must have completed the eighth grade to be eligible for assessment services.

Re-Assessment Sessions


Students who have previously taken the placement assessment may re-test after thirty (30) days. You may re-assess once per semester. Call the Assessment Office to confirm dates, times and locations.

For additional information about assessment see page 24.


Gavilan College Student Services and the Assessment Office are committed to offering outstanding customer service. We want to be a part of your educational success. The Assessment Office offers test proctoring services for students enrolled in correspondence or online courses at other institutions. There is an hourly fee charged for these services. Contact the Assessment Office for more information.

Assessment for Disability Resource Center

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) provides individualized assessments of students’ strengths and weaknesses in reading, mathematics, written language, reasoning, oral language, perception and memory. The results are used to determine the students’ eligibility for the services of the Learning Skills Lab and/or other DRC services.

Career Services

The Career/Transfer Resource Center offers numerous resources to help in making career decisions, plan for college, obtain specialized training or enter an academic or vocational program at Gavilan College. Career-related services are available to currently enrolled students, prospective students, faculty, staff, and community members.

The computerized career guidance program, EUREKA, aids in researching occupations, identifying which colleges offer specific majors, and investigating financial aid and scholarships. EUREKA (California Career Information System) contains information on hundreds of occupations, programs of study, financial aid, short-term training, colleges and universities, and scholarships.

Career/Vocational Planning

A number of assessment inventories are available through enrollment in GUID 1/PSYC 5 (Self-Assessment/Career Development) course.

Child Development Center/Preschool

The Child Development Center provides care for preschool children in two state-funded programs for families whose monthly income meets eligibility criteria. In addition, a fee based preschool program is available to all parents. These programs serve children with disabilities and special needs as well as children who are limited or non-English speaking. The Center is the only facility in Gilroy that is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

Counseling Services

Gavilan College provides a staff of full-time professional counselors to assist students in meeting educational, career and life goals by offering guidance courses and workshops in career planning, study skills, general transfer requirements and other topics. Counselors also help students with Transfer Admissions Agreements (TAA’s), and ensuring that students meet their transfer goals in a timely manner. Career counseling is available to enable students to understand their values, interests, and skills and to research a variety of career options. The career planning process also assists students in learning to manage job/life transitions.

Counseling is available to students who are uncertain about their plans for the future, who are experiencing difficulty in making appropriate decisions, or who have any other personal or social problem which is interfering with their adjustment to college. Personal counseling is available on a short-term basis. Counseling is also available in the DRC, TRIO and EOPS/CalWORKs Departments and from the college health nurse when concerns are health-related. In addition, the counselors make appropriate referrals to various community agencies.

Students may seek assistance of any counselor by scheduling an appointment or by dropping in during day or evening hours. Students can schedule their own appointment by using the computer system outside the counseling secretary’s office (SC 108).

Many of the counselors are bilingual (Spanish/English).

Academic Counseling

The Counseling Department provides academic counseling services. The counseling faculty help students develop an educational plan early in their college years so that transfer to a four-year university, the completion of a career certificate or degree, or the identification of an educational goal, if a student is undecided, can be accomplished in a timely manner. With an educational plan, students are able to register and progress through their program with more independence. Periodic updates of the educational plan with a counselor will keep a student on track for graduation. Four-year universities and Gavilan College A.A./A.S. degrees have many different requirements. Knowing which general education pattern to follow and selecting the correct courses can be accomplished through academic counseling. Appointments and drop-in services are available.

For additional information on counseling see page 24.

Health Services

Gavilan College provides a full-time College Health Nurse who provides health services, information and referrals.

Health Services is a comprehensive “one-stop” center for a variety of health services and is located in Student Center 118. Services are free and available Monday through Friday. Students receive confidential personal health counseling for numerous health concerns, e.g., birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, wellness, lifestyle changes, etc. Health Services provides first aid treatment, blood pressure screening, tuberculin skin testing for work/study students, HIV testing referrals, condoms and over-the-counter medications such as aspirin.

Numerous health education pamphlets are available. Classes and workshops on nutrition, hepatitis, stress management, AIDS and other health topics are provided in small group settings. Referrals for health conditions including alcohol and drug intervention are also available.

