Get a Grip

Get a Grip

GET a GRIP: Goals, Relationships, Information and Participation

To help ensure that you are making the “right” connections, offices at Paradise Valley Community College are providing information to assist with your discovery of college programs and services. The nine categories on this site are deemed “need to know” for the beginning of a successful college experience. Our goal is for you to be educationally empowered critical thinkers who will be able to successfully apply both in-class and out-of-class learning.

This site will acquaint you with goal setting [you are encouraged to use the college’s iGoal instrument at]. Click on the topic areas that initially present as those to be read first.Refer to these often.

Get a GRIP on funding your college education by following these basic steps:

  1. Set a Goal to apply for financial aid ( and scholarships by or before their respective deadlines.  Review the “Important Dates and Deadlines
  2. Build a strong Relationship by you proactive communication with Financial Aid by:
  • Make it a habit to log into your “”  student center for updates tracking your “To Do” list, Financial Aid award, your bill, your grade(s), and your class schedule
  • Visit the Financial Aid web page
  • Call (602-787-7100) or come into the Financial Aid office with questions or concerns

3.   Review the Information on the Financial Aid web page like the Five Basic Steps:

  • Application (Apply for Financial Aid)
  • Verification (Need for additional documents)
  • Maintaining Eligibility (My Grades & My Financial Aid)
  • Awarding  (What and How Much Funds for Year)
  • Disbursing (When Funds Pay Tuition, Fees and Refund to Student)

4.   Participate in the online learning opportunities on the Financial Aid webpage under Student Success Financial Aid Tools:

  • Key Dates
  • Cash Course- Financial Literacy
  • Scholarship Nuts & Bolts
  • Repayment Calculators

Research shows that students with a career plan are more likely to persist in college and if they believe that their education will lead to a job or further educational goals, persistence increases (Heinzen & Rakes, 1995).

Career Services assists with enrollment and recruitment by providing students with an opportunity to make informed career decisions and set academic goals.  Career Services enhances student persistence by providing comprehensive degree exploration, salary and wages, trends, occupational outlook, programs/workshops (i.e. Internships, Branding, Professional Attire, Job Fairs, Networking, and  Technology) and services (Resume and Cover Letter Development and Critiques, Interviewing Techniques, Mock Interviews, Online job boards) building the confidence and skills needed for transition to the next phase of career development and lifelong learning.

Developing relationships is all about connections and developing a feeling of belonging.  Relationships facilitate engaged learning and ultimately student success.


Connecting with instructors:

Meet with instructor prior to registering for the class to gather information that will help determine alignment with your learning style and facilitate academic success (e.g. course expectations, methods of instruction, relevance to program of study, and sequencing of courses).

  • Regularly visit with your instructor during office hours not only when having difficulties but also when doing well.
  • Be objective.
  • Convey willingness to listen.
  • Demonstrate respect.
  • Maintain student-instructor boundaries
  • Follow the chain of command with issues involving but not limited to complaints, unfair treatment, and/or grades. (Faculty, Division Chair, Dean)

Connecting with your peers …

  • Smile, say “Hi, Hello”
  • If someone looks like they have a question or is lost, ask them if you can help
  • Develop study groups
  • Participate in out of class activities such as student clubs, athletics, student government, orientation leaders

Top Ten Technology Skills for Students

  1. Internet Searching (a.k.a. Googling) 
  2. Email - is your official college account
  3. Social Media - Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc.
  4. Netiquette - How to appropriately use the tools in #1-3
  5. Word Processing and Presentation Software
  6. File Management, including backups and how to move files between home and the college
  7. Security and Safety - How to keep your files and personal information safe
  8. Finding the right apps and software 
  9. How to find HELP when needed
  10. Copyright Basics - Give credit where it is due

For more information on any of the above, please contact the PVCC Helpdesk at 602-787-7780.


How to engage in learning….

