Centura College

Connecting Communities & Careers

Connecting with Our Communities: National Volunteer Week

Posted by on May 23, 2018 in Campus Connections, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Centura Columbia, Centura Norfolk, Community Connections, Lifestyle, Press Release, Spotlight Feature

The school groups of Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Centura Colleges and Tidewater Tech have reached out to their community and volunteered their time for a number of organizations.  The staff at these institutions have chosen to serve their communities by volunteering their time, talent and support to causes that are meaningful to their communities. Here are just a few examples where are campuses have provided inspiration and hope to their community.

Centura Columbia Lends Helping Hands in Support of Flood Victims

On Friday, April 20, 2018, Centura College Columbia partnered with St. Bernard’s Place to assist a homeowner reclaim his residence after the devastating effects of flooding. St. Bernard’s Place is a national nonprofit organization focused on helping citizens of an affected area restore their lives after a natural disaster. Parts of South Carolina were hit hard in 2015 by Hurricane Joaquin, resulting in catastrophic flooding that left scores of citizens displaced. Many people are still rebuilding some two years later.

A team of ten from the Columbia campus, consisting of staff and students, arrived at the location and got an assessment of the resident’s needs. The cohort was broken into groups and assignments were given. Some helped strip paint from baseboards and door trim, others applied fresh paint to other parts of the home, while the remaining manned table saws and sanders to repair water damaged woodwork. The students represented our Building Maintenance and Repair (BMR), Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Medical Assisting programs.

In all, the team worked on site from 8:30 am-12 noon and assisted in the ongoing progress toward completing the restoration. The campus has pledged its support in future activities and looks forward to serving the Midlands community at large.

AIM Indianapolis Joins Forces with Local Elementary School to Provide Bikes to Children

The Indianapolis campus of Aviation Institute of Maintenance is on a mission.  The goal: to provide bikes to the children of a local elementary school.  See AIM Indianapolis’s plans in an excerpt from a letter drafted by its Campus Executive Director, Andy Duncan.

“I can still remember my first “big boy” bike.  No more training wheels for this guy.  This new bike looked like a motorcycle with big orange fenders, long black seat, silver frame (complete with motor cycle decal), and knobby tires.  I can remember the initial ride down the street into the ditch and abrupt stop when I hit the concrete wall at the end of ditch.  The memory is firmly planted in my head of this event from over forty years ago.  If you are like me you remember your first bike or first “big boy or girl” bike and it brings a smile to your face.  For lots of kids they will never know that felling.  It is simply beyond the reality of the life they live for their family to afford such a luxury. 

We at Aviation Institute of Maintenance want to do something about this.  The AIM Indianapolis campus is on a mission to help recreate the feeling I and so many others have of getting a new bike.   We have partnered with McClelland Elementary school to help this dream become a reality. 

McClelland Elementary school has over 1000 students and due to the socioeconomic condition of a large portion of the students all students qualify for free breakfast and lunch.  McClelland is home to a fairly significant homeless population of students as well.  We, AIM, found our place to help bring some smiles simply by providing bikes.  Now that the partnership has been set we have to get the word out as to what we are doing. 

We have reached out to our partners in Aviation, friends & family, and other businesses to help with donating gift cards toward this effort.  The students and faculty of AIM have graciously volunteered their time to assemble the bikes as they arrive.  McClelland is choosing the criteria for the students that will receive the bikes and on May 25th we will head over to the school bikes in hand for delivery day. 

As I write this 28 bikes and helmets have been ordered, 18 assembled, and ten more in route to us.  We still have a couple weeks to collect a few more and as of right now several others are promised to us.  We are looking forward to seeing the children when they receive their bikes.  I know what having a bike meant to me as a child and I know that events like this show the community what Aviation Institute of Maintenance is all about.  We train mechanics.  We help people have a better future in their new career and we give bikes to kids who need them.  That is who we are and that is what we do.  I like the sound of that.”

Tidewater Tech Staff and Students Volunteer at Local Church to Serve Lunch to Community

Tidewater Tech staff and students volunteered locally with Norfolk’s Christian Fellowship Church on Tuesday, April 17th from 12-2pm during their lunchtime fellowship. Tidewater Tech volunteers worked together in providing lunch to serve the church, veterans, civilians, and homeless members of our local Norfolk community. Additionally, resources were also provided for those seeking help with housing or financial hardships. Christian Fellowship’s purpose is to provide an intimate environment of learning, fellowship, support, accountability and community outreach. Christian Fellowship educates and gives back to the community through seeking volunteers for, in addition to offering, education advancement, IT, kid’s kingdom, finance team and literacy, regular food service, building and grounds, marketing, office, and administrative support, music and singing, Christian education, transportation resources, nursing, and other special events. This being said, Tidewater tech was delighted to be able to offer lunch and resources, and to overall play role in aiding such a great organization. The experience of serving others, knowing the increasing amount of people facing hunger, left a truly powerful and uplifting impact for participants in seeing the appreciation of those served.

