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CC Alumnus turned Peace Corps Volunteer Paints His Service

St. Louis Post Dispatch, Feb. 28

http://interact.stltoday.com/pr/arts-entertainment/PR022815074620538

 

Dedication breeds success: the Jordan Poire ’17 story

Posted by on Jan 24, 2018 in Day Campus, Students | 0 comments

Dedication breeds success: the Jordan Poire ’17 story

Jordan Poire (right) receives her diploma from Columbia College President Scott Dalrymple during the Fall 2017 Commencement Ceremony (photo by Kaci Smart).

January 15, 2018 – via the Jefferson City News Tribune

Of all the enviable qualities attributed to Columbia College Presidential Award winner Jordan Poire, from her intelligence to her athleticism, Poire really values the one quality that makes everything else possible: dedication. The 4.0 student, 2017 NAIA third-team All American soccer player and recent Columbia College finance graduate said the sense of commitment to soccer she gained growing up in Jefferson City carried into the rest of her life. College parties took a backseat to soccer practices. She relentlessly ran the right flank with the urge to score and the will to defend her goal, surrounded by teammates in which she found best friends. All the while, she earned straight A’s after occasional bus ride study sessions.

READ MORE: “Dedication breeds success: the Jordan Poire story” – Jefferson City News Tribune

We Are CC: Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony

Posted by on Jan 24, 2018 in Lake of the Ozarks, Nationwide | 0 comments

We Are CC: Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony

This article ran as a companion piece to “We Are CC: Commencements around the country” in the winter edition of our Affinity alumni magazine.

Click here to check out the magazine in its entirety!

Aside from main campus, the Lake of the Ozarks location is the only one to hold its own Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony.

Columbia College-Lake of the Ozarks’ nine-member Associate in Science in Nursing class of 2017
(Photo submitted)

It’s an event steeped in tradition, in which the location’s Associate in Science in Nursing graduates are honored and presented with pins in front of friends, family and other well-wishers. The candidates hold candles and recite the Florence Nightingale Pledge to do all in their power “to make and maintain the highest standards and practices” of the nursing profession.

Last April, Karl Brandt, the only male in the nine-student ASN class and the one his classmates chose to address them during the pinning ceremony, told his fellow graduates that “when any employers see Columbia College on our resume, they will have confidence in our knowledge base.”

“Their whole ceremony is unique, and it is special,” Kim Bonine, director of the Lake of the Ozarks location, said the day of the ceremony. “I think it’s awesome that a lot of them already have jobs and are ready to go. That just speaks a lot for our program and reputation.”

Check out the photo gallery below for more images from the April 2017 Columbia College-Lake of the Ozarks Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony.

 

We Are CC: Commencements around the country

Posted by on Jan 22, 2018 in Crystal Lake, Featured Story, Freeport, Instagram, Jacksonville, Lake County, Lake of the Ozarks, Los Alamitos, NAS Jacksonville, Nationwide, Orlando, Patrick Air Force Base, Rolla, San Diego, Springfield | 0 comments

We Are CC: Commencements around the country

Editor’s Note: This story was included in the latest edition of Affinity Magazine. Click here to check out the magazine in its entirety!

For the directors at Columbia College’s four locations in Illinois, planning for the next commencement ceremony begins before the previous one even takes place.

The Illinois locations’ spring commencement ceremony was one of 25 ceremonies that celebrated Columbia College graduates during the 2016-17 school year.
(Photo submitted)

There’s a venue to reserve, a date to lock down, a roll of students eligible to graduate that needs compiling. The staffs at Crystal Lake and Elgin do the heavy lifting for the Illinois locations’ spring commencement — which usually takes place in May — while the Lake County and Freeport staffs provide support. For the fall commencement that takes place three months later, the roles are reversed.

“It does kind of feel like we’re in commencement season year-round for different ceremonies,” says Debra Hartman, director of Columbia College-Crystal Lake and Region II. “We’re always on the lookout for opportunities to talk about commencement. We’re constantly promoting it with our students. It’s not just for them. It’s also for the people in their lives who have supported them through their educational journey. I tell them to think of it as an exclamation point on this very big accomplishment.”

Taking in the annual winter and spring graduation ceremonies at the main campus in Columbia, Missouri, can give a little insight into how Columbia College handles the pomp and circumstance of the occasion, but it doesn’t even get close to the full story. In 2016-17, Columbia College had nearly 2,000 graduates walk across the stage at a total of 25 different commencement ceremonies at 24 different venues, all with different scopes, different feels and different characters of their graduating classes.

One thing remained the same throughout all the ceremonies: Scores of people teamed together to provide a special day for the graduates, their friends and families and everyone else in the room. It just so happens that room was situated in a hotel ballroom, a ship docked in California’s Queensway Bay and all points in between.

“Columbia College is Columbia College to me. There isn’t any difference in the quality of education,” says Janette Roberts Nichols ’00 and ’02, a Columbia College Admissions contact coordinator and former member of the CCAA Advisory Board. “We serve a multitude of students at a lot of different campuses. It’s nice to see how far we’re able to touch the students.”

Venues with Character
Columbia College-Los Alamitos director Carl David has a standing order to be the first mate on the Queen Mary for one day a year.

For the past nine years, David has boarded the ship — a 1930s era ocean liner that is now a hotel and events center docked on Long Beach — the night before the Los Alamitos commencement ceremony and stayed until around 10:30 that night in order to get everything prepared.

Columbia College-Los Alamitos holds its ceremony on the Queen Mary, a 1930s-era ocean liner docked on Long Beach, Calif.
(Photo submitted)

The next morning, he rises well before the afternoon event, antsy with anticipation.

“I’m a retired Army lieutenant colonel, so I have to make sure everything is perfect,” David says, with a laugh. “My wife puts up with that.”

David keeps coming back to the Queen Mary for a couple of reasons. One, the uniqueness of the venue draws online students from all over the Los Angeles area to join the Los Alamitos graduates. Students and faculty in regalia are greeted by other ship patrons on the promenade deck, they get to occupy the same stage Bob Hope once performed from in the Queen’s Salon, and they get a breathtaking view of where the Pacific Ocean meets Long Beach.

Two, the ship holds a special significance for his Army graduates. It served as a transport vessel for troops heading off to World War II.

“It’s very, very intimate, even with the regal setting of this place. So that warms my heart,” David says. “It doesn’t get old. It really doesn’t. It’s really special. And knowing that a lot of them are vets and they’ve been putting this off, and they’re finally doing something about their education, it’s even more special.”

Illinois location graduates get the same sort of grandeur in their fall ceremony, just without all the waves. The Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, a 1920s era concert hall and movie theater, usually holds the fall event.

“The theater is very ornate, with a balcony and all the trimmings that go along with an old theater,” Hartman says. “We spare expenses with flowers at the Genesee because it’s so beautiful. Something really neat is that we are able to use the marquee outside to congratulate our graduates. It is a great informal photo opportunity for graduates and families.”

The historic Genesee Theatre welcomes Illinois location graduates to their fall commencement ceremony.
(Photo submitted)

For the Orlando ceremony, one of the largest among Nationwide locations, director Aaron Williams faces the challenge of making sure the day goes smoothly when it comes to logistics, while still providing a unique experience for the sizable crowd that shows up. That task gets even taller in 2018, when the Jacksonville and NAS Jacksonville locations join Patrick Air Force Base for the Orlando event.

Williams held the 2017 event at the historic Bob Carr Theater in downtown Orlando. For next year, he’s thinking bigger: the Orange County Convention Center on International Drive, a half-hour outside the city by Sea World and other tourist attractions.

“When you step up to that podium, it’s pretty intimidating,” Williams says. “Knowing there’s going to be a lot of folks coming in, even though it’s kind of chaotic, it’s a glorious day. You’re happy for the students, and the staff is happy we could get to this day so we could get the excitement over with.”

Honoring Achievement
Every location has its own special way to honor the achievements of their graduating class and the people who have helped them get to this point. It can be securing extra help for students with special needs, rearranging the walking order so that family members who are graduating in the same class can have their picture taken up on the stage together, or sending out special commencement invitations to online teachers who live within a radius of the ceremony.

Hartman says Dr. Edith Bell, an online business faculty member, has come to Illinois location commencements the past four years through that process.

“It’s fabulous to see it all come together,” Hartman says. “Very often as I stand there as a director and my assistant director is calling names, I think to myself, ‘How could they possibly have graduated already? When did that happen?’ I recall what they were like when they started with us. Oftentimes, even as adults, they were scared and unsure of themselves, while being excited all at the same time. And here they are walking across my stage, and I’m shaking their hands and talking to them about graduate school or their promotion at work. It really is a wonderful day and an honor to be a part of it.”

For those who can’t walk in a ceremony, Columbia College has a way to honor them as well: the “virtual commencement” webpage (www.ccis.edu/virtualcommencement). The site hosts video addresses from the main campus commencement speaker and the provost, as well as giving the students an opportunity to fill out an information form about themselves to be featured as their own personal page on the website.

Graduates from the Orlando and Patrick Air Force Base locations pose in the hallway of Orlando’s Bob Carr Theater.
(Photo submitted)

Students can scroll through locations and majors, find their page, then hear their name and degree read while traditional commencement music plays in the background, all from their computer.

