Virtual student orientation provided overview of resources and opportunities

April 30th, 2021

By Tayler Shaw, Staff Writer

On April 22, College of Alameda held its first annual family night for graduating high school seniors and their families from the Alameda Unified School District and Oakland Unified School District. The online event was hosted by Tina Vasconcellos, the Vice President of Student Services for College of Alameda. Vasconcellos and her associates started off with a virtual student orientation, information on the programs at Alameda, and followed up with questions.

During the virtual student orientation, participants  discussed how to get assistance with registration and enrollment verification. Vasconcellos directed the seniors to the Financial Aid office for information on receiving any assistance or submitting an application. That office can also discuss the different types of financial aid sources such as Cal Grant, Pell Grant, and many others, according to Vasconcellos..

Vasconcellos also reviewed the many programs and services  provided by College of Alameda to further the learning experience of its students. These include: student loans and the requirements, programming services that provide more academic support, and overcoming language challenges or any economic, social, or cultural problems that may interfere with their educational journey.

According to Vasconcellos, the College of Alameda community aims to help to increase retention, graduation and transfer rates among African, African American, and other scholars. 

College of Alameda also offers students an opportunity to participate in a point day program that has helped tens of thousands of educationally disadvantaged students to enroll into four year colleges, according to Vasconcellos.. This program, which has won national awards, places disadvantaged students into a four year college or university, helps them earn a degree, and allows them to give back to the community as leaders and mentors.

After the orientation, a series of speakers was introduced to shed more light on specific aspects of the programs. The first speaker was Amy Lee, the Dean of Enrollment Services at College of Alameda. She provided additional details about the financial aid process, the California Dream Act, and suggested to the seniors that “the sooner you apply, the more access to money you’ll have.” 

The last speaker for the evening was Cynthia Haro, who is a counselor for College Promise and School Transition here at College of Alameda. This program provides free tuition for one academic school year, book stipends, priority registration, and dedicated counseling for eligible students. This program is open for first time full-time students who seek to complete a certificate, degree, or plan to transfer to a four year university. 

To be eligible, students must complete the an Alameda Promise application, apply for College of Alameda, complete placement, enroll, meet with a counselor, and be first-time college students.

Alameda Promise applications can be found at this link. You can contact Cynthia Haro at this email, [email protected] if you have any questions.

Additional information on the academic programs at College of Alameda can be found at this link.