Student Support
Life Skills
Advisory Committee
Handbook (pdf)


Students who choose Saint Mary's College for continued learning receive much more than a run-of-the-mill education. They join one of the West Coast's premier academic institutions that is consistently recognized for its excellence by U.S. News and World Report.

With a sterling reputation for both academics and athletics, Saint Mary's College provides the rare balance of small college size with NCAA Division I competition. Gael student-athletes receive guidance and counseling to meet their needs from the first day on campus until they graduate. Taking many forms, assistance includes course and major selection, study skills workshops, opportunities for supervised study time, eligibility rules interpretations, and the proctoring of exams while competing away from campus. Coordinating campus efforts for Saint Mary's College are Katie Davis Smith, the director of Academic Services, and Kari Montero, the Assistant Athletics Director for Student Support Services. They both draw from the campus' many other resources, including the Office of Advising Services, the Career Center, the Academic Support Center, and the Library and Media Centers.

  • Selection of Classes and Majors
  • Time Management
  • Academic, Athletic and Personal Goal Setting
  • Collegiate Study Skills
  • Support Skills for Student-Athletes (study hall, tutors, learning disabilities)
  • Life Skills and Personal Development
  • NCAA, WCC, PCSC and MPSF Academic Requirements
  • Balancing Academic and Athletic Expectations
  • General Education (GE) Requirements
  • Dropping/Adding Courses
  • Adjustment to Saint Mary's College
  • Personal Issues that Affect Academic Performance
  • Campus Resources
  • Maximizing the College Experience, Including Exploration of Opportunities Beyond Athletics
  • Career Planning and Development
  • Preparation for Graduate Programs
  • Preparation and Application for NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships



Saint Mary's College enjoys a long and rich tradition of academic achievement among its athletic programs. Never has this been more apparent than in the 2007-08 academic year. Some highlights include:

  • 50 Dean's List Honorees (minimum 3.5 GPA)
  • 85 Scholar-Athletes (minimum 3.2 GPA)
  • 89 Student-Athletes on the 2007-08 Commisioner's Honor Roll (minimum cumulative 3.00 GPA)
  • 17 members of WCC All-Academic Teams
  • 5 women's lacrosse players named to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation All-Academic Team
  • 9 members of the softball team were recognized on the Pacific Coast Softball Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll
  • 5 Summa Cum Laude, 2 Magna Cum Laude, and 6 Cum Laude 2008 Graduates
  • 4 Student-Athletes received Academic Department Commencement Honors at the 2008 graduation.


In addition, the 2007-08 year marked the eigth year of the Athletic Director's Honor Roll, recognizing the top 10 GPAs in the entire Department. Achim Christner from the men's tennis team garnered top honors while being a member of the Athletic Director's Honor Roll for two straight years.

The Athletic Director's Honor Roll included:















Saint Mary's College has a long-standing involvement in community services. Using the example of Saint John Baptist De La Salle, Gael student-athletes uphold the Lasallian mission of the College by volunteering many hours of service to local youth, elderly and underprivileged communities. During the 2007-08 academic year, each of the 14 Gael athletic teams committed to serve one or more community organizations.

The benefits of community service for the student-athlete are many. Personal and social adjustments develop from working with others. A community service commitment allows a student-athlete to reach outside the Saint Mary's community and realize their relation with the rest of the world. Saint Mary's College of California is committed to service learning in a variety of ways.

Student-athletes have the opportunity to use the values, work ethic and leadership skills learned through athletics to positively influence others in the community. By volunteering at local events, Saint Mary's student-athletes are some of the best ambassador's for the College.













Gaels student-athletes have given their time and effort to the following community service programs:

  • NABC Reading Program, providing reading instruction to local youths
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Walk
  • Visits to the Children's Hospital of Oakland
  • Visits to Homeless Shelters in the Bay Area
  • Moraga the Beautiful Community Clean-Up Day
  • Catholic Youth Organization Skills Clinics and Autograph Sessions
  • Carnival-4-Kids
  • Hosted a girl scout sleepover
  • Art and Wine Festival volunteer participation
  • Canned food drive for the St. Anthony's Foundation in San Francisco
  • I'm Going to College Day, at Saint Mary's College
  • Mentoring after school programs within the Oakland Unified School District
  • Clothing drive



The Commitment to Personal Development involves supporting Saint Mary's Student-Athletes in their pursuit of a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Programs related to Personal Development are designed to encourage personal growth, strengthen decision-making skills, and help student-athletes develop into strong leaders.

Through a freshman class, workshops, group sessions, guest speakers, and a partnership with the National Center for Drug Free Sport, the following issues will be addressed with Saint Mary's Student-Athletes:

  • Alcohol Awareness
  • Drug Use and Abuse
  • Stress Management
  • Gambling and Sports Betting
  • Nutrition and Eating Disorders
  • Personal and Social Development
  • Etiquette
  • Diversity Awareness
  • Financial Responsibility
  • Violence Prevention
  • Sexual Responsibility



The Career Development component of the CHAMPS/Life Skills program is designed to assist all student-athletes with their career and life planning. Student-athletes may explore personal interest inventories and need assessments while gaining valuable leadership skills and interview techniques.

The Office of Student Support Services works in collaboration with the campus Career Center to provide student-athletes with the most current career related information and services. The Career Center offers a wide array of services from career workshops to on-campus interviewing, cooperative educational work experience, and job placement assistance. The Career Center is committed to assisting students with their career planning and successful decision-making. Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop and explore career plans related to academic interests
  • Acquire career related work experiences
  • Develop personal strategies that ensure successful employment upon graduation
  • Participate in on-campus interviews and employer informational sessions
  • Gain knowledge of current employment trends and issues in the workplace

Additional services offered by the Career Center include:

  • Individual Counseling
  • Vocational Assessment
  • Occupational Information
  • Career Workshops
  • Resume Building Workshops
  • Mock Interviews
  • On-Campus Interview Program
  • Business Etiquette Workshops
  • Job Placement Services
  • Career Fairs
  • Career Resource Library
  • Outreach Program
  • Referral Service
  • Alumni Career Counseling


The Career Center is located on the second floor of Ferroggiaro Hall. If you have any questions regarding career planning, please visit or call (925) 631- 4600 to speak to a career counselor.