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College Placing Emphasis on the Importance of First-Time Students Getting a Good Start

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College's efforts to ensure first-time college students get off to the right start now include a mandatory meeting with an admissions counselor.

Since May 23, Pitt has required all students entering college for the very first time to complete the mandatory meeting before allowing them to participate in New Student Orientation, which is also a requirement for first-time college students.

PCC Assistant Dean of Counseling and Student Services Kimberly Williamson says the specific admission steps for first-time college students play a key role in helping them make a smooth transition into higher education.

“Meeting with an admissions counselor will allow students to get help navigating the enrollment process,” she said. “There are a few steps between when a student applies for admission and when they register for classes. We want to make sure that students complete these steps and feel good about their decision to come to PCC and about their career decision.”

Williamson says that after they apply to PCC, first-time students receive a letter from the college outlining the enrollment process, along with the name of his or her assigned admissions counselor. She said the mandatory meeting gives counselors an opportunity to discuss career goals and majors with students and to make sure they are ready for orientation and registration.

“We want our students’ transition to college to be as easy as possible,” Williamson said. “That means, we need them to submit transcripts, take placement testing, apply for financial aid, if needed, and learn how to access their MyPittCC accounts.”

Williamson says first-time students can make an appointment with their admissions counselor by means of an online appointment scheduler. She said instructions for scheduling the meetings are detailed in their acceptance letters and added that links to the scheduler are accessible from several pages on the college’s website.

If a first-time student is a distance learner who lives a considerable ways from PCC’s main campus or has extenuating circumstances that prevent him or her from coming to campus for a face-to-face meeting, Williamson said arrangements can be made for a phone meeting, email conversation or virtual meeting.

Williamson said first-time students who do not meet with an admissions counselor are blocked from registering for fall classes until they do so.

“It is our goal to set students up for a successful start at PCC,” she said. “Meeting with an admissions counselor allows them to make a personal connection with someone who can help them prepare for college.”

The 2017 Fall Semester at PCC begins Aug. 17.