Monday, June 2, 2014

Community College Offers Students Support From Day One

Making the transition from high school to college, from part-time job to Continuing Education, from a position that you've held for years to back to school for an upgrade can be an intimidating process. However, colleges are structured in a way that helps students to achieve their goals with support from the institution, faculty members and other students.

One community college that provides ongoing support to its students is Centennial College in Toronto, Ontario. The help begins before students even set foot in a classroom. Through orientation sessions, students have the opportunity to:
  • Connect to their program, school, teachers and most importantly each other;
  • Have their questions answered;
  • Reduce their fears about starting college;
  • Learn more about their program and how to succeed in it;
  • Obtain their student photo ID, parking permit and information about MyCentennial — an online hub for students
Once students begin their programs, they have full access to the school's Student's Services, which cover everything from academic advising and counseling to athletics and recreation and clubs and associations. For example, counseling services at Centennial College consists of five distinct areas that help students enjoy a well-rounded experience. Career counseling looks at students interests, values and skills to help them decide on a career path they will find fulfilling. Meanwhile, personal counseling helps students to balance the stress, anxiety, adjustment to college, grief and loss, relationship issues, gender issues, communication skills and personal crises so that they are able to focus on their course work and achieve the academic goals they have set for themselves. This type of counseling is offered in conjunction to crisis intervention, which allows students who are experiencing a crisis and need a safe place to talk, to do so. One of the most important types of counseling services offered at Centennial College deals with learning and study skills, including time management, note-taking, reading skills, test taking skills and test preparation. Lastly, students can also obtain consultation services during which experienced counselors consult with students and provide a referral to helpers outside the college if needed.

In addition, Centennial College strives to foster an inclusive environment with a focus on diversity. As one of the most multicultural campuses in Canada, this community college believes that individual and systemic biases contribute to the marginalization of designated groups. These biases include race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, ancestry, nationality, place of origin, colour, ethnicity, culture, linguistic origin, citizenship, creed (religion, faith), marital status, socio-economic class, family status, receipt of public assistance or record of offence. As such, Centennial College is free from discrimination, harassment and hate. It supports the right of everyone to study, participate and work with dignity in an environment of mutual respect.

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