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COUNS-150 - Student Success - Erika Torgeson

Course:Student Success
Professor:Erika Torgeson
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 5 Week
  • 8 Week


Dear Student, 

Welcome to Counseling 150 – Student Success! This course is an 8-week, 100% online with no face-to-face meetings. This course is designed to integrate personal growth, critical thinking, creative thinking, problem solving and academic success. The course introduces the student to the benefits of higher education, educational planning, goal setting and career choices. The student is guided through the process of self-discovery, which emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, self-responsibility and self-empowerment.

In order to take this class, you must have access to a computer, internet services and email. All communication is done through email, course announcements or the discussion board.

Course Description

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Develop stronger interdependence skills
  2. Analyze motivation and create greater growth mindset skills
  3. Create a plan of action to take charge of one’s life
  4. Apply self-management techniques to become more effective and efficient in the accomplishment of goals
  5. Identify self-defeating patterns of behavior and create a plan to overcome them
  6. Develop emotional intelligence and decrease stress
  7. Understand and examine time-management, procrastination, values, information processing, and goal setting
  8. Apply critical thinking skills for effective decision making
  9. Develop and employ effective study skills techniques

Student Learning Outcome (SLO):

At the end of this course, students will be able to:  

  • Demonstrate a positive increase in factors that contribute to student success.

What to Expect in this Course

First Day of Class:

All coursework will be completed online using Canvas. Be sure to complete the Canvas orientation to help you familiarize yourself with this online learning tool (listed below). You will be required to login by 11:30 pm on Wednesday of the first week and complete a discussion board post to introduce yourself to the class. Failure to login by this time and complete the discussion board post will result in being dropped from the course.

a panda graphic with the canvas logo

**If you are on the “waitlist” and are still interested in adding the class, please email me for an add code to register for the course on the first day of class. I am unable to add you to the course before the first day of class. Because this course is accelerated, I will not add students after the add/drop deadline regardless if you were on the waitlist. I highly recommend you take a look at the online tutorials provided on the COC Canvas site, to assist you in being a successful online student:

Tools for Online Success:

  1. Check your Tech: Make sure you have the proper technology to be successful, along with ensuring you have proper software (i.e., access to internet, Microsoft Word).
  2. Scheduling your Time: Keeping up-to-date on your assignments and due dates are imperative to your success. Create a schedule, or use a planner to keep track of your time. Online classes may not come with a physical calendar and you will need to rely on due dates established by the instructor. 
  3. Organization: Along with using a planner or calendar, it is important to consistently stay organized, try to find a study space or area you can consistently use, and keep your course materials handy. If you use the library, The Learning Center, or another workspace where you cannot leave items, have a designated school bag/backpack to keep all your study material handy. 
  4. Connected: Be sure to log into your Canvas account regularly to check class announcement, check due dates, along with communicate with your instructors. Do not hesitate to send an email to clarify assignments and/or ask follow-up questions.
  5. Motivation: Online courses require students to be independent learners and self-starters. It will be expected for students to consistently complete assignments thoroughly without having constant reminders about due dates. Learning is up to the student and instructors act as a “tour guide” through their courses. Online learning is not for everyone and it will be important to understand your learning style ahead of time.

Types of Assessments

During this semester, you will be completing the following activities – 

  1. Student-lead discussion posts: You will interact through online discussions with classmates each week related to the current unit being discussed.
  2. Individual homework assignments covering course material, handouts, online research, and assessments.
  3. Weekly quizzes based on material covered during the week or on a particular subject area.
    • Quizzes will be 10 points each

Textbook Information / Link to ZTC Textbook

We will be using Open Educational Resources (OER) materials for this course, which is a free digital textbook, created by three members of our Counseling Department – Liz Shaker, Graciela Martinez, and Anh Nguyen. . A digital copy will be listed in Canvas along with a hard copy on reserve at the Valencia and Canyon Country Libraries. If you wish to purchase the Counseling 150 OER text, you will be able to do so in the bookstore for about $10.

Other Relevant Course Information

Final Thoughts

Please note that distance education is not for everyone and please examine your personal learning style preference. You should be self-motivated, self-disciplined, an independent learner, enjoy spending time on the computer, have the ability to articulate your voice in written language, and have the time required to complete the class. 

All class assignments, discussion board posts, and quizzes will be due at the end of each week on Sunday by 11:30pm, except for the first discussion board post and the last week of class. You can complete the outlined assignments at your pace throughout the week and it will be expected that students will spend between 6 to 10 hours per week for this course.

Are you ready for distance education? If you do not know, please take the following distance learning self-assessments from CSU Stanislaus @

If you have any questions that need to be answered in advance, feel free to call me at (661) 362-3912 or send me an email I will respond to you within 48 hours and please write COUNS 150 #(section number) in the subject line.

I’m looking forward to working with you this semester! 

Erika Torgeson

Counseling Faculty – College of the Canyons

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

College of the Canyons cares about your emotional and physical health. Learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including free counseling and mental health services available during this time by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center website or by calling them at: 661-362-3259.

The National Suicide Lifeline number is 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK). Please call it if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress - it could save someone's life.

You can also use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. It's free, available 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: 10/07/2021 Sub#: 759