Last updated: October 01. 2013 10:41AM - 308 Views
Kevin Boozer Staff Writer

April Finley, head of the guidance department at FCHS, instructs volunteers on how to assist students with college applications.
April Finley, head of the guidance department at FCHS, instructs volunteers on how to assist students with college applications.
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WINNSBORO — Students at Fairfield Central High School with college aspirations received assistance last week in applying to the schools of their choice.

At the first SC CAN GO College Application Day students gathered with community volunteers in the MTC Student Success Center, located in Room 209 at Fairfield Central High School.

During the students’ lunch period, those who signed up ahead of time had an opportunity to apply to the college of their choice. Teachers, administrators and volunteers wore college and Greek attire for the event to show support for FCHS seniors.

Support came from Stacey Westberry, professional development director of the Midlands Educational Business Alliance. Westberry works in conjunction with Stacey Feaster in the guidance department at Fairfield Central High.

“These students could be the first in their generation to go to college,” Westberry said, “and may have questions, so we are here as a resource.”

Some resources include career information and brochures and making sure students are aware of the many career opportunities they can pursue in Fairfield County and beyond.

For instance, field studies in health care settings let educators see firsthand what takes place in hospital rehabilitation centers and they can pass those insights along to students who have strong math, science and interpersonal skills.

Westberry also works with the child is job number one program with MEBA, where MEBA representatives go to the workplace to encounter parents and present career information and give speeches to them. That program exists because many parents they are unable to get away from a job to attend a child’s school or get the information in another setting.

“The program reaches out to parents and educators and students,” she said.

Her office works to address questions and remove barriers to higher education for students in Lexington, Richland and Fairfield counties.

“Our goals include making sure students are better educated about post high school choices. If students have a career path chosen, they can save valuable time and money in college because they would be less likely to be indecisive and change majors and add years to their educations,” she said.

In her 15th year with MEBA, Westberry also teaches seminars to develop business-related curriculum that will prepare students for today’s workforce.

They completed one application at most during the kickoff event but the center will be open each Wednesday in October so students can come in and apply to other schools if they choose.

Some of the students who applied last week might have had application fees to college or technical schools waived in Monday’s career fair held at FCHS.

Students in the Upward Bound Educational Talent Search program were among those applying to college last week.

All seniors in English IV classes received at least one college application to Midlands Tech. First block classes at the career center also received the applications for MTC. All MTC applications received by last Friday for MTC would entitle the student to take the compass test, and if they do that, MTC will waive the application fee.

Around the top 30 percent of FCHS students had opportunity to apply to college or technical school at the inaugural event.

Students and parents need to mark their calendars for Feb. 22, financial aid day at FCHS.

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