These are just a few shining examples of students and staff at AIM, Centura College, and Tidewater Tech personify the mission of our brands to truly connect communities and careers.

Other instances of our campuses doing their part to help out their communities include:

  • AIM Atlanta teaming up with Greater Gwinnett Wetlands and the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources to clean up Bromolow Creek and surrounding wetlands.
  • AIM Irving collecting food for the North Texas Food Bank.
  • AIM Houston lending a helping hand and meeting with residents and business owners at annual Hobby Fest.
  • AIM Las Vegas partnering with Ronald McDonald Charity House and baking cookies for a family staying there.
  • AIM Mannasass welcoming the Manasass City Boys and Girls Club to their campus for a fun-filled day.
  • AIM Oakland holding a food drive for those in need in the community.
  • Centura Chesapeake holding a community yard and craft sale, with proceeding benefiting the Samaritan House.
  • Centura Norfolk medical assisting students providing wellness checks for members at the KROC center.

Be sure to check our blogs and follow us on Facebook for updates on these and more stories of community outreach.

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Educate the Educator: 2018 ‘At the Cross Roads’ Community Education Conference Recap

Posted by on Apr 25, 2018 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Centura College, Centura Columbia, Centura Norfolk, Community Connections, Lifestyle, Press Release, Spotlight Feature

Written by Drew Schnaath, Jul DeGeus and Esperanza Poquiz

Faculty and staff from The Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Centura College, and Tidewater Tech met with colleagues and industry specialists to enrich themselves, their campuses, and become better community leaders and more effective educators. On March 14th, leadership and instructors converged in Falls Church, VA to attend the annual Education Conference.

Left to right: Vice President Joel English, Damon Cook, Vice President Mike Busjahn and Nate Wade.

“This year’s theme centered around the intersection of education and community, how our schools work together with their respective communities,” said Dr. Mary Urbanski. “We believe in cultivating our school families, the greater communities surrounding our schools, and our faculty.” These relationships foster collaboration, integrity, and innovation, which benefits students, employers and the communities involved:

Centura Columbia hosted a three part Rock that Interview series of events, leading up to their Career Fair. The sessions educated those who attended on the following subjects: Writing your cover letter, creating your resume, collecting references and building your portfolio.

AIM Atlanta, AIM Chesapeake and AIM Manassas ‘drifted’ from aviation maintenance to automotive, as each campus hosted a Car Show & Open House. Automotive enthusiast learned a thing or two touring the hangars, while Aviation Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) admired the maintenance and upgrades of the vehicles that cruised onto the campus.

In September, members of the Hampton Roads campus branches partook in the organization and volunteering of the Safe House Half Marathon and 5k. 100% of the proceeds of this race went towards building a “safe house”- a haven for orphans that are at risk of being sold into sex slavery.

Centura Norfolk partnered with the City of Norfolk’s Fire-Rescue Department to develop an academic preparation training program for new recruits of the Fire-Rescue Academy. This free of charge program aims to help refresh the basic knowledge a participant will need to be successful in the Fire-Rescue Academy, as well as provides additional tutoring to ensure each recruit has the tools they need to succeed.

Tidewater Tech connected with the community’s strong military presence by holding a car wash and yard sale to benefit the crew members of the USS Eisenhower. Chief Petty Officer selectees from the vessel worked alongside Tidewater Teach staff members to make sure that every car that came for a wash was in ship shape!

For Christmas, AIM Indianapolis decked the halls with charity organizations, Bearded Villains and Bad Apple Offroad, to collect gifts for Toys for Tots. The holiday event gave families the chance to come to the campus and enjoy food, music and fun, while raising donations for a great cause!

Conference attendees heard from several well-known speakers, including Dr. Michael E. Wooten from the Department of Education, Cindy Bridges Milford, Enterprise Digital Specialist at Cengage and Dale Dworak, a 25-year industry veteran in business technology solutions. Campus educators were also able to learn from text book publishers such as Cengage, McGraw Hill Education, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Pearson and F.A. Davis Company. Each speaker offered valuable insight into their experiences in education, business, leadership, management, and even the technology that powers these institutions and ideas.

In addition to the veritable wealth of information, our faculty had the chance to meet and network with colleagues from our other brands and campuses. Jon Cason explained “Our goal is to foster community, both inside and outside our organization. Collaboration is important for our schools as they continue to grow.”

