Up & Coming Weekly

January 12, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 15 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM JANUARY 13-19, 2021 UCW 15 Mind over matter: Turn to FTCC for hope and encouragement this new year by DR. LARRY KEEN The start of a new year is a special time, a time to slow down following the hustle-bustle often occurring throughout the holiday season and pause for ref lection concerning our indivi- dual lives and what the new year may hold for us. For many, the new year represents a time to consider new goals and aspirations. At Fayetteville Technical Community College, our doors are open to all who seek education. Students have the option to choose from over 280 academic programs of study in the broad areas of Arts & Humanities, Business, Computer Technolog y, Engineering/Applied Technolog y, Math & Sciences, Health, and Public Service. Through articulation agreements, FTCC offers students the opportunity to study at the com- munity college for two years and transfer aca- demic credits to an approved four-year college or university. This type of arrangement enables students the ability to save money on tuition and other expenses, receive a high-quality edu- cation, and be well prepared for success in the four-year college environment. FTCC students who transfer to four-year colleges/universities perform well academically, and many students find the transition from community college to the four-year college environment to be especi- ally helpful. FTCC also offers a program called C-STEP (Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program) for students who aspire to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Qualif ying students complete two years of study at FTCC and then transfer to UNC-Chapel Hill as a junior. For more information about C-STEP, contact FTCC's University Outreach office at 910-678-8205. In addition to curriculum programs where some academic credits may transfer to some four-year colleges/universities, FTCC offers Corporate and Continuing Education pro- grams for students seeking new job skills and career training (such as a career in Barbering or Cosmetic Arts, Building/Construction, Emergency Services, and Fire Training) or an opportunity to explore creativity through a new hobby, such as photography. Through Corporate and Continuing Education, FTCC also offers Transition Tech, a program to assist soldiers transitioning from the military to civilian careers by providing helpful training with industry-approved credentials. The All American Veterans Center at the Fayetteville campus is staffed by veterans for the purpose of assisting other veterans who desire to pursue an education at Fayetteville Tech. The past year has presented many challenges for everyone. In fact, navigating through the past year may have at times felt as if wading upstream through a river or swimming against a strong current. If you've ever experienced these, you realize how difficult, challenging and exhausting these tasks can be. But a new year represents hope: hope for a vaccine that will slow the spread of coronavirus; hope for things to begin to return to a normal, happier state; hope to remind us even more enthusiastically to live each moment, be grateful and cherish each day as a gift; and hope that restores our belief that when one helps another, both individuals become stronger. For nearly 60 years, Fayetteville Technical Community College has been offering hope to every student who turns to us seeking a better quality of life. No matter where you are in your journey of life, Fayetteville Technical Community College can help you as you move forward in this new year. Call us 910-678-8400, visit our website w w w.faytechcc.edu or visit our beautiful campus locations to be encouraged by the outpouring of hope awaiting you at your community college. EDUCATION Things to know about returning to college a STAFF REPORT Upon taking inventory of their lives at the start of a new year, some people entertain thoughts of returning to school. Adults who decide to return to school after a long layoff are following a popular path. According to the education resource Education Corner, a growing number of career colleges and vocational training schools now offer bachelor's and graduate degree programs geared toward working adults. People return to school for various reasons, including the chance to learn new skills or fur- ther develop their existing skills. Some return to school because they are changing careers, while others may have lost a job or desire a pro- motion and feel that attaining a higher level of education or new skills can make reaching that goal more likely. Adults who hope to return to school might be surprised to learn that the educational landsca- pe has changed considerably since they were last in a classroom. College students are no longer just young men and women who begin pursuing degrees right out of high school. In fact, the number of adults returning to the classroom has increased con- siderably, often making younger students the exception rather than the rule, says the college financial planner Straighter Line. According to the U.S. Department of Education, college stu- dents 25 years or older comprise 40 percent of all students enrolled in college. Adults who are thinking about returning to school are urged to fill out the free applicati- ons for student aid to see if they qualif y. Grants and scholarships may be available, and some workers find that employers may match funds or offer some assistance to finance job training courses. Many schools now offer online courses that make it easier for working adults to pursue their degrees. Many working adults are returning to school to pursue new or advanced degrees, as more colleges and universities are facilitating such pursuits. The federal government offers many finan- cial aid programs to help students and families pay for college. Applying for those programs means submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly referred to as the FAFSA. These brief summaries from KHEA A describe the more common federal grant and loan programs that can help you get the student aid you need. Grants generally do not have to be repaid, but loans do. More about these programs can be found at studentaid.gov. Some of the major programs are: •Federal Pell Grant: Pell Grants provide up to $6,345 per year for undergraduates with finan- cial need. That amount is expected to increase for the 2021–22 school year. •Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant: These grants provide up to $4,000 per year for undergraduate students who have exceptional financial need. •Direct Loans: These loans are available to undergraduate, graduate and professional stu- dents. The amount students are eligible to bor- row depends on their year in school. •Federal PLUS Loans: Parents of dependent undergraduate students may qualif y for PLUS Loans, contingent upon the parents' credit ratings. The amount available depends on how much other financial aid the student receives. Graduate and professional students may apply for PLUS Loans if they have exhausted their Direct Loan eligibility. DR. LARRY KEEN, President, Fayetteville Technical Community College. Comments? Editor@upand- comingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Adults who decide to return to school are encouraged by many schools that are facilitating such pursuits.

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