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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Help is around the corner

The unsung heroes of Pierce College lined up down The Mall Sept. 17 and 18 for the Annual Student Services Fair.  

The event provided a chance for students to meet representatives and discover various services offered on campus that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Joleen Voss-Rodriguez, the Program for Accelerated College Education (P.A.C.E) Director, said she isn’t sure that students know about the resources Pierce provides. She hopes students will understand that there are people who want to help push them forward.

“We’re really here to support students toward success and that, I’m hoping, is the message that students receive,” Voss-Rodriguez said. “ Like, ‘Wow, look at all these amazing services and support services we have here to help them succeed.”

P.A.C.E. is a program that allows students to graduate and transfer with an associate’s degree within 2 years. Students in the program are still considered full-time and aren’t limited to certain types of classes. 

Voss-Rodriguez said the program can be joined by any student, but its main target is working students.

“It’s really designed for working students to free up their time and give them more time to be able to work and be with their families,” said Voss-Rodriguez.

Individual student success wasn’t the only focus that was present at the fair. The academic learning community Umoja was present in promoting its services

Umoja CGCA Rozalyn Randall said the Umoja program is similar to a black student union or a family. Randall said that Umoja looks for students from all walks of life, but that they look to promote a different perspective.  

“We are specifically on campus promoting the African and African American perspectives and views on education and current topics,” Randall said.

Apart from academics, the student fair also helped students find resources that can assist them on a personal basis.   

Beth Benne, the director of the Student Health Center, said she hopes that the fair will let students know they exist. She said students don’t usually know about the services they provide until they are needed. 

“Students don’t know we exist until they’re ill. We get a lot of students who need to be tested for their class,” Benne said.

Benne continues by sharing her concerns with uninsured students. She said they are the ones who should know about the services that the Student Health Center provides.

“Those uninsured students are the ones that I really worry about. I like to say if you’re uninsured we should be your best friends,” Benne said.

Students who attended the fair found it to be helpful. Many went from booth to booth, collecting information from the representatives or from flyers that were on the tables.

Nicholas Aguirre, a student who attended the fair, said he heard of it because of his friend. He described how welcoming the fair was.

“It’s a lot less people at this time than it is during the day, so it was a lot more calm. The people were very friendly and informative,” Aguirre said.

Finding out what services are available to students isn’t limited to the fair. Students who weren’t able to attend the fair can still access information about these services online.

Access to the Student Services page can be found on the left-hand side of the Pierce College website homepage under “Student Services.”

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