Health Services provides first aid kits on campus for student use and responds to campus emergencies. Information regarding health insurance for the college student is also available. Students are encouraged to utilize the Health Center.

The health fee paid as part of registration fees helps support these services in addition to supporting accident insurance for students.

Drug Prevention and Intervention Programs

Gavilan College, in cooperation with alcohol and drug service agencies within Santa Clara County and San Benito County, provides students with a drug education and prevention program.

Student-to-Student Mediation

Mediation services will provide students with an opportunity to problem-solve together in a safe environment. Trained student mediators will work with two or more students who are in conflict to reach mutually agreeable solutions. Mediation services are free and confidential.

Students wishing to become mediators can register for Introduction to Conflict Resolution (Psychology 6).

To obtain mediation services, contact the Counseling Department.

Transfer Services

The Career/Transfer Resource Center is designed to provide support services to students who are interested in transferring to a four-year college.

Services include specific transfer information, information on university majors and graduation requirements, assistance with filling out applications, scheduled meetings with university representatives and applications for the CSU and UC systems (a limited number of private school applications are also available.) The center also provides a resource library of college catalogs and books, referrals to transfer counselors to assist with planning and CSU application fee waivers.

An annual Transfer Day is held each fall with over 40 colleges and universities participating.


ASSIST is a computerized student-transfer information system that can be accessed over the internet. It displays reports of how course credits earned at one California college or university can be applied when transfered to another. ASSIST provides the most accurate and up-to-date information available about student transfer in California.

Transfer Institute

The Transfer Institute (TI) is a selective program designed for students who want to transfer to a public or private university in two years. Recent high school graduates who are academically prepared for college level work and students with placement in college level English and math are eligible.

The Transfer Institute will guide the student through the transfer process in the most efficient and effective means possible.

As a part of the Transfer Institute students will save time and money by completing the freshman and sophomore years at Gavilan College. Students will also meet and get to know other students who share their goals and ambitions.

Transfer Institute students receive:

• early registration

• a dedicated counselor to guide and monitor you through the transfer process

• pre-transfer events and activities with four-year universities

• access to activities designed to ensure your success at Gavilan College

• assistance with the identification of and preparation for a college major

• a two-year agreement guaranteeing transfer goals.

Contact the Counseling Department for additional information.

Veterans’ Services

Gavilan College offers special assistance to student veterans enrolled in the day and evening programs. The Office of Veterans’ Services is located in the Financial Aid Office. Students having questions pertaining to eligibility for benefits, application procedures, and other veterans’ matters should contact this office.

Gavilan College grants credit to veterans and reservists for service and training completed in the armed forces. Gavilan College reports credit for prior training only those units that are required for the student’s current objective at Gavilan College.

Financial Aid Programs

Financial assistance with college expenses is available for people of various incomes. Gavilan College participates in several types of financial aid programs. These programs are funded through the federal government, state agencies, lenders, private scholarship donors, and the college itself. Each program has specific requirements, which must be met before aid can be awarded.

Financial aid categories are as follows:

Grants - Grant awards are based on financial need and do not require repayment so long as students complete the courses for which they receive financial aid.

Work Study (Student Employment) - Work Study awards are based on financial need and provide students with an opportunity to earn money and gain valuable work experience during their pursuit of a certificate or degree program at Gavilan College.

Scholarships - Scholarship awards are based on need and various measures of merit such as scholastic achievement, leadership, promise in a specific academic field, community service, and various other factors as defined by the scholarship donor.

Special Programs - Various special programs are available to eligible students. This includes programs such as Veterans' Benefits, Bureau of Indian Affairs Grant Programs, Governor’s Scholarshare, Chafee Grant, Child Development Grant Program and Americorps Awards. Eligibility requirements vary depending on the program qualifications and a separate application process applies.

Fee Waivers - Eligible California residents may qualify to have mandatory enrollment fees waived under the Board of Governor’s Enrollment Fee Waiver program. Eligibility is based on California residency and students’ and/or parents’ household size and income.

