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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Centura College Welcomes Richmond Job Seekers to Career Fair

Posted by on Apr 17, 2018 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Career Change, Career Fair, Centura College, Centura Richmond, Community Connections, Press Release

Centura College will be holding a career fair for its students, graduates, and individuals in the community who are seeking employment.

 

By Brian Stauss

Centura College will be holding a career fair on Saturday, April 21 at its campus located at 7914 Midlothian Turnpike, North Chesterfield, VA 23235. The fair begins at 10 a.m. and will continue until 4 p.m.

The event will feature companies from a variety of industries.  Employers attending will lend guidance regarding the application process for their companies, and may even hold on-site interviews for qualified applicants. Guests are expected to attend the career fair professionally dressed, with copies of their resumes and prepared to network. A list of participating employers can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/587435664966929.

“Centura College strives to connect communities and careers, so we are encouraging both our students, and the public to attend,” says Steve Worrell, Campus Executive Director at Centura College’s Richmond campus. “We will have many employers on-site, hiring for a variety of entry-level positions.”

Career fair attendees are also invited to take a tour of the campus’s training facilities and to meet with admissions staff to discuss the benefits of career-focused training and the various program options available at Centura College.

This event is free and open to the public.  For more information regarding Centura College’s career fair, contact the Richmond campus at (804) 330-0111.

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 skilled 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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Centura College to Showcase Home Maintenance Programs at Open House

Posted by on Feb 3, 2018 in Building Maintenance & Repair, Campus Connections, Career Change, Centura College, Centura Columbia, Community Connections, HVAC, Press Release

Event will feature hands-on demonstrations of home renovation projects in various stages of completion. Local realtor will also be holding discussions on investment properties and the value of having working knowledge of home maintenance.

By Brian Stauss

Centura College will be holding a home repair-themed event on Thursday, February 15, at its campus located at 131 Berkshire Drive, Columbia, SC. Activities begin at 10 a.m. and will continue until 7 p.m.

This “Fix This House” open house will feature a variety of do-it-yourself home repair and remodeling demonstrations, highlighting the campus’s Building Maintenance & Repair and HVAC training programs. Topics covered will include plumbing, flooring, roofing, duct work, vents, lighting, and more.

The event will also feature a local realtor, who will be discussing investment properties and the importance of having a working knowledge of home maintenance skills.

“Centura College always strives to connect communities and careers,” says Joann Parker, Director of Admissions at Centura College’s Columbia campus. “Opening up our campus to individuals interested in learning more about a trades career, or simply aspiring do-it-yourselfers, is another example of our commitment to that goal.”

Attendees are also invited to take a tour of the campus’s training facilities and to meet with admissions staff about the benefits of career-focused training and the various program options available at Centura College Columbia.

Centura’s “Fix This House” is free and open to the public.  For more information regarding Centura College’s “Fix This House” event, contact the Columbia campus at (803) 754-7544.

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 skilled 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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Sensory Friendly Santa Spreads Christmas Cheer to all at Centura College

Posted by on Dec 26, 2017 in Campus Connections, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Community Connections, Lifestyle, Spotlight Feature

Ashley West and son, Andrew.

By Jul DeGeus and Esperanza Popquiz

 

The holidays can be a challenging time for anyone. In an effort to help those who might need a little extra assistance, Centura College Chesapeake campus held a sensory friendly meet and greet with the one and only, Santa and Mrs. Claus.

We sat down with Campus Executive Director, Ashley West, to learn how the campus worked together to create a magical winter wonderland, for all those to enjoy:

 

What was the inspiration to hold a sensory-friendly event? 

Ashley West: Anyone who knows me knows that there are three things in life that I get exceptionally excited about: My five year old son Andrew, who is autistic, my job, and CHRISTMAS! Personally knowing that the holiday season can be a real challenge for special needs families, we wanted to offer an event that allowed families of all different types to experience the magic of the holidays.

What steps did you take to prepare for the event? 