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Student Services: Helping You Through Your College Journey

Posted by on Mar 6, 2018 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Career Change, Career Services, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Centura Columbia, Centura Newport News, Centura Norfolk, Centura Richmond, Centura Virginia Beach, Financial Aid, GI Bill Benefits for College, Lifestyle, Military Friendly School, Spotlight Feature

By: Esperanza Poquiz

The faculty that forms the Student Services Department plays a key role in helping you through your college journey. Student Services includes different branches of a campus to aid you in addressing specific needs.  Below you can find information on the departments that help maintain order on campus:

  • Career Services – If you are a graduate, or you are about to graduate, Career Services can provide assistance when it comes to searching for jobs. They help with writing resumes and will coach you on proper interview attire and etiquette. They will even performing mock interviews in preparation for the real thing. Career Services arranges opportunities for employers to come to the campus to encourage you to meet with them face to face.
  • Bursar – The Bursar Department assists with billing, monitoring your account balances and collecting balances due.
  • Financial Aid – The Financial Aid Department breaks down the specifics on your financial aid options. They will also provide information on grant or scholarship opportunities.
  • Librarian/Learning Resource Center Assistant – A Librarian, or Learning Resource Center Assistant, provides tools, books and other reference materials that can help you with studying or assignments.
  • Registrar – The Registrar Department maintains order when it comes to things like: attendance and student records, grades, transfer/transcript information, and class enrollments.
  • Student Services – A Student Services Coordinator establishes relationships with the community as resources for you. Using their connections, they will help you in finding housing information, transportation and daycare options, as well as, part time jobs options to have while attending school.
  • Veteran Services– Veterans Services equip veteran students with information on what educational benefits are offered to them. They accommodate veterans to help create a smooth transition from military life to civilian life.

Equipped with the proper knowledge of what each Student Services Department does, you now know which department to turn to for the proper guidance.

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Norfolk First Responders Team with Centura College to Train Recruits

Posted by on Jan 10, 2018 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Career Change, Centura College, Centura Norfolk, Lifestyle, Press Release, Spotlight Feature

Norfolk First Responders Team with Centura College to Train Recruits

The Norfolk campus of Centura College will be teaming with the City of Norfolk’s Fire-Rescue Department to provide preparatory training as recruits begin their Academy program. The program will provide fundamental math, writing, medical terminology, and other key skills to prep new recruits for their Academy training.

By Brian Stauss

The Norfolk Fire-Rescue Department is teaming with Centura College to include essential academic preparatory training in the beginning of the Fire-Rescue Academy program, as an effort to increase the confidence and success rate of recruits within the program.

Fire-Rescue Chief Jeffrey Wise acknowledged that the average Fire-Rescue recruit has usually not been in an academic classroom for several years. Recruits can struggle with recalling basic math, writing skills, and the academic preparedness needed to complete the rigors of the Academy and this has led to some recruits being unsuccessful with the academic portions of the program.  This customized academic preparation program, positioned within the first few weeks of the Academy, is developed to provide fundamental math, writing, communication, medical terminology, and study skills training, to better-equip new recruits for the rigors of the Fire-Rescue Academy.

“We are thrilled to offer these aspiring first responders fundamental academic coaching, both in formal classroom instruction at the beginning of their training program, and through individualized tutoring throughout the Academy,” said Dr. Joel English, Vice President of Operations for Centura College.  “These are the women and men who will keep our community safe for decades to come, and increasing their likelihood to succeed academically is an honor and privilege for our faculty.”

Between Jan. 16-22, 2018, two dozen Norfolk Fire-Rescue recruits will report for classes at Centura College’s Norfolk campus at 7020 North Military Highway for training.  The coursework has been custom-designed between the academic leadership at Centura College and the Norfolk Fire-Rescue team to efficiently prepare recruits with the knowledge they need to succeed.

The program will begin with individualized academic assessments of each recruit, and will consist of four courses per day, taught by Centura College faculty.  The program includes further assessment of each recruits’ progress through the Academy program, and Centura College will offer additional tutoring for students as needed throughout the Academy curriculum.

“We are pleased to offer this pilot program at no charge to Norfolk Fire-Rescue, to the city, or to the students,” said Dr. English.  “We hope to eliminate academic challenges as a barrier to these public servants completing their Academy program, so that they can go on to protect our homes and businesses in Norfolk.”

For more information regarding Centura College’s partnership with the Norfolk Fire-Rescue Department, contact the campus at (757) 853-2121.

About Centura College

Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, and trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu.