Subsidized Student Loans - Gavilan College participates in the Federal Family Educational Subsidized Loan Program. Student loans are made available through various participating lenders. Student Loans must be repaid in accordance with the terms of the loan, which are governed by federal regulations. Prior to applying for a loan, all students are required to complete Loan Entrance Counseling. Upon graduation, transfer, or leaving the college, all student borrowers are required to complete Loan Exit Counseling.

Application Procedure

A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to apply for most types of financial assistance. FAFSA applications may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office, from high school counselors, and most high school career centers or public libraries. The Financial Aid Office is located in the Administration building, SC 124. For more information call (408) 848-4727. Completed Financial Aid Applications should be mailed in the envelope provided with the application. Applications filed by March 2nd will receive priority consideration for the following year. In lieu of mailing the FAFSA, applications may be submitted via the web at

Gavilan College is in compliance with the Higher Education Act of 1986, including the provision of information regarding convictions of illegal drug use or sales.

When to Apply

Students can apply as early as January 1st, for the following school year. It is recommended that students file their and/or parents’ income tax returns before filling their application so they have accurate information. This avoids delays on the process of their student aid application. The deadline for Cal Grants is March 2nd. Students must complete the FAFSA application and GPA verification form by this date to be considered for these grants. After this date, students might receive less money than those who apply by March 2nd. Applications are processed on a first come, first served basis and students might not receive all they would otherwise qualify for if they apply later during the school year.

Ability to Benefit Test

Any student who lacks a high school diploma, GED or the equivalent, must take and pass an “Ability to Benefit” test in order to be eligible for financial aid. Gavilan College’s placement assessment will not satisfy this requirement. Students will be required to take an additional test to satisfy Ability to Benefit regulations.

A student whose primary language is not English has the option of taking an alternative test designed for limited English proficient students.

This test is the Combined Language Skills Assessment (CELSA) test. Any student who does not receive a passing score may retake the test after thirty (30) days. Tests and financial aid are given throughout the entire semester.

Students may sign up to take the test in the Financial Aid Office.

Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress

These standards apply to financial aid recipients only.

The Gavilan College Financial Aid Office is required to measure your academic progress toward a certificate, associate or transfer degree program twice per year. If you are not pursuing one of these programs, you are not eligible for financial aid.

Unit Completion Requirement Chart for Financial Aid

Units Attempted

Enrollment Status

Required to Complete

12 +

Full time


9 - 11.5

Three quarter time


6 - 8.5

Half time


1 - 5.5

Less than half time

All attempted

Course successfully completed A, B, C, D, Credit

Course not successfully completed F, W, I, RD, IP, No Credit'

A maximum allowable timeframe of 150% of your program length is permitted. This is equivalent to 3 years or 6 semesters of full time enrollment for an A.A., A.S. or transfer degree program. This is equivalent to 1.5 years or 3 semesters of full time enrollment for a certificate program.

Academic Goal

Average number of units required to achieve the degree or certificate

The maximum number of units you may attempt is:

Associate Degree

60 units

90 units

General Education for Transfer

60 units

90 units

Certificate Program

30 units

45 units

Academic Progress

Students who fail to maintain a 2.0 GPA or complete required units are subject to financial aid disqualification. Students can appeal after attending a Satisfactory Academic Progress workshop and submitting a request directly to the Financial Aid Office.

If an appeal is denied, students must follow a reinstatement process defined by the Financial Aid Office. It is essential for a student to obtain complete financial aid information directly from the Financial Aid Office.

Student Support Programs and Services


CalWORKs helps students who receive public assistance to become self-sufficient through the provision of education, employment and supportive services. The program is administered through the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) Department for those who are currently receiving cash assistance. The occupational programs for CalWORKs students are linked to the demands of the local labor market and can assist students with a career track that will lead to a family-supporting income. The support services that CalWORKs provides include academic, personal and career counseling, textbooks, employment assistance and job placement and liaison with county departments of social services.

Disability Resource Center (DRC)

Disability Resource Center (DRC) provides a variety of services to equalize educational opportunities for students with temporary or permanent disabilities. Services include academic advising, career and vocational counseling, college campus orientation, educational tutoring, four-year college transfer assistance, job training and placement, learning skills assessment, liaison with State Department of Rehabilitation, mobility assistance, multimedia educational aids, notetakers, referral services, registration assistance, sign language interpreters, support classes, test taking facilitation and assistive computer technology and training.

