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COUNS-110 - Career & Life Planning - Erika Torgeson

Course:Career & Life Planning
Professor:Erika Torgeson
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 5 Week
  • 8 Week


Picture of instructor, Erika Torgeson

Welcome to Counseling 110 - Career & Life Planning and I am super excited to have you join me this term! Whether you are taking this course as a 5-week or 8-week version, I hope the class provides relevant and engaging content that fits your needs. This class is all about career exploration and helping students understand how college majors are connected to career areas. You will explore your personality preferences toward various career clusters, access different career research websites, and determining if there are changes to your college major that need to occur based on your career goals. You will have the opportunity to review three career exploration assessment tools and gather information on being informed on what potential careers will be the best fit for You! If you have felt lost about which direction to go in for your major or undecided, this class will help you narrow down potential majors that link to careers you may be interested in. 

My hope and intent for the class is to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: gender identity, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, nationality, religion, and culture for reviewing various career information. And, my hope each students’ diversity and experiences will help bring a rich perspective of stories, resources, and collective community. I believe everyone is capable of learning and the differences each person brings into a course, enriching the learning cohort. Each person learns at a unique rhythm, and the online environment provides a luxury of thinking, processing, and reflecting. I design my courses to encompass inclusion and celebrate the diversity of our learning community and to encourage each student to connect the course content into their lives.

Getting started



If you haven't already signed up for class, you can do so through your MyCanyons student dashboard menu. If the class is listed as full, please consider registering to the waitlist as I add students from the waitlist!

I publish the course 2-3 days in advance for students to preview content and start working through the "Orientation to Class" module. In addition, I send out a welcome email to students' MyCanyons email for both registered and waitlisted students with how the course will run, what to expect, and a navigational video on how to move through the course content. I include a copy of the syllabus, orientation letter, and calendar pertaining to either the 5-week or 8-week session. 

You can also view my liquid syllabus using the following link and please note, the specific date content will pertain to the current course that is running. This information will be updated each class session so the most current information will be shown:

Course Description

This course introduces students to career self-assessment tools to identify college majors and careers by clarifying interests, skills, abilities, values and personality type. Students will examine the decision-making process, self-management, life roles, and goal setting. Also included will be a review of labor market trends, career research, interviewing skills, resume and cover letter writing, and job search strategies.

Course Objectives: To assist students as they examine their major and career options. Student goals will be to have a better understanding of what they want to major in and what their future career plans are. The course objectives include:

  • Understanding the career planning and decision-making process
  • Finding a career path and/or major consistent with individual skills, values, interests, and personality style
  • Recognizing the skills needed to succeed in a particular occupational field
  • Gaining resume writing and interviewing skills
  • Having a better understanding of oneself

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO):

At the end of this course, students who have regularly attended and completed all assignments will be able to:

  • assess and evaluate personal characteristics including their skills, values, interests, abilities and personality traits as they apply to academic, career and personal decisions throughout one's lifespan. 

What to Expect in this Course

How class will work:

  • This is a fully online course and will be conducted through our course modules in Canvas. (We will not have any in-person and/or Zoom meetings).
  • You will learn in a community of your peers. Please keep in mind this is not a self-paced course and you will be interacting with your peers throughout each of our weekly modules.
  • COC Official Check in. By Tuesday of the first week, you will complete the first introductory discussion post to be considered "present" in the class. To complete this task, you will log into your Canvas account either through your MyCanyons student dashboard or the Canvas icon at the top of the College of the Canyons homepage. Once logged into our Canvas classroom, you'll follow the instructions to complete the "Orientation to Class" module which will then unlock the Week 1 module to complete the first discussion post.
  • This class is organized into one-week modules that open each Sunday morning at 12am for the upcoming week.
  • Each module contains readings and videos, interactive discussion boards, assignments, and sometimes a quiz to check for understanding.

To help you be successful in our class, you will want to:

  • Log into the course regularly (every 1-3 days), turn in assignments, participate in discussion posts, and show a "presence" in class
  • Monitor deadlines and turning in assignments on time/early
  • Think critically on how topics relate to their classes and how actions are linked to success in college

Actively Participating

  • Understand that the online classroom learning environment is a shared responsibility between the professor and the student. It is an interactive process that emerges from what students bring into the online environment. I cannot force you to learn; it is up to You to want to learn!
  • Students are expected to actively participate by leading discussion board prompts and sharing their thoughts, opinions, and experiences with the class.

Inclusive Learning

  • Demonstrating inclusive behavior with professor and class peers
  • As a class community, we will learn and support each other, and solve problems as a team!
  • Be sensitive to the perspectives of students who have different beliefs, backgrounds, personalities, and abilities from your own and be open to working with each other 

Types of Assessments

To assist in your continuous success in the course, you will need to have access to internet and either a desktop or laptop regularly each week. If you do not have access to a computer, College of the Canyons has several areas to access technology and internet at both the Valencia and Canyon Country campuses:


You will also need to ensure you have access to Microsoft Word or Google Docs (there's a Microsoft 360 feature embedded within Canvas that you'll be able to access), ability to access/view PDF files and view videos. We will interact with various technology platforms such as Padlet, Flipgrid, PebblePad (ePortfolio), and Jamboards along with external career assessment tools. I will provide direct links to these platforms and indicate which assessments may require creating a free profile to access assignments.


  • discussion boards 
  • low stake quizzes 
  • written assignments 
  • ePortfolio project - this will be completed in sections throughout the course with signature assignments counting toward the project

Textbook Information

ZTC (Free) Digital Textbook

We will be using Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) materials for this course, which is a FREE online textbook! A digital copy will be listed in Canvas along with hard copies on reserve at the Valencia and Canyon Country Libraries. If you wish to purchase the Counseling 110 ZTC text, you will be able to do so in through the COC bookstore for about $8.

Other Relevant Course Information

Canvas icon in MyCanyons student dashboard menuCanvas is the online learning management system used at College of the Canyons and you can log into the Canvas site to access class announcements, class content, submit assignments, and view grades from the COC homepage or through your MyCanyons student dashboard menu. You will log in using your CanyonsID username and password and once logged in, you can search for the COUNSELING 110 class box. (Please note the course will not be published to viewing until at least 2-3 days before the course starts). 

There are additional Canvas resources to help you navigate the website, upload assignments, how to participate in Discussion posts, how to view grades, and much more through the Student Canvas Guides @ . If you need additional assistance or come across an issue with logging into your Canvas account, please contact our COC Canvas Student Tech Support Staff:

  • Email:
  • Phone #: (661) 362-3398
  • Business Hours on Weekdays: Mondays thru Fridays (8am-4pm) excluding holidays
      • After Hour and Weekends (5pm-8am): 1-877-889-9052

If you have not taken an online course before, I strongly recommend that you review the Canvas online tutorials available at:

Considerations for the course

This is an accelerated 5-week (Winter and Summer intersession sections) or 8-week (Fall and Spring semester sections) course and it is very important that you are ready to take a course that will require between 8-15 hours/week depending on the length you have signed up for. Online learning requires a different style of study habits and time-management. Please take a moment to exam your personal learning style preferences and look into completing the Online Learning Readiness Assessment to better prepare for this course:

Successful online learning requires self-motivated, independence, access to recommended technology and have the time and energy to complete this course. Examine your schedule and see where you can carve out space to build in the space to engage in the course. 

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 10/09/2023 Sub#: 825