“That’s when you get most of your gratification, to see those students find the intestinal fortitude to work through it and get to that day,” Williams says. “All the people who don’t care about their education, they’ll get weeded out. They’ll start figuring out that everyone here is taking this seriously. Those are the students I see walking across the stage at commencement, those who are serious and know what they want to do with their diploma.”

Every ceremony, right before the closing remarks, benediction and dismissal, an alumnus or alumna leads all the newest graduates in the “alumni charge.” It’s often a notable graduate from the location’s area, like Rhomello Saddiq, the 2015 San Diego graduate who gave this year’s charge at his home location. He thought he was done with school until he got to graduation day and director Diana Schriefer asked him, “What’s next?”

The answer, it turned out, was a master’s degree and a job with the Department of Homeland Security. Dr. Sarah Vordtriede-Patton, Columbia College’s dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics who gave the commencement address at the San Diego ceremony last year, says he led one of the most energetic “We are CC!” cheers she’s ever heard.

“I don’t think I’d have accomplished what I have today without all I’ve received at Columbia College through the years,” says Nichols, who has given the alumni charge at the Lake of the Ozarks, Rolla and Springfield locations. “It’s an emotional experience to see the look on their faces when they accomplish this. If I could do this full-time, at all the locations, I would be in heaven.”

First-Year Mentors lend a helping hand

Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in Featured Story, Students | 0 comments

First-Year Mentors lend a helping hand

Editor’s Note: This story was included in the latest edition of Affinity Magazine. Click here to check out the magazine in its entirety!

Freshman Hannah Ricketts is the oldest sibling in her family, so she’s the first to leave home for college.

Even though Columbia College’s main campus is just down Route B from her home in Hallsville, it’s still a different world. And, even though Ricketts’ mother, Shawn, graduated from Columbia College in 1992, things have changed a bit around campus since then.

Eight upperclassmen serve as First-Year Mentors for new Columbia College day students. From left: Kristin Tatters, Caroline Kelly, Reagan Patterson, Marina Heard, Stephanie Layton, Leah Hoveln, Chris Harris and Ethan Veit
(Photo submitted by Kim Coke)

So Hannah is happy to have her First-Year Mentor, senior chemistry major Leah Hoveln, to lean on.

“I already look up to her, and I just met her (at the beginning of fall semester),” Hannah says. “I have no idea how anything works. It’s really nice talking to her about simple things. It’s nice having an older sibling, I guess you could kind of say, who knows the ropes around here.”

Hoveln is one of eight upperclassmen who serve as First-Year Mentors for new Columbia College students. Each First-Year Mentor is responsible for co-facilitating at least one Introduction to Columbia College class — Hoveln and another mentor co-facilitate two — as well as arranging a half-hour meeting with each member of their new student cohort in the first weeks of the fall semester.

In the past, Community Consultants handled both the orientation events and the INCC classes. This year, for the first time, the group of student leaders split up into Orientation Leaders and First-Year Mentors.

Ricketts is one of 33 students that Hoveln has in her group.

“I love Columbia College, and I want everyone to have the best experience they can have while they’re here,” Hoveln says. “I think it’s really important students know there is someone you can always go to. There are always resources available on campus. I just wanted to be a part of that and help make their transition to college and, hopefully, their next three or four years here better than they would have been otherwise.”

Kim Coke, who served as director of new student programs in the Student Affairs office before recently transferring to Student Support Services as an advisor, says First-Year Mentors come from two main sources. Student leaders identify younger students in their groups who they think would make good mentors and recruit them. Freshmen and sophomores also approach Coke and ask for ways in which they can get involved.

Each student applies for a position and goes through an interview process to see where their skills would be best utilized. They also go through a preparatory course in the spring that primes them on topics such as peer advising, community building, active listening and handling crisis situations.

By the fall, they’re ready to be role models for the new students.

“Between the Orientation Leaders and the First-Year Mentors, they really set the climate on campus as far as how our culture is going to be. We definitely want it to be a caring culture,” Coke says. “I think they’re phenomenal. They put themselves out there quite a bit and really do great work.”

The new students get a built-in support structure as soon as they arrive on campus. The mentors, too, get to learn skills that will help them in their careers.

Hoveln says that her time in the First-Year Mentor program has given her valuable experience in contributing to a cohesive group of mentors, as well as taking a leadership role with the students she helps guide.

Coke hopes that all of the mentors are getting a multifaceted experience that they can build on for the rest of their lives.

“It’s all the non-tangibles of being in a position where you’re helping others, growing through that process, where you truly are role-modeling for other students on campus,” Coke says. “There is the part where they’re gaining skills that they can apply into their career, then there’s the other part that’s really about the relationships they build and the growth that comes from that.”

Hoveln took the LSAT in the fall and plans to go to law school to study patent law. Ricketts, a member of the Cougars track team, is a biology major on a pre-med track. She is interested in pediatrics, but says that could change in the future.

They’re developing a bond through the First-Year Mentor program, one that Ricketts hopes she can duplicate as an upperclassman in a couple of years.

“It’s just kind of cool because I was a senior mentor to the incoming freshmen (at Hallsville High School), so now it’s reverse roles,” Ricketts says. “I’m glad I have Leah as someone to talk to.”

San Luis Obispo CC 360 Spring Edition

Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in San Luis Obispo | 0 comments

San Luis Obispo CC 360 Spring Edition

‘You can quote me on that.’

theresa genova, director, san luis obispoAs the director of Columbia College-San Luis Obispo, I write a newsletter for each of the three semesters in the academic year. I hope you’ve been reading them. If you have, you know by now that I like finding inspiration from quirky or thought-provoking quotes. I like to apply these quotes to life and your educational experience. Students who have visited my office can see the framed quotes of the positively wise Vin Scully, retired Dodgers announcer of 67 years – words to live by. One of Vin’s famous quotes is, “Good is not good when better is expected.” I also have a small canvas with the saying: “Live with intention. Be bold in the face of adversity. Live the life you were destined for.” One can find other quotes posted in our student computer lab. I decided to display these quotes for all to see because I wanted to inspire students to achieve their educational goals and let them know that they can achieve so much more after degree completion.

As we begin the new year, 2018, most of us tend to make and try to keep our resolutions.  One of the Oxford Dictionary definitions of the word “resolution” is “a firm decision to do or not do something.” This brings me to a philosophical quote from Scottish author Samuel Smiles: “‘Where there is a will there is a way’ is an old true saying. He who resolves upon doing a thing, by that very resolution, often scales the barriers to it and secures its achievement. To think we are able, is almost to be so, to determine upon attainment.”

With the beginning of the new calendar year, if you resolve to accomplish something, you can certainly achieve it. What is the “it?” The “it” can be a positive action (to do) or a negative action (not do). For students, the positives are an example of stepping up your game. Examples of this would be the following: “I will work on raising my GPA.” “I will turn my homework in on time.” “I will register for classes early.” “I will finish my degree this year.” “I will attend and participate in the graduation ceremony.”

The negatives – which are actually positive in the end result – would be an action to not do something, like reversing a bad habit: “I will not procrastinate on my research papers!” “I will not buy my books at the last minute.”  “I will not let my reading and assignments slip past me.”

These are all resolutions that can help with student success. By applying Mr. Smiles’ quote, resolving to accomplish something and making a plan for the resolution set you up for the accomplishment of your goals. Don’t get stuck on autopilot. Dare to set new goals – goals that will carry you forward in your education as well as your life, which will move you to attainment.

If you need help in establishing your educational resolutions (goals) for the year, I would be happy to help. We can discuss which options are best for you.

Happy New Year! May you find the resolve to achieve your aspirations and goals in 2018.

We want to hear from you!

Click here to take a survey about what you’d like to see in the CC 360 digital newsletters.

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Credo Reference – A place to start your research

Are you writing a research paper but struggling with how to get started? Columbia College’s Stafford Library has a tool that can help.

Credo Reference offers more than three million reference entries from more than 800 titles in major academic subject areas to offer a great starting point for research. Credo’s collection contains resources such as:

  • Dictionaries
  • Thesauruses
  • Encyclopedias
  • Atlases
  • Images, audio files and videos
  • All with full citations

mind map screenshotMind Maps, interactive, visual tools for exploring related concepts, are available to help you learn about a topic. Your search term becomes the central concept in a map of related ideas to help you brainstorm. Check the image to the right for a look into how Mind Maps function.

Topic Pages give you a full-text article containing background information on a subject. A list of related topics, images, videos and other Credo articles are also available from the topic pages. For more information on how Topic Pages work, you can watch this video tutorial.

Students can access Credo Reference from Stafford Library’s list of databases. Simply click on this link and type in “Credo Reference” in the search bar to find the database. Enter your CougarTrack username and password when prompted if accessing the database from off campus.

And you can always contact Stafford Library by emailing library@ccis.edu or calling (573) 875-7381 or (800) 231-2391, ext. 7381.

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Top time management tips

By Maria Haynie for Ready.Aim.Hire.

time management graphicFinding the time you need to get through your to-do list, let alone your wish list, can seem impossible for working adults and students. Here are four time management tips from Columbia College managers to help you tame the calendar.

Build your team

Assuming that time management problems are yours alone to fix can be problematic. Taking the time to express your goals and your situation to others can help them understand how important your education is to you and how hard you are working to achieve your goals, said Debra Hartman, Region II and Crystal Lake location director.

