The Transylvania Times -

BRCC Career Coach Helps Plan For College - Brevard NC

 

November 12, 2018

Blue Ridge Community College career coach Leanna Hall presents career opportunities to Transylvania County School students. (Photo courtesy of Edward Maglott)

The scene was set for NC Countdown to College on Oct. 2 as the new career coach with Blue Ridge Community College, Leanna Hall, addressed college-bound seniors in the Rosman High School auditorium. Hoping to motivate, encourage and prepare seniors to address the many hurdles yet to come their way, Hall stated, "Not too long ago, I was in your shoes."

A local to Transylvania County, Hall graduated from Rosman High School in 2010, continuing on to earn her Bachelor of Science in business administration from North Carolina State University in 2014. She encouraged students to make their plans for after high school early so that they could "take a deep breath and relax!"

Seniors, countywide, have been far from alone in this defining journey. Students have been diligently preparing for their lives beyond graduation in June of 2019 with the support of their educators, guidance counselors, and Hall. Throughout October, Hall and each of the high school's guidance counselors worked together to educate students on college application requirements and to provide support to each student throughout the process of completing their financial aid and residency.

On Nov. 2, Hall gathered Transylvania County seniors for a day-long tour of Blue Ridge Community College's three campuses to celebrate the end of NC Countdown to College. The trip was an eye-opening experience for many students who were unaware of all of the programs available to them right here in their hometown. With courses of study ranging from a variety of health sciences, to manufacturing technologies to numerous programs tailored to transfer to any of the 16 universities within the UNC system, Blue Ridge Community College offers something for everyone.

Rosman High School guidance counselor Sarah Shawver, who was Hall's guidance counselor, said, "It is such a delight to be working with Leanna in this new capacity. As a high school student, Leanna was on our peer mediation team, so I knew she was a natural leader and someone I could depend on."

Having undergone the college preparation process herself not too long ago, Hall understands the student experience.

Since beginning as the Blue Ridge Career Coach in August, Hall has worked diligently to serve as the connection between the Transylvania County School system and Blue Ridge Community College. Hall works with students daily to ensure their college and career readiness and to connect them with programs that will build and strengthen their skills.

Through dual enrollment with the Career & College Promise program, students have the opportunity to earn both high school and transferable college credits, tuition-free. Credits count toward a number of certificates and two-year degrees for students who are eager to enter the workforce with a trade. With access to these courses and resources within Blue Ridge Community College, students are able to jump-start their college careers or even prepare for the workforce, ensuring that they continue to lead the pack beyond high school.

Although NC Countdown to College has come to a close, it is not too late for high school students to make strides toward their future college careers. Hall and each guidance counselor for the Transylvania County School system are still available and eager to help prepare students for success.

For seniors, this is the time to complete the Residency Determination Service (RDS) and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to ensure that they receive in-state tuition and increase their chances to secure state and federal grants and institutional scholarships.

This is also the time for seniors to apply to Blue Ridge Community College and/or complete the priority admission requirements to any other college or university they plan to attend.

Shawver said of Hall's support for students, "The enthusiasm and fresh ideas she brings to the position as the Blue Ridge Community College career coach resonates with students. She strengthens the relationship that students have with the community college and helps to bridge the gap between high school and college, which can be overwhelming for some students and families. She helps students in all areas of career and college readiness, including helping them research careers and to navigate the college application and financial aid process. It is such an asset to have her available to all students in Transylvania County."

Finally, Hall urges that Blue Ridge Community College is not just for seniors. Students can dual-enroll while still in high school. Courses are available both on campus and online to ensure that Transylvania County students have maximum access to the subjects they are looking for. Students interested in registering for dual enrollment through Career & College Promise should contact their high school guidance counselor and/or speak with Hall.

"This is an exciting time for students, with more options than ever! I'm in the schools every day, available to help students (grades 9-12) identify how Blue Ridge Community College can set them up for success," said Hall.

(Handy is a member of the BRCC staff.)

 
 

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