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Business Training: Cell Phone Etiquette

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017 in Business Accounting Degree, Business Management, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Centura Columbia, Centura Newport News, Centura Norfolk, Centura Richmond, Centura Virginia Beach, Tips & Tricks

By Jul DeGeus

Some might argue that professionalism is one of the keys to success in the business world. Knowing the rules of business etiquette can set you apart from other employees, but one of the most commonly abused etiquette rules is the use of cell phones. While you should refer to your company’s rules and regulations for instruction regarding cell phone usage, these are some best practices:

Cellphone Volume and Ringer/ Ringtone

There’s nothing worse than sitting at your cubicle, working on a report in a silent office and having your phone ring. Anxiously, you bustle around through your personal items, quickly trying to hush it. You apologize for disturbing everyone and, red-faced, you get back to work hoping you won’t be made fun of later for your choice of ringtone. Two main rules of etiquette can be learned in this situation:

  • Always remember to silence your phone- Make turning your phone to “silent mode” part of your morning routine to save you some shame. Breakfast, shower, brush your teeth, check your phone, grab coffee and head to work.
  • Pick a professional ring/text tone- While you might know all the words to “Baby Got Back,” and even have a choreographed dance paired with it for special occasions, your ringtone reflects your professionalism. Keep it generic to keep it professional.

Also keep in mind that setting your phone to “vibrate” is not the same as “silencing” your phone. While it is harder for some to pick up the sounds, vibrations are audible, especially if sitting on a tabletop surface.

When and Where to Use Your Cell

Prime Time                                       

Lunch time is the perfect time to take or make personal calls. Most lunches are “off the clock” which is the ideal time to make your calls. Just be aware of your surroundings and understand that in a cafeteria or restaurant setting, others have the opportunity to hear part or all of your conversation. A personal or secluded space, such as your car, will allow for more privacy.

Be Cautious

Most companies allow you to use your phone on break, but take into consideration how long you use your phone. Generally, breaks are 15 minutes. If you exceed this time, it is likely that your boss will notice and could result in discipline.

Avoid Usage

It’s not the best idea to use your phone when in your cubicle. A neighbor can pop their head over the separator and gaze your screen or overhear a chat you are having. Additionally, you do not want to interrupt your peers’ concentration by carrying out a loud, disruptive dialogue.

People often use restrooms to have conversation on their phone. While this seems private, voices can carry through the buildings ventilation system. Not to mention, if your office shares a single or limited number of stalls, you could be holding up someone who needs to use the restroom.

There’s always an exception to the rule and when it comes to cell phones, emergencies are the exception. If there is some sort of emergency that causes your phone to ‘blow up,’ communicate this with your boss so they are aware of why you are on your phone.

Avoid Rudeness

Say you are in a meeting and someone vaguely refers to information you know you have access to via your cell phone. In situations like this, it’s ok to use your phone to access the information, so long as you announce that that is what you are doing. Something as simple as, “I’ll get those exact numbers for you,” or, “I have that email, let me pull it up,” will let everyone in the meeting know you are using your phone to enhance the meeting, rather than ignore it.

When interacting with people, give them your full attention. Try not to use your phone as a timepiece and avoid your smart watch; if you spend too much time looking at your smart watch, people will assume you are checking a text message and ignoring them. Finally, as sneaky as you may be, don’t read text messages under the table, behind a coffee cup or in back of portfolio or clip board.

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Helpful Training to Strengthen Your Next Interview

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in Career Change, Career Services, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Centura Columbia, Centura Newport News, Centura Norfolk, Centura Richmond, Centura Virginia Beach, Lifestyle, Tips & Tricks

Helpful Training to Strengthen Your Next Interview

By Esperanza Poquiz

Some of us find interviews a little nerve-racking while others may be cool, calm and collected. Preparing for the interview process can ease stress. Whether you are a pro or amateur, keep these tips in the forefront of your mind when going to your next interview.

First Impressions

We’ve all heard that making a great first impression is important. A survey showed that 66 out of 2,000 hiring managers knew in 90 seconds if they would hire the job candidate. Ensure that your appearance gives the hiring manager a great first impression by:

  • Smiling
  • Having a firm handshake and great posture
  • Wearing more neutral colors like: black, gray, navy blue and white
  • Communicating with proper vocabulary and grammar

Confidence

Having confidence in yourself definitely shows in an interview. Emitting confidence lets the hiring manager see that you know what you want and you take initiative. Radiate confidence through:

  • Voice projection; don’t mumble
  • Eye contact
  • Body language: don’t fidget, play with your hair, touch your face or cross your hands over your chest
  • Hand gestures, but keep them to a minimum
  • Enthusiasm; Let your personality shine and show warmth

Know Who You Applied For

Before going in your interview be sure to do the following:

  • Research the company and get general information
  • Have a specific position in mind and learn the requirements of the position you seek
  • Come prepared with questions based on the company
  • Know the company’s mission statement and what is important to them

Final Suggestions

  • Have a generic answer about why you lost or left your last job
  • Don’t put down previous positions, employers or peers
  • Don’t focus on pay, schedule or benefits in the initial interview
  • Ask relevant questions

Be sure to keep these suggestions in mind for you next interview. You can also ask family and friends for help through mock interviews. Good luck!

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