Happy New Year from NAS Lemoore!

By Betsy Quade, director, Columbia College-Lemoore

Betsy Quade2019 is here, and the January session has started. We hope that your classes are going well so far (after one week) and that you have settled in to the readings, discussions, postings and getting to know your instructors and classmates. Most students start out taking an online class and it is easy to become isolated, working on your own, but it is important to keep that communication going through your discussion posts and responses.

You might be wondering how attendance is taken in an online class. It’s simple really. Attendance is taken by the instructor through the fact that you have logged in and posted in your class. That’s the way that the instructor knows you are “present”. If, for any reason, you know that something is coming up and you will not be able to log into your class and post something during the week, it is very important that you let the instructor know ahead of time. That way, they can mark your absence as “Excused”. Warning: if you have two consecutive weeks of Unexcused Absences where the instructor never heard from you, the college can and will withdraw you from your class(es). Unfortunately, getting withdrawn does not excuse the tuition charges and you will owe the college for the class(es) anyway. So, the moral of the story is, always let your instructor know if you can’t participate for a week or more.

Many of our students start off taking an online class when they first start with Columbia College. This is due to many factors: work schedule, family life, or mere choice. But I want to take this opportunity to remind you that we do offer classes in a seat format too and there are many benefits to taking a seat class. The obvious benefit is having your instructor right there in the room. This eliminates the fear of misunderstanding an online assignment or merely not understanding what is being required at all. The person who will be grading the assignment is right there and you can get clarification immediately. Classes meet for four hours a night, one night a week for eight weeks.

There are financial benefits to taking an in-seat class also. Spouses of active duty members can take their seat classes at a 20% tuition discount. That is a current savings of $225 per class. Who can’t use an extra $225 in their wallets? Registration for the March session is going on right now and the session begins on March 4. Please check with the office for in-seat class offerings.

Over the last two sessions (August and October), we have admitted 44 new students! This is great news and keeps our campus growing and thriving. We appreciate you spreading the word about Columbia College. It keeps new students coming through our doors. Thank you!

We want to give a shout out to our May/June 2018 Dean’s List Recipients: Carl Ian Bravo, Laura Goldsmith, and Kayla Saint-Fleur, as well as our Fall 2018 recipients: Eddy Arnold Evangelista, Laura Goldsmith, Christinejoy Herrera, Nyisha Konda, Christopher Pullen, and Kayte Shreve. You are awesome! Keep up the good work!

Mark your calendars! Graduation will be held on May 16. If you know you will be graduating, you can file your Declaration of Candidacy at any time if you have not already done so. Remember there is no extra fee to participate in the ceremony! Keep your eye on your CougarMail. More information is on the way!

From all of us here at the NAS Lemoore office of Columbia College, we wish you a very healthy, happy, and productive 2019!



Is one résumé enough?

by Grossnickle Career Services Center (go to top)

Resume/job applicationOften in the Career Center, a student will tell us they are applying to hundreds of jobs, but not getting any response. While this can happen for a number of reasons, one question we always ask is whether they are tailoring their résumé to fit the different jobs. One standard résumé often isn’t specific enough to the job to catch the attention of the recruiter – it’s always better to modify it to make sure the résumé speaks to the position. With that in mind, here are some quick tips to help you point your résumé in the right direction:

  • Think about how your work translates to different industries. Let’s say you managed a restaurant for five years. If you are looking to go into Human Resources – your résumé can highlight the hiring, training, employee relations part of your job. But if you are looking to go into project management, you can de-emphasize the HR part of the job and instead focus on work that you did to make the restaurant more profitable or run more efficiently. You always want to angle your work so it reads to the industry and employer you are applying for. Generic and/or irrelevant points will just be skipped over and eats up valuable space.
  • Remember that placement on the page is important. So sometimes it may not be a matter of rewriting aspects of your résumé, but rather placing it higher in the résumé so it’s more easily noticeable.
  • When graduating, often times we add a “Relevant Coursework” category under your degree. Be sure to list courses that are relevant to the job – not to your major. This could include high level courses in your major, but also courses outside your major that will help you in the position.
  • Use the job description as your guide. Typically in a good job description, they will use key words and talk through the qualities they need. You want to be sure you can demonstrate as many of those qualities as possible. Use your work and/or volunteer experiences to showcase the skills you have in response to what the employer is looking for.

