Transitioning to College

Some students have started college directly after high school, or others took some time off for personal reasons and have now decided to expand their education further.  In either case, everyone experiences a transition because of the new role as a student.

Students straight out of high school, with consecutive years of the same school routine, now take on a new curriculum system every semester, depending on the professor.  High school teachers would remind those who were absent of their work, now it is the student’s responsibility to get the information from the professor and stay on track with the class.  Students may struggle with a concept, and before the teacher would come up to the student in school and ask if extra help is needed.  Now, college professors are always more than happy to help, but it is the student’s responsibility to start that process to obtain help.

Remember when classes would be forty-five minutes long and students always dreaded those double periods in class?  Well, college classes now normally last as long as those double periods in high school. However, some, depending on your major, may last much longer.  It takes some time to transition to this change, but professors are very understanding and give five minute breaks to help ease that new time frame into routine.

People deciding to go back to school after some time off also experience the transition, including time management and the flashbacks to homework assignments.  Between the time in class and the time studying, a whole new routine is established in a household, that may take some time to critique, but don’t give up.  It may seem nearly impossible, but yourself and your family will benefit from your decision to keep going in so many unbelievable ways.  Now, with time management, includes the time to do homework assignments.  Transitioning to the college mind set may take some time, but it will be worth it to follow through with your goal.

-Emma, student blogger

A Helping Hand

Everyone experiences college and class work differently.  Some people have children to care for, full-time jobs, and other events scheduled before and after class.  A busy schedule everyday means a whole lot of stress and anxiety.  Especially those days when the babysitter may end up cancelling or you just had to work the night shift with an 8:00 A.M. class the following day.  Instead of feeling alone in all the crazy life events, reach out to faculty members.

I have personally never experienced nor witnessed such an environment with such caring and understanding faculty members as I have at CCBC.  Professors will provide their own personal phone number and welcome any call.  Particularly in the Nursing facility, professors encourage you to call when you are having trouble with the course material or simply overwhelmed before a test.

Not only is the faculty more than willing to help with the struggles of course material, but also those days when nothing seems to go right.  If someone’s child ends up getting sick, the babysitter had to cancel, or something happened at work, the faculty will not only understand, but will work with you to fix the problem!  Most people feel like a bother or are afraid to ask for a helping hand, but that’s what all the faculty members are there for: to be that helping hand.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, no matter how small or big the problem may be.  The faculty members are there to help better your educational experience that best fits your lifestyle.

-Emma, student blogger

Scholarships!

After two years at CCBC, I have learned a lot about how to look for scholarships and apply for them. It is vitally important that you look into different scholarships if you are transferring to a four-year institution. These scholarships will potentially minimize the debt that you will have to pay off after you graduate. So why not fill out as many scholarship applications as you possibly can?

The first thing that I would do as a student looking for transfer scholarships is to join CCBC’s branch of Phi Thetta Kappa. This will open endless doors of scholarship opportunities for you that will drastically reduce the burden of tuition at your transfer institution. For example, I got a scholarship after being chosen for the All PA Academic Team (through PTK) that awarded me full tuition to my future four year college. That is only one of the many scholarships opportunities that will be available to you through PTK. Some of the applications take a while to fill out, but it is worth it a million times over to have as little debt as possible after you graduate.

Next, I would look into your transfer institution and see what kind of scholarships they offer transfer students. If you have any questions or cannot find any scholarship applications, I would immediately e-mail the admissions office and ask them. It is much better to do this sooner rather than later so you do not miss the deadline.

Lastly, there are many websites online to help you look for scholarships such as zinch.com, fastweb.com, scholarshippoints.com, and cappex.com. Always look into as many as you can to have more of a chance of receiving a scholarship (maybe even more than one!).

Liana, student blogger 

Opening Doors

My senior year of high school flew by with all the events and experiences ending too quickly to even comprehend.  However, the dreaded questions of “post-graduation plans” never had an ending.  The questions of schooling, career choices, and jobs were always sneaking in throughout any conversation or event.  During the last year of high school, seniors say that’s when the chaos begins.  But really, it’s where you experience freedom, and you get to define who you are and want to become.  I knew from the start I wanted to enter the health care field, but I didn’t want to live in a dorm room.  I would rather come home to a familiar place that contained my whole support system, especially with my dogs’ wagging tails greeting me at the door.

Thanks to my guidance counselor, I was directed to the Community College of Beaver County, that has changed my life in so many positive ways.  During my senior year, I was already enrolled in some of CCBC’s college in high school classes.  I also began to visit the college and obtain the information needed to become a student in the Nursing course.  Not only am I currently enrolled in Nursing, but CCBC has also provided me with a scholarship, actually free tuition for two years, due to my academic achievements in high school.  The faculty at CCBC is so caring and helpful.

When I decided to take some summer courses, my professor was absolutely amazing and made class so interactive and interesting.  CCBC has opened new doors that I never thought possible for myself.  My achievements and hard work is recognized, along with the support from all the faculty.  CCBC truly has a unique touch of care that no other place can quite achieve.  The school itself is amazing and the faulty is extraordinary.  I’m excited to say my journey at CCBC has only begun.

Emma, Student Blogger

Pharmacy Technician Training at CCBC

Monica KempMonica is a current student in the Pharmacy Technician program at CCBC. She is a top student in the class despite having reservations at first about enrolling. Read below for more of Monica’s inspiring story.

Why did you decide to enroll in the program at CCBC?
I graduated with a degree in Biochemistry and Pharmaceuticals from my country, Ecuador. I have not worked the industry for more than 20 years, as I was dedicated to raising my children. As my son and daughter are older now, I decided to go back to work, but many things have changed over the past 20 years, and I had only worked in Pharmaceuticals in my home country of Ecuador, so I also knew there may be many other differences between countries as well.

 
What was your biggest fear about entering the program?
As English is not my native language, one of my biggest fears was if I would have difficulties understanding the language. My professors were very patient with me, and the Student Services Center staff was also very helpful and accommodating.

 

What was your greatest accomplishment as a student in the program?
Through hard work and dedication, I was able to overcome the language barrier, and finished the program at the top of my class.

 

What opportunities have you had as a result of your CCBC education?
As a result of my CCBC education and opportunities, I was offered a full-time position with UPMC Chartwell, only 1 week into my Externship.

 
What are your future plans?
My future plans are to continue with my employment at UMPC, the largest employer in Western, PA, and grow with them to higher levels.

 
Why would you recommend the program to other students?
The Pharmacy Technician program is a great opportunity for people of all ages, and has an excellent placement rate. I highly recommend it. As a middle aged women, from a different country, culture, language, and out of the industry for many years, if I can do it, you can too!