“When others see, they are much more likely to make sacrifices on your behalf,” Hartman said.

Jean Simmons, Evening Campus and Region I director, agrees that sharing your struggles and successes is important to help you find support. “Get your family on board. If they feel like part of the solution, it makes life easier for you, and they will tend to be more supportive,” Simmons said.

Tools for you, tools for the team

Whether you prefer pen and paper for scheduling or type it all into your digital calendar, you need something to help you keep track of dates, block out hours of time and keep you aware of what’s coming up. But more importantly, your team needs to know, too. If you can communicate the big test you have coming up on Friday to your team, they will understand why you need extra time to prepare that week and can work out a plan. Because digital calendars such as Google Calendar are so easy for multiple people to share, they’re a great option for families.

“My husband and I share documents, calendars and message all day long so we stay on the same page about where to be and when and who’s picking up which kid from where,” said Brandi Herrman, instructor of business administration. “We also have Google Hangouts on our phones — making sure that it’s easy to contact each other and we have a record of it.”

Only balance the right things

It may be tempting to try to keep everything on the schedule and treat school as an add-on, but that will lead to “emotional and physical wear and tear,” said Mark Bowles, Student Support Services director.

Instead, consider a blank weekly schedule. Add in your most essential items, such as work hours, child care hours and most important appointments. As you add each item, consider the impact it will have on your day and if there are any ways to reduce the amount of time or effort it would take to accomplish that task.

Hartman encourages the use of carpools as one schedule-saver. Then schedule school time in, right with these essential activities, to show yourself and your team that it is a priority.

Before you try to squeeze in anything else, carve out space for a little self-care and family time. “When one steals from downtime to try to catch up somewhere else – that’s a cure that does more harm than the disease itself, which is the problem of not having enough time for other responsibilities,” Bowles said.

When you schedule in time for some fun with your family, “this gives everyone something to look forward to as they work through the responsibilities of their week,” said Becky Gordon-Bocklage, director of the Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship.

See the big picture

With any luck, after essential activities, school and a bit of downtime are on your calendar, there may be a few hours left. Decide what you will spend on social life, volunteer service, personal projects and other activities. If you don’t have as much time as you’d like to dedicate to those aspects of your life, be patient with yourself and remember that you won’t be in school forever.

“Do not hesitate to explain that you may need to take more than you give at this time,” Hartman said. “We all go through seasons in our life when that imbalance occurs and when you are able, when the degree is done, it can be your turn to give more than you get.”

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Tips for a smooth tax season

By Department of Student Success and Money Stacks

taxes, tax form

It’s never too early to start thinking about preparing your taxes. And, with tax day a little more than three months away, the time will be upon you before you know it.

With that in mind, Rachel Smith, Project & Student Services Specialist for Columbia College’s Department of Student Success and Money Stacks, has some advice on what you need to stay prepared.

Consult a checklist

Articles such as this one on NerdWallet.com run down all the things people need to have handy in order to fill out their taxes. A checklist can help you keep track of what you need to know about your personal data, yearly income and possible deductions and credits for your paperwork.

Detailed rundowns like this can also help alert you to deductions and credits that you may not have known about, such as claiming a deduction for tuition and fees for your schooling and applying for American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits that benefit college students.

Have last year’s tax documents available

This is especially handy, according to Smith, when you’re receiving a number of tax documents from different sources.

“I personally find it helpful to pull out my tax documents from the prior year so I can remember what forms to expect in the mail or what I might need to log in and print out,” Smith says. “Sometimes just reading a list of documents isn’t enough to spark my memory. I need to see the form from the organization from the prior year to really remember what I’m waiting on.”

Check into IRS resources

If you’re planning on preparing your own taxes, seek out software that could help you along the way. The IRS has a Free File site that includes a list of free software tools for applicants who meet certain criteria.

Understand your withholdings

Have you ever gotten a bit of an unwelcome shock when your taxes come back and you see what you owe? Want to do something about it?

The IRS has a site that can help you understand how to fill out your W-4 form and the withholding options for which you could be eligible.

If you need any more guidance about preparing for tax season, the Columbia College Department of Student Success and Money Stacks is here to help. You can contact the Department of Student Success and Money Stacks at (573) 875-7860 or studentsuccess@ccis.edu.

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Asking the right interview questions

By Grossnickle Career Services Center

interview, handshakeYou’ve made it. You secured an in-person interview for a job, presented your qualifications and strengths in an enticing manner and answered all of the questions the interviewer had for you.

All except one, the one they usually save for last: “So, do you have any questions for me?”

The staff at Columbia College’s Grossnickle Career Services Center gets this all the time: people who come to them seeking advice on how to respond when asked if they have any questions for the interviewer.

“It’s critical that you ask questions during an interview,” director of Career Services Dan Gomez-Palacio says. “If you don’t, the subtext might be that you just want the conversation to be over ASAP and that you really aren’t curious about the position.”

But you shouldn’t just ask any question that comes to your mind. You should prepare with questions beforehand, much as you’ve prepared answers to the questions your interviewer might pose of you.

Articles such as this one from Forbes.com offer helpful advice on the right and wrong types of questions to bring to a job interview.

If it’s a first interview, “anything that smells even a little bit like it’s self-serving,” in Forbes’ words, should not enter the equation. It’s too early to start asking about salary, vacation time, work schedule and other logistical questions.

Instead, focus on questions that delve more into the opportunity the job presents, as well as the work environment at your prospective place of employment.

Gomez-Palacio suggests questions such as:

  • Can you tell me what you enjoy about working here? What do you appreciate the most about working here and if you could change one thing about your company, what would that be?
  • What attributes make the ideal candidate for this position?
  • What do your clients say about your company?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges the organization will face in the next six months?

These questions could serve as an opportunity to further align yourself with the employer, as well as opening the door to more information into the company’s culture and the expectations placed on the position. Alternately, they show a deeper level of thinking, consideration and interest in the job that is attractive to interviewers.

So don’t fret about that dreaded “any more questions?” portion of the interview. Prepare yourself and seize the moment!

If you’re in need of advice, you can also reach out to the Grossnickle Career Services Center at (573) 875-7425 or email careerservices@ccis.edu.

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St. Louis CC 360 Spring Edition

Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in St. Louis | 0 comments

St. Louis CC 360 Spring Edition

You know our location has a scholarship, don’t you?

By Erika Thomas, director, Columbia College-St. Louis

erika thomas, director, st louisI’m always excited to explain the value of a Columbia College education to prospective and current students at Columbia College-St. Louis. Whether for career advancement, personal goals, family obligations, degree completion or lifelong learning enjoyment, I appreciate the opportunity to define the college’s mission and match it with students’ goals.

Columbia College conducts an academic schedule for the busy adult student, with six eight-week sessions offered online and in seat. We have faculty who are first-rate in their academic fields and who are committed to your success. The staff on location operates professionally, efficiently and with great customer service skills to assist with meeting your degree requirements.

While tuition and fees are a concern for any college student, Columbia College’s tuition is lower than you may expect, yet we also provide myriad avenues for covering tuition. There are military and corporate tuition assistance payment plans, veteran education benefits and a broad spectrum of financial aid resources. Should you wish to consider financial aid — grants, loans, institutional scholarships, external scholarships, etc. — I strongly encourage everyone to visit the Columbia College Office of Financial Aid homepage, as well as the Columbia College Scholarship Finder.

Speaking of Columbia College scholarships, don’t forget about the Dr. Charles W. Kullmann Campus Scholarship for our local students. It’s a $1,000 award for full-time students that can be used toward educational costs. This scholarship is established through the annual gifts from alumni, friends, staff and adjunct faculty. Because Dr. Kullmann is a strong believer in public service, it is befitting that a scholarship in his honor be volunteer-based.

At any time, please see me or the staff of Columbia College-St. Louis for academic advising or ways we can assist in improving your educational goals. We are here to serve you, the students!

We want to hear from you!

Click here to take a survey about what you’d like to see in the CC 360 digital newsletters.

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Credo Reference – A place to start your research

Are you writing a research paper but struggling with how to get started? Columbia College’s Stafford Library has a tool that can help.

Credo Reference offers more than three million reference entries from more than 800 titles in major academic subject areas to offer a great starting point for research. Credo’s collection contains resources such as:

  • Dictionaries
  • Thesauruses
  • Encyclopedias
  • Atlases
  • Images, audio files and videos
  • All with full citations

mind map screenshotMind Maps, interactive, visual tools for exploring related concepts, are available to help you learn about a topic. Your search term becomes the central concept in a map of related ideas to help you brainstorm. Check the image to the right for a look into how Mind Maps function.

Topic Pages give you a full-text article containing background information on a subject. A list of related topics, images, videos and other Credo articles are also available from the topic pages. For more information on how Topic Pages work, you can watch this video tutorial.

Students can access Credo Reference from Stafford Library’s list of databases. Simply click on this link and type in “Credo Reference” in the search bar to find the database. Enter your CougarTrack username and password when prompted if accessing the database from off campus.

And you can always contact Stafford Library by emailing library@ccis.edu or calling (573) 875-7381 or (800) 231-2391, ext. 7381.

