Centura Blog

Connecting Communities & Careers

The Path to Financial Literacy

Posted by on May 28, 2020 in Adult Education, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Centura Columbia, Centura Newport News, Centura Norfolk, Centura Richmond, Centura Virginia Beach, Financial Aid, Lifestyle

Written by Mike Vaughn

You may have found yourself asking, “what exactly does financial literacy mean?” Understanding the topic of money sounds simple enough, but its complexity depends on our goals. For everyday life, we only need enough to pay our bills and not be overdrawn by payday, but we may be able to do better than that by paying more attention to the ongoing struggle between our wallets and our bank accounts.

The odds of hitting the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350, according to Mega Millions. Upon discovering this, most of us must find a different path to financial independence. The saying “spend less, save more” is a good start, but there’s so much more that we can do. We’re not going to go into the stock market here, but we’ll cover some easy things you can start doing today, tomorrow or next week.

Why is Financial Literacy Important

A basic understanding of your finances can help you set financial goals, manage your credit and even determine which bank you should be using. Obviously, the sooner you figure out your finances, the better. We can ruin our credit in a matter of months, but it takes years to rebuild. 

Credit Scores and Credit Utilization Ratios

You never know how important your credit score is until you’re making a major purchase.  Your credit score determines whether or not you qualify for that loan or financing; it also determines the interest rate you’ll be paying. 

It’s a good idea to keep your credit use below 30% of your total available credit.  That is your credit utilization ratio, and it is calculated by dividing the total amount on all your credit cards by your total available credit. For instance, if you’ve got a $1000 credit card, you’d want to keep your balance below $300. If your credit utilization ratio is above 30%, this can hurt your credit score, as this is the second biggest factor affecting your score next to payment history.

Setting a Budget

It’s also important to keep an eye on your accounts and track your spending because it’s easy to find your account overdrawn if you’re not careful. The best thing to do is create a budget. It doesn’t have to be too complex, but some way for you to see how much money you’ve got coming in and how much money you’ve got going out, and when. With this information, you’ll be able to plan how to use your money more efficiently. Once you see where your money is going, it’ll be easier to fine-tune your spending and set financial goals. 

There are a lot of resources online for information and tools you can use. With these financial management tools, you will easily be able to manage your money, manage your debt, and manage your credit.

A good method to follow is the 50/30/20 budget rule. That is 50% for essentials, 30% for personal spending, and 20% for savings and other financial goals.

Financial Literacy for Saving

Be sure to make savings a part of your monthly budget, no matter how small the amount. It’s important to keep your savings out of your checking account. Also, don’t confuse your wants with your needs.

An emergency fund is another good idea, but only dip into it in case of emergency, such as job-loss, medical emergencies, emergency home repairs, vehicle repairs and things of that nature.

It really is never too early to start saving for retirement, so try to get into a 401(k) program as soon as you can. Ask your employer or your bank about getting started, and they will walk you through your options. It’s also recommended that when you get a raise, increase your retirement savings, too.

Other Things to Know

Be aware of interest rates for credit cards, loans, and even savings accounts, as some are better than others. 

A good method for tackling debt is to pay off smaller bills first and getting them out of the way. Follow that up by attacking your higher interest credit cards or loans. 

It might also be a good idea to adopt a cash-only diet. This curbs spending and makes your money a lot easier to track. 

On a final note, it can’t be stressed enough that the more you learn about financial literacy, the closer you will be to reaching your goals.

For more information on Centura College, visit www.centuracollege.edu

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 College’s ‘Scope’ of Programs Expands

Posted by on Oct 15, 2019 in Adult Education, Career Change, Centura College, Centura Virginia Beach, Health, Medical Assisting, Press Release

Limited-scope radiologic technology training is now an option with the existing Medical Assisting program at Centura Virginia Beach.

Male instructor teaching Centura college Female student in the a Medical Assistant with Limited-Scope Radiologic Technology program

Written by Jul DeGeus

Centura College’s Virginia Beach campus is now offering a Medical Assistant with Limited-Scope Radiologic Technology program. This program will be offered alongside the campus’s existing training: Medical Assisting, Massage Therapy, Biomedical Equipment Technology, Business Management Associates Degree, Operations Management Degree and Allied Health Management Degree.

The Medical Assistant with Limited-Scope Radiologic Technology program provides the student with the knowledge and skills to become employed as a medical assistant with limited radiography for work in physician offices, hospitals, urgent care centers, and other health care facilities. Positions of employment related to this program consist of: medical assistant, laboratory assistant, limited-scope x-ray technician, phlebotomy technician and EKG technician.

