Celebrating Latinos in Elgin

Karen Becktrom, director, Columbia College of Missouri-Elgin

Latino heritage celebration in ElginColumbia College of Missouri-Elgin was a proud sponsor of Latino Heritage Month here at Elgin Community College (ECC), which offered a series of events celebrating Latino culture from mid-September through mid-October.

Columbia College graduate Cesar Rodriguez ’13 and current student Gladisela Herrera volunteered their time Sept. 11 to help with registration for the 25th Kick-Off Breakfast. The keynote speaker was Chuey Garcia, a commissioner for the seventh district, member of the Cook County Board and a recent mayoral candidate for the city of Chicago.

Garcia spoke about growth, progress and opportunity in the Latino community. The dining room was filled to capacity with ECC staff and community members. The theme colors of red, orange and gold filled the room as Luz De Ande provided the music. This celebration also featured a special recognition for Jane Barbosa, the founder of the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) on the ECC campus. Mustache sticks, a signature of Garcia’s mayoral campaign, were also on the tables to add a touch of humor.

Dia de la Familia, a day of fun for the entire family on Sept. 19, was held indoors due to rain. Columbia College graduate Juan Alvarez ’15 and current student Carina Ramos manned the Columbia resource table during this family event focused on succeeding in college. Workshops for all ages, good food and resource tables kept all ages entertained and involved from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The message conveyed during this family event was that it’s never too early or too late to be thinking about college.

Columbia College was once again highlighted on Oct. 9 as Nora Renteria, a community college and Columbia College-Lake County ’10, was the keynote speaker at the Wise Latina Brunch honoring and celebrating Latinas.

I was honored to be a part of the planning team with ECC. Hopefully, you were able to attend some of these events celebrating 25 years of progress for the Latino community at ECC, in Elgin and nationwide.

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Are you streaming Films on Demand from Stafford Library?

Stafford library shelfAre you a secret TEDTalks junkie? Can’t wait to get home and turn on the History Channel or DVR your favorite PBS show? It’s okay – you’re not alone. A person can only watch so much reality TV, right?

The great news is that you can stream more than 20,000 full-length videos from the Stafford Library from its Films on Demand streaming video database. The easy-to-use database allows you to browse by category through one of 25 collections, which include from art, music, history, science, education, business and more. You can also search by featured producer, including Ken Burns, BBC, PBS, Frontline, History Channel, TEDTalks and NOVA.

Taking a criminal justice class? Check out forensic psychologist Scott Fraser’s “Why Eyewitnesses Get it Wrong,” one of more than 600 TEDTalks videos available. Researching childhood development? Watch “Fitting In or Standing Out? Conformity in Childhood,” produced by BBC. Interested in business and marketing? Take a look at the ABC News report, “Building a Strong Personal Brand.” Archival films and newsreels also are available. Don’t forget that you can use videos as sources for research papers. Need help with the citation? The Stafford Library can help with that too in its Citing Sources Guide.

Stream from the Stafford Library homepage, or set up a free account to create and share custom playlists of videos, and save your favorite videos for quick access. With direct Web links to whole videos and their segments, you can easily share entire videos or individual parts with other students. Just go to the Stafford Library homepage and select “Videos” in the Find It search box. Then click “Films on Demand: Master Academic Collection” and login for free using your pawprint and password.
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Financial Avenue: Planning for Life’s Big Questions

financial avenue graphicMost of our daily financial decisions are relatively small: what to have for lunch, or where to get gas. But those big money decisions like purchasing a car or home don’t come around very often, adding an extra degree of stress and difficulty to the decision making process.

Columbia College has teamed up with Inceptia, a private nonprofit organization, to offer Financial Avenue, which offers a variety of free online courses to help you gain important knowledge to become financially capable. From understanding budgets and student loans to managing credit and retirement, Financial Avenue provides you with the tools to master your money and look to the future with confidence.

