HomeBase provides new path to guidance


Each personalized HomeBase can be found under the “Courses” tab in Canvas. From there, students can connect with coaches and counselors to receive the guidance they need to succeed.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, American River College’s administration and faculty have decided to implement an innovative, interactive solution for students who are struggling with the shift to online learning.  

Among the numerous recent procedural changes, ARC has adopted informative, virtual hubs called HomeBases. According to Frank Kobayashi, co-chair of the HomeBase Implementation Team, these HomeBases are pathway communities available via Canvas that are intended to aid students in navigating their education in these uncertain times.

According to Kristin Farlow, HomeBase coach at ARC, each HomeBase is a “one-stop-shop” with a success team, consisting of coaches, counselors, peer mentors and faculty liaisons, whose goal is to meet the needs of students and help them stay on their path toward success.

“We truly are committed to the main goals that put our students first to engage and connect with them and build community and relationships so students achieve their academic and career goals in a timely fashion,” Farlow said.

One of the key features of each HomeBase is the ability for students to remotely connect with counselors. According to Sylvia Dilgard, adjunct counselor at ARC, one of the goals of HomeBase is to give students a sense of community with their peers that share similar majors.

“It also provides counselors with a better tool to build relationships within that community,” Dilgard said.

The grand opening of HomeBase was held via Zoom on Aug. 20. During the opening, many faculty members spoke about the implementation of the HomeBase system, including Doug Herndon, dean of the English department.

“We are super-excited about this idea of HomeBases and sort of making a space where things can be a little bit more accessible to you,” Herndon said.

Students who missed the grand opening and have any further questions about HomeBase can find the recording of the meeting under the “announcements” folder in the HomeBase course on Canvas.

Although the remote learning environment sparked the idea, HomeBase will continue in a physical space once in-person classes resume, according to Kristin Farlow. The location of the eventual HomeBase office is yet to be determined.