Students will learn the fundamentals of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology and medical laboratory and exam room procedures. Hands-on learning will teach pupils to measure vital signs, perform EKG’s, urinalysis and phlebotomy procedures. Students will gain an understanding of insurance billing, radiologic equipment operation and radiation safety measures.

The healthcare industry desires the professional and medical skills of our graduates along with the interpersonal skills that we teach within the program. The program concludes with two capstone courses, which guides the student in preparing for a medical assistant industry certification exam and prepares the student for the limited scope radiologic exam. Upon successful course completion, students will be prepared to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT) Radiography certification exam.

For more information regarding Centura College’s Medical Assistant with Limited-Scope Radiologic Technology program, contact the campus at (757) 340-2121.

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 College Virginia Beach Campus Held a June Career Fair

Posted by on Jun 18, 2019 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Career Change, Career Fair, Career Services, Centura College, Centura Virginia Beach, Community Connections, Lifestyle, Spotlight Feature

Written by Olivia Jordan, Career Services Coordinator

Centura College’s Virginia Beach campus hosted its semi-annual Career Fair on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019. Before the event, Olivia Jordan, Career Services Coordinator, provided donuts and resume starter packets. The Career Services Department held a workshop prior to the Career Fair to help students learn the basics of resume building, cover letter writing, interview skills and how to dress for success.

In addition, during the student body meeting, students received instruction and information on preparing their 30 second elevator pitch while watching a role-play from Career Services and Student Services on ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do’ during the Career Fair. To conclude the week, a speed interview workshop was held,and feedback was provided to the student on their interview skills.

Altogether, 20 businesses and over 30 students participated in the Career Fair, building connections and opportunities for employment. Some of the companies in attendance included: Jordan-Young Institute, Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation, Massage Luxe, Waffle House, Elite Women’s Care, Massage Envy, Liberty Tax, and Integrity Staffing Services. During the Career Fair, students were able to learn more about each company, network, receive feedback, and gain career tips within their field. Many employers found prospective students to fill positions within their company and have created partnerships with not only Centura College but also other companies in the area. Overall, the Career Fair was a huge success for our students; it allowed employers and company representatives to meet in one place and gain the advantage of meeting face to face with students of Centura College.

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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Calvary Revival Church and Centura College create a $1 Million Overcomers Scholarship for the Hampton Roads Community

Posted by on Jun 12, 2019 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Career Change, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Centura Newport News, Centura Norfolk, Centura Virginia Beach, Community Connections, Financial Aid, Military Friendly School, Press Release, Scholarships, School Awards, Spotlight Feature

In conjunction with Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Centura College, and Tidewater Tech, Calvary Revival Church announces a $1 million scholarship fund for students, to be awarded over the next ten years.

Earlier this year, Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) purchased Calvary Revival Church’s former Calvary Christian School campus on East Little Creek Road, where AIM will relocate its Southeast Virginia campus in 2020. Calvary Christian School was an accredited K-12th grade, faith-based, private school founded by Bishop B. Courtney McBath, dedicated to inspiring future educators, doctors, lawyers, and politicians that would eventually leave their homes in Norfolk and surrounding communities to go out and change the world. The two entities have now teamed up to create a scholarship fund for students in the local community.

The $1 Million Overcomers Scholarship Fund will be administered by Calvary Revival Church (CRC) over ten years to help the Norfolk community and the Hampton Roads community at-large pursue career-focused college education and workforce development.  Recipients of the scholarship will pursue training at the AIM, Centura College, and Tidewater Tech campuses and will be supported with job placement services after graduation.

“This scholarship is representative of our church’s heart for Norfolk and people throughout the 757 that are looking for opportunities to improve their quality of life,” said Courtney McBath, Senior Founding Pastor at Calvary Revival Church—an  eclectic, family-oriented ministry dedicated to creating Overcomers out of the broken and empowering its community. In July 2020, CRC plans to celebrate 30 years of ministry and service. It offers services on Saturdays at 6:00 PM and Sundays at 8:30 and 11:00 AM at 5833 Poplar Hall Drive in Norfolk, where you can almost always count on being greeted with a “Hey Fam!” and hugs that feel like HOME. Calvary Revival Church, in conjunction with the Foodbank of Eastern Virginia, also serves thousands of Norfolk residents every Friday from their Healthy Foods Pantry located at the church’s 5833 Poplar Hall Drive campus. Our goal since our inception in 1990 has been to expose our community to opportunities for advancement and to remind them of their God-given value and purpose, says McBath, and alumnus of M.I.T.

