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Faculty Story

Chris Clark
Counselor

"Counseling students at the community college provides a wonderful opportunity to connect with individuals of incredibly diverse backgrounds, life experiences and with a broad range of goals."

Please talk about your experience counseling students:

I have worked as a community college counselor for over 11 years. As a counselor, I provide academic, career, and personal counseling to students in addition to teaching classes in the area of Human Career Development. Additionally, I serve as campus articulation officer and transfer services coordinator.

I love what I do. My interest within the counseling field began after having been inspired by a mentor/college counselor while I was a student at West Valley College. Counseling students at the community college provides a wonderful opportunity to connect with individuals of incredibly diverse backgrounds, life experiences and with a broad range of goals. This makes for a very exciting work place!

What advice would you give to a new college student?

Give yourself time when deciding on a major! Often, students limit themselves (and their natural interests) by choosing common majors because they believe they can get a good job with that degree. Often, these students don’t care for the coursework and end up doing poorly in their studies as a result. Students should find their passion (and this takes time) and study what they enjoy! It’s important to keep in mind that the majority of undergraduate college degrees will not lead you to a job in a specific field. Students who study what they enjoy can pursue work experience opportunities (such as internships or cooperatives) at the university level to gain experience in areas that pique their interests. The college degree coupled with work experience makes for a powerful combination when interviewing for jobs.

Students who are undecided may consider taking some of our career exploration classes such as HCD 310, 318, 330, or 335. Additionally, taking introductory courses in various disciplines is a great way to get exposure. Classes such as PSYC 300, BUS 300, HSER 300, ADMJ 300, FT 300 and ECE 300 provide nice introductions to certain fields.

What’s the favorite part of your job?

When I receive letters or e-mails from students who have transferred on to a four year college and share what is going on in their lives.

What was your proudest moment working with students?

That’s a tough one, as I have many. I have a favorite scenario that occurs with many students which makes me so thankful and proud. That is seeing students move forward with their educational and personal goals who didn’t have the grades or confidence in themselves while attending high school. Coming to the community college gives students an opportunity to begin with a “clean slate” and start over. It is incredibly powerful to watch these students transform and empower themselves through their community college experiences and education.

Also, can you include a list of any awards you may have won or published papers you have authored.

- Outstanding Work in Student Services (West Valley College)
- Rise Above Award (West Valley College)
- Faculty of the Month (West Valley College)
- Innovation in Articulation Recognition (CIAC)

Chris Clark has his A.A. from West Valley College and B.A. and M.S. from San Francisco State University.

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