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Top time management tips

By Maria Haynie for Ready.Aim.Hire.

time management graphicFinding the time you need to get through your to-do list, let alone your wish list, can seem impossible for working adults and students. Here are four time management tips from Columbia College managers to help you tame the calendar.

Build your team

Assuming that time management problems are yours alone to fix can be problematic. Taking the time to express your goals and your situation to others can help them understand how important your education is to you and how hard you are working to achieve your goals, said Debra Hartman, Region II and Crystal Lake location director.

“When others see, they are much more likely to make sacrifices on your behalf,” Hartman said.

Jean Simmons, Evening Campus and Region I director, agrees that sharing your struggles and successes is important to help you find support. “Get your family on board. If they feel like part of the solution, it makes life easier for you, and they will tend to be more supportive,” Simmons said.

Tools for you, tools for the team

Whether you prefer pen and paper for scheduling or type it all into your digital calendar, you need something to help you keep track of dates, block out hours of time and keep you aware of what’s coming up. But more importantly, your team needs to know, too. If you can communicate the big test you have coming up on Friday to your team, they will understand why you need extra time to prepare that week and can work out a plan. Because digital calendars such as Google Calendar are so easy for multiple people to share, they’re a great option for families.

“My husband and I share documents, calendars and message all day long so we stay on the same page about where to be and when and who’s picking up which kid from where,” said Brandi Herrman, instructor of business administration. “We also have Google Hangouts on our phones — making sure that it’s easy to contact each other and we have a record of it.”

Only balance the right things

It may be tempting to try to keep everything on the schedule and treat school as an add-on, but that will lead to “emotional and physical wear and tear,” said Mark Bowles, Student Support Services director.

Instead, consider a blank weekly schedule. Add in your most essential items, such as work hours, child care hours and most important appointments. As you add each item, consider the impact it will have on your day and if there are any ways to reduce the amount of time or effort it would take to accomplish that task.

Hartman encourages the use of carpools as one schedule-saver. Then schedule school time in, right with these essential activities, to show yourself and your team that it is a priority.

Before you try to squeeze in anything else, carve out space for a little self-care and family time. “When one steals from downtime to try to catch up somewhere else – that’s a cure that does more harm than the disease itself, which is the problem of not having enough time for other responsibilities,” Bowles said.

When you schedule in time for some fun with your family, “this gives everyone something to look forward to as they work through the responsibilities of their week,” said Becky Gordon-Bocklage, director of the Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship.

See the big picture

With any luck, after essential activities, school and a bit of downtime are on your calendar, there may be a few hours left. Decide what you will spend on social life, volunteer service, personal projects and other activities. If you don’t have as much time as you’d like to dedicate to those aspects of your life, be patient with yourself and remember that you won’t be in school forever.

“Do not hesitate to explain that you may need to take more than you give at this time,” Hartman said. “We all go through seasons in our life when that imbalance occurs and when you are able, when the degree is done, it can be your turn to give more than you get.”

Back to top

 

Tips for a smooth tax season

By Department of Student Success and Money Stacks

taxes, tax form

It’s never too early to start thinking about preparing your taxes. And, with tax day a little more than three months away, the time will be upon you before you know it.

With that in mind, Rachel Smith, Project & Student Services Specialist for Columbia College’s Department of Student Success and Money Stacks, has some advice on what you need to stay prepared.

Consult a checklist

Articles such as this one on NerdWallet.com run down all the things people need to have handy in order to fill out their taxes. A checklist can help you keep track of what you need to know about your personal data, yearly income and possible deductions and credits for your paperwork.

Detailed rundowns like this can also help alert you to deductions and credits that you may not have known about, such as claiming a deduction for tuition and fees for your schooling and applying for American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits that benefit college students.

Have last year’s tax documents available

This is especially handy, according to Smith, when you’re receiving a number of tax documents from different sources.

“I personally find it helpful to pull out my tax documents from the prior year so I can remember what forms to expect in the mail or what I might need to log in and print out,” Smith says. “Sometimes just reading a list of documents isn’t enough to spark my memory. I need to see the form from the organization from the prior year to really remember what I’m waiting on.”

Check into IRS resources

If you’re planning on preparing your own taxes, seek out software that could help you along the way. The IRS has a Free File site that includes a list of free software tools for applicants who meet certain criteria.

Understand your withholdings

Have you ever gotten a bit of an unwelcome shock when your taxes come back and you see what you owe? Want to do something about it?

The IRS has a site that can help you understand how to fill out your W-4 form and the withholding options for which you could be eligible.

If you need any more guidance about preparing for tax season, the Columbia College Department of Student Success and Money Stacks is here to help. You can contact the Department of Student Success and Money Stacks at (573) 875-7860 or studentsuccess@ccis.edu.

Back to top

 

Asking the right interview questions

By Grossnickle Career Services Center

interview, handshakeYou’ve made it. You secured an in-person interview for a job, presented your qualifications and strengths in an enticing manner and answered all of the questions the interviewer had for you.

All except one, the one they usually save for last: “So, do you have any questions for me?”

The staff at Columbia College’s Grossnickle Career Services Center gets this all the time: people who come to them seeking advice on how to respond when asked if they have any questions for the interviewer.

“It’s critical that you ask questions during an interview,” director of Career Services Dan Gomez-Palacio says. “If you don’t, the subtext might be that you just want the conversation to be over ASAP and that you really aren’t curious about the position.”

But you shouldn’t just ask any question that comes to your mind. You should prepare with questions beforehand, much as you’ve prepared answers to the questions your interviewer might pose of you.

Articles such as this one from Forbes.com offer helpful advice on the right and wrong types of questions to bring to a job interview.

If it’s a first interview, “anything that smells even a little bit like it’s self-serving,” in Forbes’ words, should not enter the equation. It’s too early to start asking about salary, vacation time, work schedule and other logistical questions.

Instead, focus on questions that delve more into the opportunity the job presents, as well as the work environment at your prospective place of employment.

Gomez-Palacio suggests questions such as:

  • Can you tell me what you enjoy about working here? What do you appreciate the most about working here and if you could change one thing about your company, what would that be?
  • What attributes make the ideal candidate for this position?
  • What do your clients say about your company?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges the organization will face in the next six months?

These questions could serve as an opportunity to further align yourself with the employer, as well as opening the door to more information into the company’s culture and the expectations placed on the position. Alternately, they show a deeper level of thinking, consideration and interest in the job that is attractive to interviewers.

So don’t fret about that dreaded “any more questions?” portion of the interview. Prepare yourself and seize the moment!

If you’re in need of advice, you can also reach out to the Grossnickle Career Services Center at (573) 875-7425 or email careerservices@ccis.edu.

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Springfield CC 360 Spring Edition

Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in Springfield | 0 comments

Springfield CC 360 Spring Edition

Pump you up!

By Kathy Gress, director, Columbia College-Springfield

scooter cougar bench press

Columbia College mascot Scooter the Cougar is taking our advice and pumping himself up. Will you join him?

At Columbia College-Springfield, we are here to PUMP YOU UP!

Maybe you are not even sure why you’re here … studying, attending classes, coming up with clever excuses as to why you can’t attend class, scrolling through Facebook during lecture time, checking the football scores (#gochiefs). But that’s OK, because we have your back! We are going to make sure you remember why you began the journey of obtaining a college degree. We are your coaches, and we are here to PUMP (clap) YOU UP!

How are we going to do that, you ask? What is the workout plan? Well, let’s start with five simple tips:

STAY THE COURSE – Many of you have children, and you understand with that comes responsibility to raise contributing members of society, right? So when your kids want to give up, what do you tell them? FOCUS on the endgame! Months or years from now, you will be so happy you did! #powerthrough

PRIORITIZE the big stuff – What is important today? This hour? This class? If you look at every single thing you need to accomplish, you may well curl into a fetal position and start crying. Instead chunk your time in manageable increments. You have hours left before finals: concentrate on that term paper today. #chunkingmytime

Focus on LEARNING, not just making the grade – Many times I hear students say, “If I can’t make an ‘A,’ I will withdraw from the class.” Ok … here’s where I may lose you if I haven’t yet: College.is.not.about.the.grades. Are grades important? Yes, to a certain point, but what’s more important? KNOWLEDGE! When you prioritize learning, the grades will take care of themselves! #beagenius

ASK for help if you need it — whether that help comes from another student or your instructor. Both are great resources, and you should never be afraid to ask for some help. And, on the opposite side of that, never be afraid to offer help to one of your classmates! You never know if your help will be what pushes them to complete the course. #ittakesavillage

GIVE what you hope to GET – Whether you take classes online or in seat, attendance is important, doing the work is important, and being present both in mind and body are important. A favorite quote of mine is, “When you feel like you can’t go any further, just know the strength that carried you this far will take you the rest of the way.” #nevergonnagiveyouup #nevergonnaletyoudown

So did we PUMP YOU UP? No? Well then hear us now and listen to us later. When these tips just aren’t doing it for you, when life seems to be beating you back from your goals, come in to the office and let us (the amazing staff) remind you that sometimes you have to fall down seven times and stand up eight before you see the results of your work out! #dontbeaflabbystudent #beaferociouscougar

We want to hear from you!

Click here to take a survey about what you’d like to see in the CC 360 digital newsletters.

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Credo Reference – A place to start your research

Are you writing a research paper but struggling with how to get started? Columbia College’s Stafford Library has a tool that can help.