AW: We began preparations and meetings in early October. Our committee was made up of volunteers. Anyone who was a part of it, was doing so on their own personal time. I truly appreciate the effort and dedication these wonderful people put in to make this a relaxed environment for special needs families. Countless hours went into decorating the wonderland, which included: three decked out Christmas trees, dozens and dozens of presents, inflatable characters and wrapping paper that covered every inch of the walls! We also spent a lot of time researching what kinds of activities and spaces would be most enjoyable to children on the autism spectrum and with other special needs. This resulted in us creating a quiet room; a room with low lighting, minimal sounds and a space to lay down or read a book. If any member of the family wanted to take a break from the hustle and bustle of our Santa’s Workshop, we made sure that they had that opportunity. In addition, each member of the committee attended a training session conducted by an autism support professional.  We wanted to be sure that everyone was comfortable and prepared to best support these children and their families. From this training, we developed holiday activities, like sensory boxes (tubs with things like tinsel, slime and macaroni for the kids to feel textures) and cotton ball-snowman crafts. Obviously, we had to include Santa’s favorite cuisine, so there was plenty of milk and cookies for everyone to enjoy!

How did your staff react when learning about how to interact with children at the event?

AW: It was such a cool thing to watch the staff learn about some of the intricacies of working with special needs families. Many of them had not had any previous experience with the families, yet they all asked the exact questions that needed to be asked. I think lots of people try to promote awareness, but I’ve always said that awareness isn’t enough; what we’re really working toward is acceptance. The training we brought in helped the staff of Centura College Chesapeake campus to understand and accommodate the needs of every family that walked through our door. This made such a huge impact for our guests, moving us one step closer to our goal of acceptance.

Why is it important for Centura College to hold events like this for the community? 

AW: We’re not just a tagline of “Connecting Communities and Careers.” We mean it!  We want to serve all members of the community. As an autism mom, I can tell you that there’s a huge need for quality services and events for people who may need some additional considerations. We wanted to help be a part of the solution, so we’re also exploring program offerings to help train in a career supporting families with special needs. While special needs families are near and dear to my heart, I know that everyone has a specific cause that they cheer for. In 2018, we are hoping to highlight and showcase events that bring awareness, acceptance and actions of the causes we hold dear in our heart.

If you want to find out how you can help spread awareness and acceptance, or want to learn more about Centura College, Chesapeake campus, call 757.549.2121 or visit centuracollege.edu.

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Centura College to Hold Sensory Friendly Holiday Event

Posted by on Dec 2, 2017 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Community Connections, Press Release

The Chesapeake campus of Centura College will be holding a sensory friendly holiday celebration on December 15th. Attendees will be able to take advantage of free photo opportunities with Santa, along with enjoying seasonal activities and refreshments, all in a sensory friendly environment.

By Brian Stauss

Centura College will be holding a special sensory friendly holiday celebration on Friday, December 15 at its Chesapeake campus located at 932 Ventures Way, Chesapeake, VA. Festivities begin at 1 p.m. and will continue until 6 p.m.

During this family-friendly event, attendees will be able to get free pictures taken with Santa. Santa will arrive at 2:30pm for photo opportunities. The campus will be providing milk and cookies, along with other holiday-themed snacks.  Additionally, there will be sensory friendly activities available for children. Additional information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/529383557421968/.

“The holiday season really is the most wonderful time of the year. My five year old son is on the autism spectrum, so I intimately understand the challenges that the holidays can bring to special needs families,” says Ashley West, Campus Executive Director at Centura College’s Chesapeake campus. “We wanted to host an event where every families in our community could have the opportunity to enjoy some holiday cheer in an environment that is both warm and inclusive.”

This event is free and open to the public. The campus will also be accepting reservations for personalized time with Santa, for families that believe their children would do better in a less crowded setting.

“We understand that some kids may appreciate a little more privacy with their Santa experience, so we are offering a limited number of appointments to meet those needs,” continues West.  “We truly want to provide the best experience for everyone!”

For more information regarding Centura College’s sensory friendly holiday event and to schedule an appointment with Santa, contact the Chesapeake campus at (757) 549-2121.

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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