Centura Blog

Connecting Communities & Careers

HVAC Grand Opening at Centura College Chesapeake

Posted by on May 21, 2019 in Adult Education, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Community Connections, HVAC, Press Release, Skilled Trades, Skilled Trades Careers

After months of renovation, the community and prospective students are invited to the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Program Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

HVAC dials adjusted

Centura College’s Chesapeake campus, located at 932 Ventures Way, Chesapeake, VA 23320, invites all members of the Hampton Roads community for the launch of their new Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Program. The celebration is on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019, and starts at 12:00 p.m. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be followed by refreshments, campus tours and demonstrations.

“The new HVAC Program will help fill an employment need in the community. The need for HVAC technicians is expected to grow more than 15 percent by 2026, so it’s a trade that needs skilled workers to keep up with the demand. We’re happy to have the space, equipment, and training available to fill the need,” says Ashley Oden, Campus Executive Director at Centura College’s Chesapeake campus.

More than 2,500 square feet has been renovated to include new classrooms for the new Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Program. The training lab features a variety of equipment, tools and specialized training aids to help students gain the knowledge and hands-on experience they need to enter the HVAC industry. This 12-month program is designed to train students in air conditioning fundamentals, electrical theory, refrigerants, heat pumps, heating systems, icemakers and ice cream machines, refrigeration equipment, specialty tools, commercial water-cooled air condition systems, brazing and soldering techniques, and psychometrics. Students will also complete the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-Hour Safety Certification and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Section 608 Refrigerant Transition Certification.

The event is free and open to the public. No HVAC experience is required to attend. For more information regarding the event, contact Centura College’s 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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Centura Chesapeake has Vision for the Future

Posted by on Mar 6, 2019 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Community Connections, Lifestyle

Written by: Zakkiyya Anderson

A fitting event for March 4th, the Centura College Chesapeake campus welcomed guests to their March Into Your Vision, Vision Board Workshop for an evening of networking, goal setting and fun!

The workshop started off with visitors grabbing snacks and getting to know their neighbors before the fun started. Then, the night kicked off with a Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament that got everyone energized and ready.

The event brought out a diverse group of individuals from, entrepreneurs to career coaches to realtors. While working on their vision boards, guests were guided through ten steps to success that included tips and tricks on how to effectively network, proper interviewing techniques, and how to master your career search. Guests even learned a quick way to always be prepared for the often dreaded, elevator speech.

As the night went on the guests shared their goals for 2019 and beyond, but took it a step further by talking about how they were going to achieve those goals. Stories were shared about how some of the guests had to overcome obstacles on their path to success, and everyone in the room encouraged them to keep pushing!

Everyone who came left with more than just a poster board full of cutouts; they all took away useful tools to push them further toward their goals — and even a few new friends!

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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Film on Centura College Grad and His Service Dogs Premieres at Regent University

Posted by on Jan 26, 2019 in Campus Connections, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Community Connections, Lifestyle, Military Friendly School, Press Release, Scholarships, Spotlight Feature, Veterans

A small team of local filmmakers have completed work on a documentary of an Army veteran, Toby Yarbrough, and his service dogs Duke and Sasha. The film gets its origin from the novel The Quiet Healing, which was authored by Yarbrough and published in 2017. The film premiered at a special screening at Regent University on Saturday, January 19th.

Yarbrough red carpet
Toby Yarbrough (second from right) and his service dog Sasha pose for a photo with the filmmakers of The Quiet Healing at the premier event held at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA.

A Story of Perseverance and Healing

The film tells the story of Yarbrough, the traumatic injury he suffered during his time in the Army, his struggles with PTSD upon the end of his service, and how his service dogs saved his life in more ways than one. 

“The most important thing people should take away from this film is that this is just one man’s story, but so many others suffer from similar situations that Toby does,” says Andrew Lauto, director of the film. “It’s a story about struggles, hurt, pain, perseverance, love, and companionship. If you like dogs, support the military, or just want to listen to a feel-good story, this film is for you.”

From the Classroom to the Big Screen

The Quiet Healing project was partially funded by a collaboration of a trio of local educational institutions, Centura College, Aviation Institute of Maintenance, and Tidewater Tech. Yarbrough is a graduate of Centura College’s Chesapeake campus.

“We are so proud to be able to support a student who has given so much to serve his country. Toby was a tremendous student and a true inspiration to everyone around our campus,” says Ashley Oden, Campus Executive Director at Centura College Chesapeake. “When he told us he was writing a book and that it was going to be made into a film, we knew we wanted to be a part of helping him tell his story.”

Check Donation
Proceeds from ticket sales to the premiere, totaling $5,400, were donated to Heal The Warriors.

All proceeds from ticket sales for the premiere were to be donated to Heal the Warriors and prior to the showing, a check for $5,400 was presented to Heal the Warriors.  Heal the Warriors provides access to much-needed services to our veterans and first responders who suffer from traumatic service-related brain injuries.

Also as part of the premiere ceremony, Dr. Joel English, Vice President of Centura College, announced the creation of a scholarship program called the Yarbrough Scholarship for Disabled Veterans. This scholarship will be awarded to one disabled veteran each year.

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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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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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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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