Over the next decade, hundreds of Norfolk citizens will benefit from the Overcomers Scholarship Fund, and they will go to work at hospitals, airlines, shipyards, and businesses throughout the region.  Dr. Joel English, Vice President of Operations for the colleges, stated that “this is the first time in our institutional history that we have donated to such a significant scholarship program.”   “The Overcomer Scholarship will reduce or eliminate college debt for the recipients,” said English, “and it will supply skilled tradespeople for open positions throughout Hampton Roads.”

 

About Calvary Revival Church

For more information about Calvary Revival Church, please find them at @CRCNorfolk on all social media platforms or join us online at www.crcglobal.org to learn about ways that you can give back to Hampton Roads through service and scholarship!

About Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) is a network of aviation maintenance schools with campuses coast-to-coast across the United States and headquarters located in Virginia Beach, Va. AIM students are trained to meet the increasing global demands of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers.  AIM graduates are eligible to take the FAA exams necessary to obtain their mechanic’s certificate with ratings in both Airframe and Powerplant.  AIM’s campuses are located in the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Mo., Fremont, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and Norfolk, Va. Learn more at: www.AviationMaintenance.edu.

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.

About Tidewater Tech

Tidewater Tech is a career training school that specializes in trade vocations including Auto Technician, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), Building Maintenance and Repair and Welding.  The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, and job placement assistance.  Learn more at www.tidewatertechtrades.edu.

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Centura College Graduate Spotlight: Rachel Handley

Posted by on May 6, 2019 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Career Change, Centura College, Centura Virginia Beach, Health, Lifestyle, Massage Therapy, Spotlight Feature

Written by Olivia Jordan, Career Services Coordinator

Rachel Handley is a graduate from the Massage Therapy program at Centura College’s Virginia Beach campus. Although Rachel faced an array of obstacles while completing her training, she was determined to persevere and finish, despite her circumstances.

Rachel expressed that during her time at Centura she learned the lesson of listening to her needs. “My time at Centura College taught me a lot,” Handley stated. “However, the most important lesson I learned was to simply slow down, listen, enjoy, and be patient. Slow down and listen to my body, listen to my mind, listen to my emotions, and listen to my spirit. Slow down and enjoy the moment, enjoy my family, and enjoy my food. Slow down and be patient for the right moment to come and let what I desire to be drawn to me.”

Rachel has now successfully completed her massage therapy program and launched her own business, Knots Untwisted. With her experiences at Centura College to guide her, she is now capable of withstanding the unexpected difficulties one can have in owning their own business. “I am living my dream right now and enjoying every second of it,” stated Handley.

We are so proud of Rachel’s success and wish her all the best in her massage therapy career!

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Centura College Graduate Spotlight – Tracy Peloquin

Posted by on Oct 12, 2018 in Adult Education, Bachelor Degree Completion Program, Centura Virginia Beach, Spotlight Feature

 

By Cheryl Landreth, CVAB

After working in the financial services industry for many years, Tracy Peloquin found herself suddenly out of a job and relocated to a state that didn’t offer the types of financial career options she had in her previous home state.  Tracy had often worked in food service and as a temporary employee in the past and once again found herself back into those types of jobs.

“When I reached my 50th birthday, I took a look at where I was in my life, what I had started and what I had not accomplished,” Peloquin stated. “Each day on my way to yet another temporary job, I passed by Centura College. I saw students outside and often wished I was one of them.”

 

In 2016 Tracy found herself laid off again and decided enough was enough. She went to Opportunity Inc. to see what options would be available to a middle-aged woman who had been displaced from her previous career.  To her surprise and joy, there was a grant available to help with the cost of college.  Her next stop was Centura College.

 

For the next year and a half, Tracy worked full time and attended school full time. Reflecting on that time, Tracy stated, “I really wanted to do my best at both.  Whenever you would see me, I would either have a book in my hand or I would be working on homework.”  Many late nights later, Tracy graduated summa cum laude with a 3.85 grade point average and a Bachelor of Science in Business with a Concentration in Management degree.  Tracy exclaimed, “I felt so accomplished!”

 

Tracy knows this is only the first important step in achieving her dream to someday run her own business of helping low-income seniors with housing. She is currently working at Canon and advancing in her career.  Her next step is to enroll in a Master’s program pursuing additional business and human resource training.

 

Moving forward on her journey, Tracy states “Had I never made that stop to Centura College, where I felt a peace as soon as I walked through the door, I would not have a plan for my future.  I know where I am heading with my life and I am so thankful for the opportunity to attend Centura College.  The instructors were great and offered additional assistance whenever I needed it.  They taught me so much more than just the book material.  I was able to gain practical application experience which helped me to fully understand the purpose of what was being taught.”

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