In the Future of Your Money module, you’ll alleviate financial uncertainty by making choices for other peoples’ money. Take on the role of Ms. A and Mr. B as they navigate where to live, weigh leasing versus buying a car, choose insurance plans, and start investing for the future. During this course you will learn about the role of slow and steady savings in reaching financial goals, the importance of planning for unplanned emergencies, types of insurance, investing basics, and considerations for making big-ticket purchases. Consider this a test run to help you craft smart strategies for your future.

Whether you have five minutes or two hours, Financial Avenue allows you to learn at your own pace and to pick up where you left off each time you log on. Registration for Financial Avenue is free – just sign up using your CougarMail account at www.FinancialAvenue.org. Enter the Columbia College unique access code of s6sg7k to set up your account and begin your journey on the path to financial wellness.
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Download the free CC Online Campus app today!

columbia college mobile appIf you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you take a Columbia College class online. Are you taking advantage of the free Online Campus mobile app? Available for Android and iPhone platforms, this app is loaded with features to help you stay organized and connected to Columbia College.

The easy-to-use app puts all of your courses at your fingertips with quick and secure access to D2L. Stay on top of class discussions and news, keep track of when assignments and quizzes are due and view your grades week by week.

Plus, you can check your CougarMail in a flash, contact your campus, or visit the mobile-friendly Stafford Library homepage to search online databases and other resources to get a head start on that research paper.

Want to know what everyone is talking about? The Columbia College Facebook, Twitter, flickr and YouTube accounts are available at the touch of a button. Plus, it’s easy to stay current with Columbia College news and cheer on your favorite Cougar Athletics team no matter which campus you attend by visiting the CC News and Columbia Cougars pages.

Simply visit the iPhone App Store or Google Play Store on your mobile device, search for Columbia College Online Campus and download the free app today!
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Four ways to organize your resumé

resume graphicAs a Columbia College student, you’re probably juggling school with work. You might even be working on your degree so you can get a promotion, start down a career path – or, most daunting of all – change careers altogether. Good for you! When the time comes to pursue that dream job, you’re going to need a standout resumé.

Most resumés should include the requisite sections of summary statement, experience, skills and education. But how you organize these sections on your resumé depends on where you are in your career and what you’re trying to accomplish next.

The Columbia College Grossnickle Career Services Center recommends using one of three types of resumés – chronological, functional and combination – and points to a USA Today article, “4 ways to organize your resume based on where you’re at in your career,” for some helpful tips on how to order the sections of your resumé based on whether you’re a new grad, a senior-level candidate, a career changer, or just updating your current resumé.

The standard resumé

For most of us, a resumé will be organized in this order:

  • Summary statement (optional)
  • Experience
  • Professional organizations/community involvement (optional)
  • Education
  • Skills and certifications

This layout helps a job recruiter skim your qualifications and gives you a better chance at being called for an interview. Have questions about how to write a summary statement? Check out the article for an example.

For recent grads

If you’re fresh out of school and new to full-time employment, consider ordering your resumé like this:

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Leadership
  • Awards and activities (optional)
  • Skills

Highlight extracurricular activities, leadership positions in clubs and community service in a separate section to show you’re ready for the workforce. Check out the article for a step-by-step guide on crafting your post-college resumé.

For career changers

  • Objective (optional)
  • Relevant experience
  • Additional experience
  • Professional organizations/community involvement (optional)
  • Education
  • Skills and certifications (option to move up)

The trick to tackling the career-change resumé lies in showing how skills and experience in your current career are transferrable to the new career you’re after. Include an objective statement that explains your career change and the skills you bring to your new field. Check out the article for help on writing an objective.

For senior-level candidates

  • Summary statement
  • Experience
  • Professional organizations/community involvement (optional)
  • Education
  • Skills and certifications

This resumé is similar to the standard resumé. This easy-to-skim format is important no matter where you are in career. When applying for senior-level positions, a two-page resumé is usually expected, as is a summary statement at the top. Check out the article for an example of a senior-level resumé.

Once you have created your resumé, send it to the professional career specialists at the Grossnickle Career Services Center. The Career Services staff can offer a fresh set of eyes to review your masterpiece and offer feedback from a job recruiter’s standpoint. Contact Career Services at (800) 231-2391, ext. 7425, or at careerservices@ccis.edu.
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