Students welcomed with information, assistance


Mary Barnes / The Advocate

Welcome Week provided students an opportunity to meet face-to-face for financial aid or academic assistance with advisors.

By De’Jon Sylvain, Advocate Staff

For students in the midst of transitioning from high school to college life or enrollees looking to familiarize themselves with the available services on campus, a multi-day event was organized to fulfill these needs.

The ASU and Student Life hosted the third annual Welcome Week event, ingratiating students to the Contra Costa College campus.

“Welcome Week brings an inviting feel for new and continuing students for the new semester,” Student Life Coordinator Charles Ramirez said, “It offers an opportunity for students to find out about other resources and events on campus coming up during the semester.”

“I think students feel welcomed because of the events and a sense of excitement for the upcoming semester,” He said.

Welcome Week was divided over the course of four days, from Aug. 26-29.

The event provided workshops, as well as insightful information to help gear students toward successfully navigating through the academic year.

Representatives from the Student Success and Retention Center, Financial Aid Office, Veteran Services and SparkPoint were present throughout the event.

SparkPoint Coordinator Bill Bankhead said Welcome Week “re-establishes a sense of community on campus.”

“Welcome Week is a reminder that there are resources and support offered here for students,” Bankhead said.

SparkPoint is a non-profit partnership designed to help people achieve financial stability.

“SparkPoint provides free workshops and one-on-one coaching for students who are unable to financially support themselves,” Bankhead said.

Tabled in Campus Center Plaza, Financial Aid Specialist Patty Herrera hoped to provide aid to those in need of a helping hand financially.

“Welcome Week sets the tone for our students,” Herrera said. “It’s a thank you for choosing us as their school.”

The Financial Aid Office holds workshops throughout the semester to ensure students receive the materials needed to have a steady academic year.

Program Coordinator Carla Matute of Student Success and Resources said her fundamental focus was to grant first-year and returning students information regarding the importance of academic standing at CCC.

“We are here to ensure that students are well-informed and understand the policies and procedures regarding academic standing,” Matute said.

CCC’s bylaws state students enrolled in at least 12 units must maintain a “C” average or above.

Students who do not meet these expectations will have a hold on their record and could reach the point of dismissal.

According to Matute, the student success and retention programs will be providing workshops for students struggling to maintain academic standing.

“New students do not know the resources available to them,” Veteran Coordinator Tejae Dunnivant said.

Veteran Services provide campus veterans with resources to help guide them during their transition back into civilian life.

“Many students are unaware of what each department can provide, so the event really provides visibility to every department,” Ramirez said.