  • Read and understand the course syllabus.
  • Attend classes regularly.
  • Come to class prepared.
  • Be an active listener.
  • Ask appropriate questions to deepen understanding of concepts.
  • Participate in class and group discussions.
  • Develop study groups
  • Participate in out of class activities such as student clubs, athletics, student government, orientation leaders


Through a variety of social and educational events, Student Life and Leadership offers many opportunities to build RELATIONSHIPS with peers, faculty, and staff.  Club involvement provides students with the opportunity to engage with others who share mutual interests. Sometimes, these interests are related to a degree (Partners in Art, Honors Society, Computer Club); other students may gravitate to clubs where students share a common interest in an activity (Dance Club, Anime Club, Outdoor Recreation Club); and, some clubs are simply a great way to meet other people (Christian Club, Veterans Club, International Club). Research* confirms that students who invest significant amounts of time in their extra-curricular and co-curricular experience will ultimately perform better academically and those who do not.

Student Activities

*Sacramento State University. (2011). Student leadership and academic performance --

A study of student club leaders. Retrieved November 22, 2011 from

The PVCC Buxton Library contains more than 72,000 print, media, and electronic items in it’s collection.  You have access to 10,000+ electronic books and 18,000 streaming videos/audio files.  We provide an online catalog that provides access to all of the MCCCD libraries. We have a Career and College Resource collection to help you find a job and/or a college you might want to go to after finishing here.  We provide computers as well as wireless Internet access.  Also provided, are individual and group study rooms and media listening and viewing areas.  And lastly, we provide thousands of articles from various magazines, journals, and newspaper subscriptions both in print and electronic formats for your research needs.

To start your research here at the PVCC Buxton Library it is important to acquaint yourself with any of the helpful librarians that can help you how to do research.  The library offers one on one training on how to do research.  Please look at the following links which will help you with your research skills.

Check this Class is in Session Video!

Attend a Research Lab @ the Buxton Library starting in the Fall – Schedules to be posted soon!

Library Services for Students

How to do Research at the Library

As Interim Coordinator of Academic Advising and a Graduate of Mesa Community College, I firmly believe that ALL students should meet with an Academic Adviser at least once every semester. The educational literature supports this, but words on paper, however, can never give the data that real life experience can. In talking with students (and even when I was a student at Mesa Community College) I know personally the importance of having a campus official be a part of the student's success. 

I believe the Athletics department here at Paradise Valley Community College has set a standard for the model for student success. All student athletes are introduced to the Athletic Advisers and are told to meet with these advisers before choosing classes and before dropping and adding. There are a number of Academic All-Americans at this college participating in sports and also excelling in the classroom at the end of every year as shared by Greg Silcox, Athletics Director.   The success formula is that these students are connected with an adviser before registering and from that time come to know that with the guidance of the adviser and his/her active participation success is imminent.

It is recommended that if a student’s assigned adviser is not immediately available for an in-person response to a quick question, to please email the advisor.  If a student is more comfortable telephoning, please call leaving a message for your adviser.

The importance of advisers related to the development of the educational plan is crucial at the start of the student’s academic career. As students are taught to navigate and understand the degree check sheet for their major, the relationship between Adviser and student is enhanced leading to a learning and information sharing experience (Interdependent) rather than a “I don’t know unless my adviser tells me” (Codependent) experience.   

Repeat visits are very much encouraged even once the student completely understands how to choose classes, build their own schedule and register. The dialog and confirmation are often all students need once an academic path is chosen.

College students who use tutoring and learning centers increase the number of credits they earn while improving their course pass rates and their GPA's. Studies indicate that trained tutors, such as those in the Learning Support Center, can help students to practice, reinforce, and learn classroom material as well as study and test-taking strategies that will aid them throughout their college careers. In addition to tutoring in math, sciences, business, computer sciences, and other subjects, the LSC also has a math lab for classes up to intermediate algebra and a writing center that lets students make an appointment or drop in. Other resources include science models, laptops, calculators, and textbooks for use in our center, as well as group study rooms that students can reserve. Come see us in room 180 of the E building, call us at 602-787-7180, or visit our Learning Support Center web site.