Credo Reference offers more than three million reference entries from more than 800 titles in major academic subject areas to offer a great starting point for research. Credo’s collection contains resources such as:

  • Dictionaries
  • Thesauruses
  • Encyclopedias
  • Atlases
  • Images, audio files and videos
  • All with full citations

mind map screenshotMind Maps, interactive, visual tools for exploring related concepts, are available to help you learn about a topic. Your search term becomes the central concept in a map of related ideas to help you brainstorm. Check the image to the right for a look into how Mind Maps function.

Topic Pages give you a full-text article containing background information on a subject. A list of related topics, images, videos and other Credo articles are also available from the topic pages. For more information on how Topic Pages work, you can watch this video tutorial.

Students can access Credo Reference from Stafford Library’s list of databases. Simply click on this link and type in “Credo Reference” in the search bar to find the database. Enter your CougarTrack username and password when prompted if accessing the database from off campus.

And you can always contact Stafford Library by emailing library@ccis.edu or calling (573) 875-7381 or (800) 231-2391, ext. 7381.

Back to top

 

Top time management tips

By Maria Haynie for Ready.Aim.Hire.

time management graphicFinding the time you need to get through your to-do list, let alone your wish list, can seem impossible for working adults and students. Here are four time management tips from Columbia College managers to help you tame the calendar.

Build your team

Assuming that time management problems are yours alone to fix can be problematic. Taking the time to express your goals and your situation to others can help them understand how important your education is to you and how hard you are working to achieve your goals, said Debra Hartman, Region II and Crystal Lake location director.

“When others see, they are much more likely to make sacrifices on your behalf,” Hartman said.

Jean Simmons, Evening Campus and Region I director, agrees that sharing your struggles and successes is important to help you find support. “Get your family on board. If they feel like part of the solution, it makes life easier for you, and they will tend to be more supportive,” Simmons said.

Tools for you, tools for the team

Whether you prefer pen and paper for scheduling or type it all into your digital calendar, you need something to help you keep track of dates, block out hours of time and keep you aware of what’s coming up. But more importantly, your team needs to know, too. If you can communicate the big test you have coming up on Friday to your team, they will understand why you need extra time to prepare that week and can work out a plan. Because digital calendars such as Google Calendar are so easy for multiple people to share, they’re a great option for families.

“My husband and I share documents, calendars and message all day long so we stay on the same page about where to be and when and who’s picking up which kid from where,” said Brandi Herrman, instructor of business administration. “We also have Google Hangouts on our phones — making sure that it’s easy to contact each other and we have a record of it.”

Only balance the right things

It may be tempting to try to keep everything on the schedule and treat school as an add-on, but that will lead to “emotional and physical wear and tear,” said Mark Bowles, Student Support Services director.

Instead, consider a blank weekly schedule. Add in your most essential items, such as work hours, child care hours and most important appointments. As you add each item, consider the impact it will have on your day and if there are any ways to reduce the amount of time or effort it would take to accomplish that task.

Hartman encourages the use of carpools as one schedule-saver. Then schedule school time in, right with these essential activities, to show yourself and your team that it is a priority.

Before you try to squeeze in anything else, carve out space for a little self-care and family time. “When one steals from downtime to try to catch up somewhere else – that’s a cure that does more harm than the disease itself, which is the problem of not having enough time for other responsibilities,” Bowles said.

When you schedule in time for some fun with your family, “this gives everyone something to look forward to as they work through the responsibilities of their week,” said Becky Gordon-Bocklage, director of the Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship.

See the big picture

With any luck, after essential activities, school and a bit of downtime are on your calendar, there may be a few hours left. Decide what you will spend on social life, volunteer service, personal projects and other activities. If you don’t have as much time as you’d like to dedicate to those aspects of your life, be patient with yourself and remember that you won’t be in school forever.

“Do not hesitate to explain that you may need to take more than you give at this time,” Hartman said. “We all go through seasons in our life when that imbalance occurs and when you are able, when the degree is done, it can be your turn to give more than you get.”

Back to top

 

Tips for a smooth tax season

By Department of Student Success and Money Stacks

taxes, tax form

It’s never too early to start thinking about preparing your taxes. And, with tax day a little more than three months away, the time will be upon you before you know it.

With that in mind, Rachel Smith, Project & Student Services Specialist for Columbia College’s Department of Student Success and Money Stacks, has some advice on what you need to stay prepared.

Consult a checklist

Articles such as this one on NerdWallet.com run down all the things people need to have handy in order to fill out their taxes. A checklist can help you keep track of what you need to know about your personal data, yearly income and possible deductions and credits for your paperwork.

Detailed rundowns like this can also help alert you to deductions and credits that you may not have known about, such as claiming a deduction for tuition and fees for your schooling and applying for American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits that benefit college students.

Have last year’s tax documents available

This is especially handy, according to Smith, when you’re receiving a number of tax documents from different sources.

“I personally find it helpful to pull out my tax documents from the prior year so I can remember what forms to expect in the mail or what I might need to log in and print out,” Smith says. “Sometimes just reading a list of documents isn’t enough to spark my memory. I need to see the form from the organization from the prior year to really remember what I’m waiting on.”

Check into IRS resources

If you’re planning on preparing your own taxes, seek out software that could help you along the way. The IRS has a Free File site that includes a list of free software tools for applicants who meet certain criteria.

Understand your withholdings

Have you ever gotten a bit of an unwelcome shock when your taxes come back and you see what you owe? Want to do something about it?

The IRS has a site that can help you understand how to fill out your W-4 form and the withholding options for which you could be eligible.

If you need any more guidance about preparing for tax season, the Columbia College Department of Student Success and Money Stacks is here to help. You can contact the Department of Student Success and Money Stacks at (573) 875-7860 or studentsuccess@ccis.edu.

Back to top

 

Asking the right interview questions

By Grossnickle Career Services Center

interview, handshakeYou’ve made it. You secured an in-person interview for a job, presented your qualifications and strengths in an enticing manner and answered all of the questions the interviewer had for you.

All except one, the one they usually save for last: “So, do you have any questions for me?”

The staff at Columbia College’s Grossnickle Career Services Center gets this all the time: people who come to them seeking advice on how to respond when asked if they have any questions for the interviewer.

“It’s critical that you ask questions during an interview,” director of Career Services Dan Gomez-Palacio says. “If you don’t, the subtext might be that you just want the conversation to be over ASAP and that you really aren’t curious about the position.”

But you shouldn’t just ask any question that comes to your mind. You should prepare with questions beforehand, much as you’ve prepared answers to the questions your interviewer might pose of you.

Articles such as this one from Forbes.com offer helpful advice on the right and wrong types of questions to bring to a job interview.

If it’s a first interview, “anything that smells even a little bit like it’s self-serving,” in Forbes’ words, should not enter the equation. It’s too early to start asking about salary, vacation time, work schedule and other logistical questions.

Instead, focus on questions that delve more into the opportunity the job presents, as well as the work environment at your prospective place of employment.

Gomez-Palacio suggests questions such as:

  • Can you tell me what you enjoy about working here? What do you appreciate the most about working here and if you could change one thing about your company, what would that be?
  • What attributes make the ideal candidate for this position?
  • What do your clients say about your company?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges the organization will face in the next six months?

These questions could serve as an opportunity to further align yourself with the employer, as well as opening the door to more information into the company’s culture and the expectations placed on the position. Alternately, they show a deeper level of thinking, consideration and interest in the job that is attractive to interviewers.

So don’t fret about that dreaded “any more questions?” portion of the interview. Prepare yourself and seize the moment!

If you’re in need of advice, you can also reach out to the Grossnickle Career Services Center at (573) 875-7425 or email careerservices@ccis.edu.

Back to top

San Diego CC 360 Spring Edition

Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in San Diego | 0 comments

San Diego CC 360 Spring Edition

Winter is here…

By Diana Schriefer, director, Columbia College-San Diego

diana schriefer, director, san diegoWe hope you had a happy holiday season, and Happy New Year 2018! Winter is here. Winter in San Diego brings about cooler weather and cool evenings around a fire pit enjoying hot cocoa or apple cider. It is not 75 degrees outside anymore; it’s a brisk 50 degrees (brrr), definitely coat weather in San Diego. It is also a time when San Diegans wake up to fog hiding the sun and palm trees. The sun sets earlier than it did a few months ago, and tourists from colder climates are usually the only people in shorts and T-shirts on the beach. California surfers enjoy the big winter swells that come their way.

So, what significance does any of this have on your status as a Columbia College-San Diego student? As a student of Columbia College-San Diego, our staff wants to make sure you don’t let the foggy sunless mornings stop you from finding the “palm trees of education.” So set your goal of obtaining your college degree. Stay focused, put on the “coat of learning” and keep warm, ready to soak it all in. Like the tourists, enjoy a change of pace and find a study buddy or create a study group: change your learning environment. Challenge yourself to take on the big “winter swells of education.” That may mean taking a required course you have been putting off. Get on that “surfboard of education” and ride that course all the way onto shore. You’ll be glad you did!

Don’t be like the California bear and hibernate this winter. Come out to our San Diego locations, make an appointment or just walk in. Our student support assistant and academic advisors are prepared to map out your educational plan and guide you through the foggy, chilly days of winter. Stay warm, my friends.