Bilingual (English/Spanish) staff members are available.


Gavilan College is an accessible campus. All the classroom buildings, the Library/Tutoring Center, the administrative buildings, and the Student Center are accessible to those with physical disabilities. Ramps provide access to upper and lower levels. Mobility assistance can be provided for students with disabilities. Designated parking is available in all parking lots. Call (408) 848-4823 or (408) 848-4865 for tram service.

Classes and Programs

Adapted Physical Education - A wide range of classes are specifically designed for students with physical disabilities in order to increase flexibility and strength, improve range of motion and joint movement, and help improve cardiovascular conditioning and related health matters. These are provided by qualified instructors through a number of water and gym activities. See the class schedule for dates and times.

Learning Skills Assessment - Guidance 557 provides an individual assessment of a student’s strengths and weaknesses in reading, mathematics, written language reasoning, oral language, perception, and memory. The results are used to determine eligibility for the services of the Learning Skills Lab and other DRC services.

Learning Skills Lab - The Learning Skills Lab provides support services and instruction to students with verified learning disabilities and acquired brain injuries. Individualized and small group instruction, tutoring in basic academic subjects, and support for students who are taking college courses are offered in the Learning Skills Lab, Library 116.

Career Preparation - This program is offered on campus for the high school special education class graduate or equivalent who may require additional special education and vocational training for appropriate entry-level employment in the community. Practical employment skills as well as interpersonal skills are emphasized in a series of classes designed for individual progress.

Vocational Skill Development for Adults with Developmental Disabilities The program promotes self reliance in the activities of daily living necessary for independence and employment. Classes are offered at the HOPE Rehabilitation facilities in Gilroy and in Hollister in conjunction with a work activity program.

Speech and Language Training - A group learning experience for adults with neurologically based communication disorders is provided. Skill recovery is emphasized along with cognitive retraining.

Assistive Computer Technology and Training - The Disability Resource Center High Tech Center provides computer assistive technology and training. The state-of-the-art equipment, software and trained staff empower students with disabilities to meet their educational goals. The skills and knowledge a student gains in the High Tech Center can be taken to other campuses, universities and ultimately, to the workplace.

Computer Access Evaluation - This course provides the student with an in-depth computer access evaluation in order to determine an appropriate access environment for a student with a disability or multiple disabilities.

Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS)

Extended Opportunity Programs and Services provides support to students experiencing economic, social and educational challenges. EOPS helps students to achieve their educational goals by increasing access, retention and transfer. To be eligible for EOPS, students must demonstrate a financial and educational need, and be enrolled in at least 12 units.

Counselors provide academic advising and class scheduling, career and vocational counseling, personal problem-solving and crisis intervention. EOPS program services include orientation to college resources, grants and book vouchers, a book lending library, priority registration, field trips to major four-year universities, student success workshops and tutoring.

Spanish-speaking staff are available.


The Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education assists single parents who attend or would like to attend Gavilan College. CARE is a joint effort between the Department of Social Services, EOPS and Gavilan College. To be eligible for CARE, a student must be at least 18 years of age, single parent head of household, receiving cash aid from the Department of Social Services and have at least one child under 14 years of age.

Services provided include transfer and vocational education and counseling, priority registration, academic tutoring, financial assistance with childcare, transportation, textbooks, supplies and other support services.

Students interested in participating in the CARE Program should contact the Gavilan College EOPS Office and meet with a staff member. Spanish-speaking staff are available.

First Year Experience

Gavilan College offers a program for “first-time”, new students who want to strengthen their reading, writing and study skills while at the same time becoming familiar with the campus and its resources. Teachers and counselors work together to help students develop connections between the courses and their college experience. The goal is to help students build a strong foundation and place them on the road for college success.

Learning Communities

Students learn better when they learn together. In learning community courses, you work and study with others so you’ll be more successful in the course. Also, by linking two or more courses together, you’ll begin to see greater connections between the disciplines. Research shows that when you take a learning community course, you become a stronger student and do better in your other college courses.

Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement Program (MESA)

The MESA Undergraduate Program is a partnership between the University of California (UC) and California Community College Chancellor’s Office. The program provides academic support services to qualified students who are majoring in math-based fields and who plan to transfer to four-year universities. Open to all eligible students, MESA emphasizes participation by educationally underserved students. MESA provides a Study Center, Academic Excellence Workshops, trips to universities, Academic Advising, workshops and much more. MESA is the winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science, National Science Foundation (NSF) recipient, and the Innovations in American Government Award, a project of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Ford Foundation.

Puente Program — Bridge to Success

The mission of the Puente Program is to increase the number of educationally underserved students who plan to transfer to four-year colleges and universities, earn degrees and return to the community as leaders and mentors to future generations. Research indicates that Puente students transfer at a high rate and succeed academically. The program is open to all students.

English Instruction: Puente students take two consecutive writing classes, English 250 (Practical Writing) and English 1A (Composition). These classes provide a supportive and stimulating environment to build confidence in writing skills through an exploration of the Mexican-American/Latino experience.

Counseling: Puente students work closely with their Puente counselor until they graduate, exploring career options, developing an academic educational plan and identifying lifetime goals. Students visit University of California and California State University campuses and attend an annual Puente student transfer conference. All Puente students are also required to enroll in Guidance 6 (Life Skills for Higher Education) and Guidance 1 (Self-Assessment and Career Development).

Mentors: Each Puente student is matched with a mentor from the business or professional community. Mentors share their personal, academic and career experiences and provide a window into “real-life” work environments. The network of trained Puente mentors provides many resources for the Puente students, their families, their colleges and their communities.

TRIO Program

The TRIO Student Support Services Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education to specifically identify and support students who fit at least one of the following criteria: first in their family to attend college (first-generation college students), low income students, or students with verified disabilities. TRIO seeks to assist students to stay in college, graduate and transfer to four-year universities.

TRIO provides a variety of services including academic and personal counseling, tutoring in English & mathematics, supplemental grant aid, textbook lending library, weekly laptop computer loan, learning communities (linked courses), Summer Bridge Program, informational workshops, cultural & social activities, volunteer opportunities and visits to four-year universities.

Instructional Support

Computer Place

The Computer Place is a student service that supports student learning and academic success. Services provided include Internet and email access, word processing and Spanish, Math and Allied Health support software.

ESL Computer Lab

The ESL Program has its own dedicated computer lab with a variety of software programs for all levels and classes. Students, at their convenience, practice and enhance language learned in class.

Library and Information Technology

The Gavilan College Library delivers an array of print and electronic resources to the college community. Augmenting the 60,000 title printed book collection are 9,000+ e-books, and over 2,500 magazine titles, many available online in electronic databases. The Library staff prides itself on being a leader in information literacy projects and web-based instruction and has received several State grants supporting that effort. The Library faculty also teaches various courses on Internet use, and works in tandem with other faculty in planning and revising courses with an information literacy component. The Library homepage at provides an online catalog of our book collection, links to various class websites and key online resources.

Math Lab

The math lab provides a place for students to practice math skills and receive individualized help with math problems at every level, from Basic Mathematics to Calculus. Students can work with math instructors, the math lab assistant or other students. Computers in the lab provide tutorial software as well as math software for Geometry, Statistics and Calculus projects.

Reading Lab

The Reading Lab supports students who have enrolled in reading and ESL courses.

Tutoring Services

The Tutoring Center assists students in the improvement of their learning skills. This is accomplished by providing students with an opportunity to discuss processes and concepts, share ideas, give examples and practice and summarize their findings in a collaborative environment. The goal of the Tutoring Center is to guide students to independent learning. Tutoring services are free to all Gavilan students.

Writing Center

The Gavilan College Writing Center fosters, celebrates and encourages writers.

Specially trained student assistants help writers start and strengthen class assignments as well as poetry, short stories, song lyrics, business letters and resumes.

The center offers space for writing discussions, meetings, workshops and study groups. Special events include activities with acclaimed writers from our Visiting Writers and Scholars in Residence programs. Call or drop by the center for information about scheduling.

The center collaborates with faculty to increase the likelihood of students’ academic success, providing links to assignments and effective research and writing strategies.