West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

First Year Experience

College Success leads to life success!

students first year experience

What is First Year Experience?

The First Year Experience Program (FYE) is a year-long learning community of students who are enrolled in the same English, Math and Counseling courses. It is designed for students who welcome additional support and guidance to reach transfer, graduation and career goals. This learning community provides an environment of academic excellence and support.

How do I enroll in First Year Experience?

If you have taken the West Valley College Placement Test, and are placed into English 905 (English Fundamentals) and Math 103 (Introductory Algebra), contact Gretchen Ehlers, gretchen.ehlers@westvalley.edu, (408)741-2054.

What are the expectations?

There will be a mandatory First Year Experience Orientation the week before classes start in August. Students will take Counseling 5 in the Fall and Counseling 12C in the Spring.

What are the benefits of First Year Experience?

• Increase your chances of succeeding in college
• More structure and support as you begin college
• Be part of a community of learners helping and supporting each other
• Instructors are committed to your success and believe in the First Year Experience Program


Sample Schedule

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
9:20 - 10:30 Math 103
(5 units)
Math 103 Math 103 Math 103
10:55 - 12:20 Counseling 5
( 3 units)
English 905 ( 3 units) Counseling 5 English 905
12:30 - 1:55 Reading 961   Reading 961  
Only for those students placing into Reading 961. Others can take class(es) of their choosing, where the schedule permits.


Information may also be obtained from other faculty in the FYE Program:

FALL 2015 instructors:

Gretchen Ehlers
Nicole Cuttler
Clementina Golaw
Shannon Ko
Christina Llerena
Carol Pavan

General information may be obtained from the Counseling Dept.




First Year Experience
Building Map


Gretchen Ehlers


last published: 6/9/15 • validate xhtml css 508