To keep up with all of the Columbia College-San Diego events, like us on Facebook.

We want to hear from you!

Click here to take a survey about what you’d like to see in the CC 360 digital newsletters.

Back to top

 

Credo Reference – A place to start your research

Are you writing a research paper but struggling with how to get started? Columbia College’s Stafford Library has a tool that can help.

Credo Reference offers more than three million reference entries from more than 800 titles in major academic subject areas to offer a great starting point for research. Credo’s collection contains resources such as:

  • Dictionaries
  • Thesauruses
  • Encyclopedias
  • Atlases
  • Images, audio files and videos
  • All with full citations

mind map screenshotMind Maps, interactive, visual tools for exploring related concepts, are available to help you learn about a topic. Your search term becomes the central concept in a map of related ideas to help you brainstorm. Check the image to the right for a look into how Mind Maps function.

Topic Pages give you a full-text article containing background information on a subject. A list of related topics, images, videos and other Credo articles are also available from the topic pages. For more information on how Topic Pages work, you can watch this video tutorial.

Students can access Credo Reference from Stafford Library’s list of databases. Simply click on this link and type in “Credo Reference” in the search bar to find the database. Enter your CougarTrack username and password when prompted if accessing the database from off campus.

And you can always contact Stafford Library by emailing library@ccis.edu or calling (573) 875-7381 or (800) 231-2391, ext. 7381.

Back to top

 

Top time management tips

By Maria Haynie for Ready.Aim.Hire.

time management graphicFinding the time you need to get through your to-do list, let alone your wish list, can seem impossible for working adults and students. Here are four time management tips from Columbia College managers to help you tame the calendar.

Build your team

Assuming that time management problems are yours alone to fix can be problematic. Taking the time to express your goals and your situation to others can help them understand how important your education is to you and how hard you are working to achieve your goals, said Debra Hartman, Region II and Crystal Lake location director.

“When others see, they are much more likely to make sacrifices on your behalf,” Hartman said.

Jean Simmons, Evening Campus and Region I director, agrees that sharing your struggles and successes is important to help you find support. “Get your family on board. If they feel like part of the solution, it makes life easier for you, and they will tend to be more supportive,” Simmons said.

Tools for you, tools for the team

Whether you prefer pen and paper for scheduling or type it all into your digital calendar, you need something to help you keep track of dates, block out hours of time and keep you aware of what’s coming up. But more importantly, your team needs to know, too. If you can communicate the big test you have coming up on Friday to your team, they will understand why you need extra time to prepare that week and can work out a plan. Because digital calendars such as Google Calendar are so easy for multiple people to share, they’re a great option for families.

“My husband and I share documents, calendars and message all day long so we stay on the same page about where to be and when and who’s picking up which kid from where,” said Brandi Herrman, instructor of business administration. “We also have Google Hangouts on our phones — making sure that it’s easy to contact each other and we have a record of it.”

Only balance the right things

It may be tempting to try to keep everything on the schedule and treat school as an add-on, but that will lead to “emotional and physical wear and tear,” said Mark Bowles, Student Support Services director.

Instead, consider a blank weekly schedule. Add in your most essential items, such as work hours, child care hours and most important appointments. As you add each item, consider the impact it will have on your day and if there are any ways to reduce the amount of time or effort it would take to accomplish that task.

Hartman encourages the use of carpools as one schedule-saver. Then schedule school time in, right with these essential activities, to show yourself and your team that it is a priority.

Before you try to squeeze in anything else, carve out space for a little self-care and family time. “When one steals from downtime to try to catch up somewhere else – that’s a cure that does more harm than the disease itself, which is the problem of not having enough time for other responsibilities,” Bowles said.

When you schedule in time for some fun with your family, “this gives everyone something to look forward to as they work through the responsibilities of their week,” said Becky Gordon-Bocklage, director of the Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship.

See the big picture

With any luck, after essential activities, school and a bit of downtime are on your calendar, there may be a few hours left. Decide what you will spend on social life, volunteer service, personal projects and other activities. If you don’t have as much time as you’d like to dedicate to those aspects of your life, be patient with yourself and remember that you won’t be in school forever.

“Do not hesitate to explain that you may need to take more than you give at this time,” Hartman said. “We all go through seasons in our life when that imbalance occurs and when you are able, when the degree is done, it can be your turn to give more than you get.”

Back to top

 

Tips for a smooth tax season

By Department of Student Success and Money Stacks

taxes, tax form

It’s never too early to start thinking about preparing your taxes. And, with tax day a little more than three months away, the time will be upon you before you know it.

With that in mind, Rachel Smith, Project & Student Services Specialist for Columbia College’s Department of Student Success and Money Stacks, has some advice on what you need to stay prepared.

Consult a checklist

Articles such as this one on NerdWallet.com run down all the things people need to have handy in order to fill out their taxes. A checklist can help you keep track of what you need to know about your personal data, yearly income and possible deductions and credits for your paperwork.

Detailed rundowns like this can also help alert you to deductions and credits that you may not have known about, such as claiming a deduction for tuition and fees for your schooling and applying for American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits that benefit college students.

Have last year’s tax documents available

This is especially handy, according to Smith, when you’re receiving a number of tax documents from different sources.

“I personally find it helpful to pull out my tax documents from the prior year so I can remember what forms to expect in the mail or what I might need to log in and print out,” Smith says. “Sometimes just reading a list of documents isn’t enough to spark my memory. I need to see the form from the organization from the prior year to really remember what I’m waiting on.”

Check into IRS resources

If you’re planning on preparing your own taxes, seek out software that could help you along the way. The IRS has a Free File site that includes a list of free software tools for applicants who meet certain criteria.

Understand your withholdings

Have you ever gotten a bit of an unwelcome shock when your taxes come back and you see what you owe? Want to do something about it?

The IRS has a site that can help you understand how to fill out your W-4 form and the withholding options for which you could be eligible.

If you need any more guidance about preparing for tax season, the Columbia College Department of Student Success and Money Stacks is here to help. You can contact the Department of Student Success and Money Stacks at (573) 875-7860 or studentsuccess@ccis.edu.

Back to top

 

Asking the right interview questions

By Grossnickle Career Services Center

interview, handshakeYou’ve made it. You secured an in-person interview for a job, presented your qualifications and strengths in an enticing manner and answered all of the questions the interviewer had for you.

All except one, the one they usually save for last: “So, do you have any questions for me?”

The staff at Columbia College’s Grossnickle Career Services Center gets this all the time: people who come to them seeking advice on how to respond when asked if they have any questions for the interviewer.

“It’s critical that you ask questions during an interview,” director of Career Services Dan Gomez-Palacio says. “If you don’t, the subtext might be that you just want the conversation to be over ASAP and that you really aren’t curious about the position.”

But you shouldn’t just ask any question that comes to your mind. You should prepare with questions beforehand, much as you’ve prepared answers to the questions your interviewer might pose of you.

Articles such as this one from Forbes.com offer helpful advice on the right and wrong types of questions to bring to a job interview.

If it’s a first interview, “anything that smells even a little bit like it’s self-serving,” in Forbes’ words, should not enter the equation. It’s too early to start asking about salary, vacation time, work schedule and other logistical questions.

Instead, focus on questions that delve more into the opportunity the job presents, as well as the work environment at your prospective place of employment.

Gomez-Palacio suggests questions such as:

  • Can you tell me what you enjoy about working here? What do you appreciate the most about working here and if you could change one thing about your company, what would that be?
  • What attributes make the ideal candidate for this position?
  • What do your clients say about your company?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges the organization will face in the next six months?

These questions could serve as an opportunity to further align yourself with the employer, as well as opening the door to more information into the company’s culture and the expectations placed on the position. Alternately, they show a deeper level of thinking, consideration and interest in the job that is attractive to interviewers.

So don’t fret about that dreaded “any more questions?” portion of the interview. Prepare yourself and seize the moment!

If you’re in need of advice, you can also reach out to the Grossnickle Career Services Center at (573) 875-7425 or email careerservices@ccis.edu.

Back to top

Salt Lake CC 360 Spring Edition

Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in Salt Lake | 0 comments

Salt Lake CC 360 Spring Edition

Simplifying your educational goals

By David Stoddard, director, Columbia College-Salt Lake

We are a few days past the holidays and into a new year. We just began a new session here at Columbia College-Salt Lake. There is fresh powder in the mountains, the air is crisp, and we have new goals to accomplish. Many of us set New Year’s resolutions just a few weeks ago. Some of us put a lot of thought into it while others carried over the goals we did not accomplish last year. If you struggle keeping your New Year’s resolutions, you are not alone. Business Insider reports that 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions are failed by February.

If you are struggling to keep your resolutions already, or maybe didn’t even set any goals for 2018, I’m with you. Every year I tell myself, “This is your year. You are going to lose the weight.” Well, every year comes and goes and I still struggle with my weight. That is the one goal that stares me in the face and knows it has me beat. Some of you may feel the same way about your educational goals. Sometimes the task (losing weight or getting done with your degree) can be too big.

