The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Defining success, overcoming failure

Mallory Shaw is interning at Sacramento Public Library to achieve her goal as county librarian. Photo by ll Bob Redd ll [email protected]

On its own, the idea of success is easy enough for most people to understand.

Add the phrase “in college” and things get much more complicated—not to mention confusing. But students at City College don’t need to look far in order to find a wealth of programs and services designed to help.

“Goals are critical because if you’re here but there’s no real meaning to why
you’re here, motivation-wise, it’s difficult,” says Dr. Richard Erlich, a City College counselor and Transfer Center director.

Erlich says that no matter how big or small, goals give students something
tangible to work toward, something to remind students why they’re in college to begin with.

“As you get feedback from accomplishing goals, that builds your confidence,” Erlich says. “Knowing and utilizing resources on campus is vital for students striving to achieve their educational goals.

“The key is learning what the system is about, what resources [students] need to use to be able to navigate college successfully.”

For new students, the Welcome Center and the Counseling Office in Rodda North both offer orientations. City College also offers a Human Career Development course, “Orientation to College,” which introduces new students to the programs, resources and services available on campus. Students can also pursue internships through various departments and campus offices.

There is also help for students who have mastered basic skills but need help in specific subjects. In the Learning Resource Center (LRC), librarians are available to help with academic research, while the Writing Center offers comprehensive writing workshops as well as general writing assistance.

In Rodda South, the math lab offers drop-in tutoring for students of all skill levels. The business building is also home
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Elrich notes that there are also specific skills that every student must learn in order to succeed. Skills such as time management, effective note taking and study techniques are taught in HCD 310: College Success.

For students who don’t have the time or funds to take an extra class, the LRC has a Learning Skills and Tutoring Center in addition to offering handouts that cover the various skills required of college students. Some helpful tips are basic.

“Make it a point to do your homework before everything else,” says Jeff Nakata, a computer engineering major and president of both the Honors Club and Psychology Club.

Goals, skills and knowledge are not the only tools in a successful student’s arsenal – physical and mental health can easily affect a student’s progress in the classroom, says Mary Sue Allred, a City College counselor.

“Lots of times students come in for an ‘academic issue’ but as we start to talk it’s clear that what’s really troubling them is something at home or the pressures of work, school, family, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc.,” she notes.

“There are so many things that can impede a student’s progress here,” Allred says.

Although most students see the counseling office as an academic resource, counselors are also available to talk about any problems a student has, including personal and emotional issues, Elrich says.

The counseling office is also home to the Health Center where two full time nurses are available.

“There can be frustrations in life… you should problem solve a situation, but don’t give up,” Erlich says.

For more information on academic resources on campus, check out the City College’s website at

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