Current, prospective GCC students take advantage of ‘one-stop shopping’ at enrollment day

  • Brian Kapitulik, left, talks with Zane Provost about continuing his education with the new adventure education associate program during Greenfield Community College’s enrollment day. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Recruitment community outreach councilor Aaron Hellem, right, assists Matthew Kidder during Greenfield Community College’s enrollment day on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Shannon Doran, right, talks with Dan Rollins during Greenfield Community College’s enrollment day on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield Community College held its enrollment day Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 1/15/2020 9:45:48 AM
Modified: 1/15/2020 9:44:58 AM

GREENFIELD — All the services that current and prospective students might need to make decisions about enrolling in classes were available at Greenfield Community College’s enrollment day on Saturday.

At the start of every semester, GCC opens its doors on a Saturday for its enrollment day. Advisers, career counselors and other staff members work with anyone who is interested in studying at GCC to help them sign up for class, or to help them determine what to study.

“We’re trying to give a full package of information,” said Mary Ellen Fydenkevez, GCC’s chief academic and student affairs officer. “It’s what we might call one-stop shopping.”

The services available include everything from placement testing to course enrollment itself. Advisors and career counselors will even work with prospective students who aren’t sure what to study.

“It’s for everybody, regardless of where they are in the process,” said Admissions Counselor Aaron Hellem. “‘I don’t know’ is not a deficiency. ‘I don’t know’ is a great place to begin.”

In the career services office, students who may be at ‘I don’t know’ can get help learning about various job markets. Shannon Doran, career services coordinator, said this kind of information can give students a stronger sense of direction in their schoolwork.

The key is finding concrete information, Doran said. Otherwise, students may make assumptions about how different fields of study may parlay into a career.

“It can take some time, but it’s not rocket science,” Doran said. “When we have a sense that we’re moving toward a career that’s viable … we’ll be more motivated and excited about what we’re learning.”

Enrollment day is also useful for current students who, for whatever reason, did not already register, or who may need more information to make their decisions, Fydenkevez said.

It also draws returning students sometimes. Zane Provost, who works for a wilderness therapy program in Maine and also guides hiking trips, got a certificate in outdoor leadership at GCC in 2016. Since then, GCC has expanded the program to include an associate’s degree. Provost attended enrollment day to learn how he could advance his certificate into an associate’s degree.

After meeting with advisors, he learned he would likely need five classes, and should be able to finish in about half a year, he said.

GCC’s other enrollment days are in August, November and June. There is also a slightly different open house event in May, which is geared mostly toward high school students who are thinking about attending GCC in the fall.

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