Educational goals are important. Whether you are already taking classes or thinking about getting back into school, Columbia College-Salt Lake can and wants to help. I know that each of you is capable of accomplishing the things that you set your mind to and then follow up with the dedication and work that is required to achieve what you set out to do. One thing that I have learned in goal-setting is that if we are going to accomplish the things we have never before accomplished, we must do things that we have never before done. That means we must get out of our comfort zones and go to work. In a simple google search of “how to accomplish goals,” there are 7,430,000 results. After looking at a few of them, it seems that most goals can be accomplished by following the same few principles:

  • Make your goal visible – post your goal where you can see it every day. I know people who write it and tape it to the bathroom mirror.
  • Tell others about your goal – when others know about your goal, they can help keep you on track.
  • Divide your goal into smaller, simpler goals – don’t get too overwhelmed with such a large goal. Maybe your goal of completing your degree is best managed by tackling one session at a time.
  • Set a date of achievement – due dates are important. It keeps us on track. That’s why your instructors use them for your assignments.
  • Be realistic – I am probably not going to lose 100 pounds this year. Maybe 25 is a more realistic approach.
  • Commit to yourself – you determine the outcome.

Here at Columbia College-Salt Lake, we want you to achieve your goals. As a school, we are designed for those that work hard and want the education, also. We do evening and online classes with you in mind. We have an accelerated format that will help you get done sooner. We even keep our cost low so that you are not overwhelmed with the financial burden that often comes with educational pursuits.

We are focused on you. Let us be a part of your goals.

We want to hear from you!

Click here to take a survey about what you’d like to see in the CC 360 digital newsletters.

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Credo Reference – A place to start your research

Are you writing a research paper but struggling with how to get started? Columbia College’s Stafford Library has a tool that can help.

Credo Reference offers more than three million reference entries from more than 800 titles in major academic subject areas to offer a great starting point for research. Credo’s collection contains resources such as:

  • Dictionaries
  • Thesauruses
  • Encyclopedias
  • Atlases
  • Images, audio files and videos
  • All with full citations

mind map screenshotMind Maps, interactive, visual tools for exploring related concepts, are available to help you learn about a topic. Your search term becomes the central concept in a map of related ideas to help you brainstorm. Check the image to the right for a look into how Mind Maps function.

Topic Pages give you a full-text article containing background information on a subject. A list of related topics, images, videos and other Credo articles are also available from the topic pages. For more information on how Topic Pages work, you can watch this video tutorial.

Students can access Credo Reference from Stafford Library’s list of databases. Simply click on this link and type in “Credo Reference” in the search bar to find the database. Enter your CougarTrack username and password when prompted if accessing the database from off campus.

And you can always contact Stafford Library by emailing library@ccis.edu or calling (573) 875-7381 or (800) 231-2391, ext. 7381.

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Top time management tips

By Maria Haynie for Ready.Aim.Hire.

time management graphicFinding the time you need to get through your to-do list, let alone your wish list, can seem impossible for working adults and students. Here are four time management tips from Columbia College managers to help you tame the calendar.

Build your team

Assuming that time management problems are yours alone to fix can be problematic. Taking the time to express your goals and your situation to others can help them understand how important your education is to you and how hard you are working to achieve your goals, said Debra Hartman, Region II and Crystal Lake location director.

“When others see, they are much more likely to make sacrifices on your behalf,” Hartman said.

Jean Simmons, Evening Campus and Region I director, agrees that sharing your struggles and successes is important to help you find support. “Get your family on board. If they feel like part of the solution, it makes life easier for you, and they will tend to be more supportive,” Simmons said.

Tools for you, tools for the team

Whether you prefer pen and paper for scheduling or type it all into your digital calendar, you need something to help you keep track of dates, block out hours of time and keep you aware of what’s coming up. But more importantly, your team needs to know, too. If you can communicate the big test you have coming up on Friday to your team, they will understand why you need extra time to prepare that week and can work out a plan. Because digital calendars such as Google Calendar are so easy for multiple people to share, they’re a great option for families.

“My husband and I share documents, calendars and message all day long so we stay on the same page about where to be and when and who’s picking up which kid from where,” said Brandi Herrman, instructor of business administration. “We also have Google Hangouts on our phones — making sure that it’s easy to contact each other and we have a record of it.”

Only balance the right things

It may be tempting to try to keep everything on the schedule and treat school as an add-on, but that will lead to “emotional and physical wear and tear,” said Mark Bowles, Student Support Services director.

Instead, consider a blank weekly schedule. Add in your most essential items, such as work hours, child care hours and most important appointments. As you add each item, consider the impact it will have on your day and if there are any ways to reduce the amount of time or effort it would take to accomplish that task.

Hartman encourages the use of carpools as one schedule-saver. Then schedule school time in, right with these essential activities, to show yourself and your team that it is a priority.

Before you try to squeeze in anything else, carve out space for a little self-care and family time. “When one steals from downtime to try to catch up somewhere else – that’s a cure that does more harm than the disease itself, which is the problem of not having enough time for other responsibilities,” Bowles said.

When you schedule in time for some fun with your family, “this gives everyone something to look forward to as they work through the responsibilities of their week,” said Becky Gordon-Bocklage, director of the Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship.

See the big picture

With any luck, after essential activities, school and a bit of downtime are on your calendar, there may be a few hours left. Decide what you will spend on social life, volunteer service, personal projects and other activities. If you don’t have as much time as you’d like to dedicate to those aspects of your life, be patient with yourself and remember that you won’t be in school forever.

“Do not hesitate to explain that you may need to take more than you give at this time,” Hartman said. “We all go through seasons in our life when that imbalance occurs and when you are able, when the degree is done, it can be your turn to give more than you get.”

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Tips for a smooth tax season

By Department of Student Success and Money Stacks

taxes, tax form

It’s never too early to start thinking about preparing your taxes. And, with tax day a little more than three months away, the time will be upon you before you know it.

With that in mind, Rachel Smith, Project & Student Services Specialist for Columbia College’s Department of Student Success and Money Stacks, has some advice on what you need to stay prepared.

Consult a checklist

Articles such as this one on NerdWallet.com run down all the things people need to have handy in order to fill out their taxes. A checklist can help you keep track of what you need to know about your personal data, yearly income and possible deductions and credits for your paperwork.

Detailed rundowns like this can also help alert you to deductions and credits that you may not have known about, such as claiming a deduction for tuition and fees for your schooling and applying for American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits that benefit college students.

Have last year’s tax documents available

This is especially handy, according to Smith, when you’re receiving a number of tax documents from different sources.

“I personally find it helpful to pull out my tax documents from the prior year so I can remember what forms to expect in the mail or what I might need to log in and print out,” Smith says. “Sometimes just reading a list of documents isn’t enough to spark my memory. I need to see the form from the organization from the prior year to really remember what I’m waiting on.”

Check into IRS resources

If you’re planning on preparing your own taxes, seek out software that could help you along the way. The IRS has a Free File site that includes a list of free software tools for applicants who meet certain criteria.

Understand your withholdings

Have you ever gotten a bit of an unwelcome shock when your taxes come back and you see what you owe? Want to do something about it?

The IRS has a site that can help you understand how to fill out your W-4 form and the withholding options for which you could be eligible.

If you need any more guidance about preparing for tax season, the Columbia College Department of Student Success and Money Stacks is here to help. You can contact the Department of Student Success and Money Stacks at (573) 875-7860 or studentsuccess@ccis.edu.

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Asking the right interview questions

By Grossnickle Career Services Center

interview, handshakeYou’ve made it. You secured an in-person interview for a job, presented your qualifications and strengths in an enticing manner and answered all of the questions the interviewer had for you.

All except one, the one they usually save for last: “So, do you have any questions for me?”

The staff at Columbia College’s Grossnickle Career Services Center gets this all the time: people who come to them seeking advice on how to respond when asked if they have any questions for the interviewer.

“It’s critical that you ask questions during an interview,” director of Career Services Dan Gomez-Palacio says. “If you don’t, the subtext might be that you just want the conversation to be over ASAP and that you really aren’t curious about the position.”

But you shouldn’t just ask any question that comes to your mind. You should prepare with questions beforehand, much as you’ve prepared answers to the questions your interviewer might pose of you.

Articles such as this one from Forbes.com offer helpful advice on the right and wrong types of questions to bring to a job interview.

If it’s a first interview, “anything that smells even a little bit like it’s self-serving,” in Forbes’ words, should not enter the equation. It’s too early to start asking about salary, vacation time, work schedule and other logistical questions.

Instead, focus on questions that delve more into the opportunity the job presents, as well as the work environment at your prospective place of employment.

Gomez-Palacio suggests questions such as:

  • Can you tell me what you enjoy about working here? What do you appreciate the most about working here and if you could change one thing about your company, what would that be?
  • What attributes make the ideal candidate for this position?
  • What do your clients say about your company?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges the organization will face in the next six months?

These questions could serve as an opportunity to further align yourself with the employer, as well as opening the door to more information into the company’s culture and the expectations placed on the position. Alternately, they show a deeper level of thinking, consideration and interest in the job that is attractive to interviewers.

So don’t fret about that dreaded “any more questions?” portion of the interview. Prepare yourself and seize the moment!

If you’re in need of advice, you can also reach out to the Grossnickle Career Services Center at (573) 875-7425 or email careerservices@ccis.edu.

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Rolla CC 360 Spring Edition

Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in Rolla | 0 comments

Rolla CC 360 Spring Edition

Keep your resolutions!