Focus on the skills section. If you are going into marketing, list out the social media platforms you are interested in. But if it’s for a medical administration position, they may want to see a more expanded list of office software.



Tips and reminders for adult students

by Department of Marketing (go to top)

Don't forget remind reminder notepaperAs an adult learner, we know you perform a balancing act managing work, family and household obligations while investing in your future by earning a degree.

We also know the New Year is a good time to remind yourself to breathe. You’ve got this! Remember why you started and celebrate how far you’ve come. In the meantime, we have a few suggestions to help you stay focused in 2019.

Make a weekly schedule that provides flexibility.
Making a weekly schedule helps you carve out time for your studies. Spread your assignments over several days to allow for unexpected circumstances. Multi-task when it makes sense. Read an assignment while waiting for laundry to finish, for instance. Or download the VitalSource Bookshelf mobile app to listen to it during your morning commute.

Enlist the help of family and friends.
Talking through a lesson with someone else has proven to be an effective way to make sure you have a working understanding of the material. So tell your kiddos, spouse, friend or mom about what you’re learning in class. And make sure they understand why you need time to focus on your studies. If you have children, this can be a great opportunity to stress the importance of education.

Take advantage of resources.
CougarTrack offers academic resources that are available 24/7. And you have access to e-books, articles and academic videos through Stafford Library’s online system. Of course, if you need additional academic support, contact your instructor or advisor. They will be happy to assist or point you to additional resources.

Reward yourself.
Reward yourself with a relaxing walk, some downtime in front of the TV or a special meal when you finish a difficult assignment or successfully complete a class.

Keep your eye on the prize.
We’re ready to celebrate commencement with you when you’ve finished your last session. And every eight weeks, you’re that much closer to having your degree.

Be proud of yourself. We are!



Thinking ahead to summer school?

by Department of Student Success and Money Stacks (go to top)

Young woman reading a book lying in hammockIt may seem early to be thinking about summer courses but we are at a prime time to be planning! And while it does not fit in to everyone’s schedule, summer courses are a great way to help you finish your degree faster. If you have decided to take courses, the next step for a lot of students is to figure out how to pay for them. Setting up a payment plan and paying out of pocket is always an option, but you can also utilize federal financial aid. If you have not done so already, filling your 2018-19 FAFSA at fafsa.ed.gov is the first step.

One type of aid you might be eligible for is the Pell Grant if you have been awarded this for the academic year. Some students may be able to use up to 150% of their awarded Pell over the summer. Students may receive Pell for up to the equivalent of 12 semesters (about 6 semesters) or 600%. To be eligible for Pell funds in the summer, you may be required to be enrolled at a minimum of half-time or 6 credit hours for the semester. To check if you are awarded Pell Grant, log in to CougarTrack and review your Electronic Award Letter. You can also read about Pell Grant eligibility at studentaid.gov.

Another option in using federal aid for summer courses is to allocate some of your federal loans for summer use. You would need to stay within the annual and aggregate limits for federal loans, but you can move any unused funds from this academic year to help with the summer educational expenses. In order to utilize federal student loans you would need to be enrolled at least half-time for the semester. To reallocate your loans you can fill out the Stafford Loan Request Form found on CougarTrack.

If you have questions about whether you might be eligible to use your Pell Grant eligibility over the summer or reallocating your federal loans feel free to contact Financial Aid.



Select feature films available from Stafford Library

By Stafford Library (go to top)

Person holding a iPhone with LinkedIn on the screen.Working with Online Education, Stafford Library has purchased streaming rights to 30 feature films used in online courses. The Swank portal allows access to most of the titles. However, due to restrictions from some production companies, not all titles are listed in the portal. All titles available through Swank can be found in the library’s catalog by searching for Swank Streaming Video. These videos include closed captions and are to be used only in the classroom.

The library also subscribes to Films on Demand: Master Academic Collection which includes more than 30,000 documentaries, archival films and newsreels. Films on Demand titles include closed captions and public performance rights.

Contact Stafford Library at 573-875-7381 or library@ccis.edu for more information about these streaming video collections or other electronic resources.