Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Some students are lost — Navigators Club at Laney can help

    by Eva Hannan, Co-Editor

    Laney College Navigators Club President Evetta Williams (right) and Greg Lowerie discuss the nuances of the organization’s goals during a recent Welcome Week event. Photo by Michelle Snider

    Getting instructions for success at the Peralta campuses can be confusing or even contradictory. Getting good advice on which classes to take, and when, or finding out what the next step is for registration or financial aid can be a dizzying experience for new and, sometimes even returning students.

    If administration and opaquely worded forms start to overwhelm someone, where can they turn for assistance? The Navigators Club on the Laney campus may be a good place to start.

    Its main focus is to help students who are not coming to college directly from high school. Whether new students are used to spending their time working, parenting or staring at the interior of a jail cell, the transition to college can be particularly challenging to adult learners.

    Some students may feel as though college is not meant for them, but the Navigators are here to assist anyone who wants to reach their graduation goal — or just needs help determining what that goal is.

    Evetta Williams is the founder, president and champion of the Navigators Club, as well as a senator in student governance through the Associated Students of Laney College (ASLC).

    Personal experience and frustration with the graduation process, Williams said, led her towards creating a positive place to help fellow students avoid some of the delays and discrepancies that she encountered on her way to a degree.

    “The premise is to assist students through the system of college,” Williams said, “to find out what their goal is, where they’re trying to go, and help them get there more efficiently — without accidentally taking a class they don’t need or doing something they don’t have to do.”

    Ideally, Navigators can act as a hub of resources for students at Laney, Williams said, providing a sense of stability and connecting them to programs such as the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, Disabled Student Programs and Services, scholarships and other resources available to students.

    “We’re trying to help you find out what you want, where you’re trying to go, and help you get there faster,” she said.

    The club also provides mentoring, assistance with education plans and advice on how and when to approach potentially intimidating aspects of the college process — like seeing a counselor or addressing a grievance with one of the deans.

    “Where are you trying to go?” Williams asked. “Let’s figure out the best route to get there and navigate you to graduation!”

    The Navigators Club also advocates for students with special needs. One of the focuses this semester is to raise awareness about the push-buttons that are meant to open doors automatically for handicapped students on campus. Some of them are non-operational, Williams said, which may prevent students from gaining entry to parts of the campus.

    For more information contact the club at [email protected] or stop by a meeting on Thursday mornings from 10 a.m. — 12 noon in room 327 of the Student Center.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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