By Mike Lederle, director, Columbia College-Rolla

Mike LederleAs we head into 2018, many of you have probably already made New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. In need of ideas? I’d like to propose three highly obtainable resolutions for 2018 that won’t end up as forgotten goals.

The first resolution is to get started on your degree at Columbia College. If you are interested in Columbia College, don’t postpone starting. I have found the longer you postpone something, the less likely you will accomplish it. Give me a call, and I will guide you through the initial advising session, the application process and registration. Getting started – check!

The second resolution is to continue your education here at Columbia College. For students who have already started their degree program, commitment is so important. If you have taken a term off, contact your advisor to assist you in returning. Don’t delay; act now! Statistically, our campus “stop-outs” (students who sit out for a session or more) have only six to 10 classes left to finish their degrees, which can be completed in a year by going full time. We can’t do your coursework for you, but we are still here to help motivate and see you through to your degree completion. Continue your education – check!

The third resolution is to stay connected and involved with the Columbia College-Rolla location. Alumni and the Columbia College Alumni Association have been instrumental in spreading the word about the Rolla location, which helps us grow. Please continue to refer your family, friends and coworkers. We sincerely appreciate your continued support and enjoy hearing about your life after Columbia College. Stay connected – check!

Choose one of the above, contact us and we will help you check the resolution off your list.

We want to hear from you!

Click here to take a survey about what you’d like to see in the CC 360 digital newsletters.

Back to top

 

Credo Reference – A place to start your research

Are you writing a research paper but struggling with how to get started? Columbia College’s Stafford Library has a tool that can help.

Credo Reference offers more than three million reference entries from more than 800 titles in major academic subject areas to offer a great starting point for research. Credo’s collection contains resources such as:

  • Dictionaries
  • Thesauruses
  • Encyclopedias
  • Atlases
  • Images, audio files and videos
  • All with full citations

mind map screenshotMind Maps, interactive, visual tools for exploring related concepts, are available to help you learn about a topic. Your search term becomes the central concept in a map of related ideas to help you brainstorm. Check the image to the right for a look into how Mind Maps function.

Topic Pages give you a full-text article containing background information on a subject. A list of related topics, images, videos and other Credo articles are also available from the topic pages. For more information on how Topic Pages work, you can watch this video tutorial.

Students can access Credo Reference from Stafford Library’s list of databases. Simply click on this link and type in “Credo Reference” in the search bar to find the database. Enter your CougarTrack username and password when prompted if accessing the database from off campus.

And you can always contact Stafford Library by emailing library@ccis.edu or calling (573) 875-7381 or (800) 231-2391, ext. 7381.

Back to top

 

Top time management tips

By Maria Haynie for Ready.Aim.Hire.

time management graphicFinding the time you need to get through your to-do list, let alone your wish list, can seem impossible for working adults and students. Here are four time management tips from Columbia College managers to help you tame the calendar.

Build your team

Assuming that time management problems are yours alone to fix can be problematic. Taking the time to express your goals and your situation to others can help them understand how important your education is to you and how hard you are working to achieve your goals, said Debra Hartman, Region II and Crystal Lake location director.

“When others see, they are much more likely to make sacrifices on your behalf,” Hartman said.

Jean Simmons, Evening Campus and Region I director, agrees that sharing your struggles and successes is important to help you find support. “Get your family on board. If they feel like part of the solution, it makes life easier for you, and they will tend to be more supportive,” Simmons said.

Tools for you, tools for the team

Whether you prefer pen and paper for scheduling or type it all into your digital calendar, you need something to help you keep track of dates, block out hours of time and keep you aware of what’s coming up. But more importantly, your team needs to know, too. If you can communicate the big test you have coming up on Friday to your team, they will understand why you need extra time to prepare that week and can work out a plan. Because digital calendars such as Google Calendar are so easy for multiple people to share, they’re a great option for families.

“My husband and I share documents, calendars and message all day long so we stay on the same page about where to be and when and who’s picking up which kid from where,” said Brandi Herrman, instructor of business administration. “We also have Google Hangouts on our phones — making sure that it’s easy to contact each other and we have a record of it.”

Only balance the right things

It may be tempting to try to keep everything on the schedule and treat school as an add-on, but that will lead to “emotional and physical wear and tear,” said Mark Bowles, Student Support Services director.

Instead, consider a blank weekly schedule. Add in your most essential items, such as work hours, child care hours and most important appointments. As you add each item, consider the impact it will have on your day and if there are any ways to reduce the amount of time or effort it would take to accomplish that task.

Hartman encourages the use of carpools as one schedule-saver. Then schedule school time in, right with these essential activities, to show yourself and your team that it is a priority.

Before you try to squeeze in anything else, carve out space for a little self-care and family time. “When one steals from downtime to try to catch up somewhere else – that’s a cure that does more harm than the disease itself, which is the problem of not having enough time for other responsibilities,” Bowles said.

When you schedule in time for some fun with your family, “this gives everyone something to look forward to as they work through the responsibilities of their week,” said Becky Gordon-Bocklage, director of the Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship.

See the big picture

With any luck, after essential activities, school and a bit of downtime are on your calendar, there may be a few hours left. Decide what you will spend on social life, volunteer service, personal projects and other activities. If you don’t have as much time as you’d like to dedicate to those aspects of your life, be patient with yourself and remember that you won’t be in school forever.

“Do not hesitate to explain that you may need to take more than you give at this time,” Hartman said. “We all go through seasons in our life when that imbalance occurs and when you are able, when the degree is done, it can be your turn to give more than you get.”

Back to top

 

Tips for a smooth tax season

By Department of Student Success and Money Stacks

taxes, tax form

It’s never too early to start thinking about preparing your taxes. And, with tax day a little more than three months away, the time will be upon you before you know it.

With that in mind, Rachel Smith, Project & Student Services Specialist for Columbia College’s Department of Student Success and Money Stacks, has some advice on what you need to stay prepared.

Consult a checklist

Articles such as this one on NerdWallet.com run down all the things people need to have handy in order to fill out their taxes. A checklist can help you keep track of what you need to know about your personal data, yearly income and possible deductions and credits for your paperwork.

Detailed rundowns like this can also help alert you to deductions and credits that you may not have known about, such as claiming a deduction for tuition and fees for your schooling and applying for American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits that benefit college students.

Have last year’s tax documents available

This is especially handy, according to Smith, when you’re receiving a number of tax documents from different sources.

“I personally find it helpful to pull out my tax documents from the prior year so I can remember what forms to expect in the mail or what I might need to log in and print out,” Smith says. “Sometimes just reading a list of documents isn’t enough to spark my memory. I need to see the form from the organization from the prior year to really remember what I’m waiting on.”

Check into IRS resources

If you’re planning on preparing your own taxes, seek out software that could help you along the way. The IRS has a Free File site that includes a list of free software tools for applicants who meet certain criteria.

Understand your withholdings

Have you ever gotten a bit of an unwelcome shock when your taxes come back and you see what you owe? Want to do something about it?

The IRS has a site that can help you understand how to fill out your W-4 form and the withholding options for which you could be eligible.

If you need any more guidance about preparing for tax season, the Columbia College Department of Student Success and Money Stacks is here to help. You can contact the Department of Student Success and Money Stacks at (573) 875-7860 or studentsuccess@ccis.edu.

Back to top

 

Asking the right interview questions

By Grossnickle Career Services Center

interview, handshakeYou’ve made it. You secured an in-person interview for a job, presented your qualifications and strengths in an enticing manner and answered all of the questions the interviewer had for you.

All except one, the one they usually save for last: “So, do you have any questions for me?”

The staff at Columbia College’s Grossnickle Career Services Center gets this all the time: people who come to them seeking advice on how to respond when asked if they have any questions for the interviewer.

“It’s critical that you ask questions during an interview,” director of Career Services Dan Gomez-Palacio says. “If you don’t, the subtext might be that you just want the conversation to be over ASAP and that you really aren’t curious about the position.”

But you shouldn’t just ask any question that comes to your mind. You should prepare with questions beforehand, much as you’ve prepared answers to the questions your interviewer might pose of you.

Articles such as this one from Forbes.com offer helpful advice on the right and wrong types of questions to bring to a job interview.

If it’s a first interview, “anything that smells even a little bit like it’s self-serving,” in Forbes’ words, should not enter the equation. It’s too early to start asking about salary, vacation time, work schedule and other logistical questions.

Instead, focus on questions that delve more into the opportunity the job presents, as well as the work environment at your prospective place of employment.

Gomez-Palacio suggests questions such as:

  • Can you tell me what you enjoy about working here? What do you appreciate the most about working here and if you could change one thing about your company, what would that be?
  • What attributes make the ideal candidate for this position?
  • What do your clients say about your company?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges the organization will face in the next six months?

These questions could serve as an opportunity to further align yourself with the employer, as well as opening the door to more information into the company’s culture and the expectations placed on the position. Alternately, they show a deeper level of thinking, consideration and interest in the job that is attractive to interviewers.

So don’t fret about that dreaded “any more questions?” portion of the interview. Prepare yourself and seize the moment!

If you’re in need of advice, you can also reach out to the Grossnickle Career Services Center at (573) 875-7425 or email careerservices@ccis.edu.

Back to top