December 2008

Welcome to Pathways!
HCC officers
Our goal is to serve as a resource for you as you navigate the pathway through school and, ultimately, to a health career. Each month, you'll receive career and college planning tips, advice and resources to help you make your health career dreams a reality.

Motivational Minute

BAM-BAM!! (is not just a character on the Flintstones)

"Success is not measured by heights obtained, but by challenges overcome.

There are people who will tell you that you are nothing and will never amount to nothing. But it's time to unplug from the folks who tear down your psyche.
What your mind can conceive and your heart can believe, you CAN achieve. Whatever your dream, you can make it a reality.
I didn't come up with the psychosocial theory or any other psychological theories. But I did come up with the BAM-BAM theory.
B - Believe in yourself
A - Apply yourself
M - Make wise decisions
If you will follow the BAM-BAM theory, you WILL succeed!"
Clyde Johnson, Jr., M.S.
Assistant director of Multicultural Student Services,
Old Dominion University

NC-HCAP's 2008 Inspirational Speakers in Science lecturer
In This Issue
Motivational Minute
Health Careers 101
Question of the Month
Join our Mailing List!
The North Carolina Health Careers Access Program (NC-HCAP) is located at UNC-Chapel Hill. Additional campus-based centers are located at Elizabeth City State University, North Carolina Central University, and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Established in 1971 by Dr. Cecil G. Sheps, we work to increase the number of underrepresented minorities or economically and/or educationally disadvantaged students who are educated, trained and employed in the health professions.

For more than 35 years, we have provided thousands of students with a variety of programs and activities to raise their awareness of opportunities available within the health professions and to increase their competitiveness as a health professional school applicant.

We're always here to assist you. Simply contact us at:

(919) 966-2264
[email protected]
 Health Careers 101
HCC officersIf you're thinking about a career in nursing, NURSE ANESTHETIST may be an option for you to consider.

Did you know...?

Nurse anesthetists administer approximately 65 percent of anesthetics given to patients in the United States, and are the sole anesthesia providers in more than two-thirds of rural hospitals.
-- Mercer University School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia

Nurse Anesthetist
As a key member of the operating team, the certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) combines nursing skills with the science of anesthesia and works with a physician or dentist to administer and monitor anesthesia.

Nurse anesthetists may work in an emergency room, dental office, outpatient setting, or anywhere anesthesia is administered.

Salary: $125,000 or more
Education: Programs in nurse anesthesia are open to licensed registered nurses with a bachelor's degree and at least one year of nursing experience. Length of programs vary from 2 - 3 years.
Hot Link:
American Academy of Nursing

Source: NC-HCAP Health Careers Information & Enrichment Workshop manual

Those risqué stories and crazy party pictures you posted on Facebook and MySpace are just harmless fun. Right?

Nobody, other than your friends, will ever see them. Right?

RIGHT?? Well, not necessarily. What you post on-line CAN come back to haunt you.

College Admissions Officers Using Facebook, MySpace, and Other Social Networking Sites to Block Students
By: Steven Rothberg

A recent study by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth found that 25 percent of college admissions offices admit to using search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN to research potential students and that 20 percent look for the same information on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

A study of 453 private and public colleges and universities in 49 states found that the college admissions officers were very familiar with technology such as social networking sites, blogs, and message boards. In fact, the study revealed that the admissions personnel were more comfortable with these new media than their corporate recruiting counterparts. "Students need to understand that their social network sites are being examined by colleges and universities," said Nora Barnes, a professor in UMass Dartmouth's Charlton College of Business and one of the researchers for the study. "The content of their sites could have far-reaching effects on their academic futures if they are not careful."

So how are college admissions officers using the information they uncover when they search MySpace, Facebook, and other Web pages? It is unlikely that colleges are using these sites to research every applicant or even all those they intend to admit. But in any recruiting process, there are going to be candidates who definitely will be accepted, others who definitely will be rejected, and then a big chunk who fall into a grey zone. It is likely these candidates in the grey zone who will benefit or suffer the most from their digital dirt.
If a college is choosing between two equally qualified candidates and one has a blog that contains thoughtful information about topics related to his career path while the other has a MySpace page that has photos and other information about how he enjoys getting drunk, it is only logical that the college or employer will choose the blogger as that candidate has exhibited better judgment and has built for himself a positive on-line brand.
-- Steven Rothberg is the President and Founder of, and is an avid proponent of Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites and can be reached at

Source: Recruiting Trends
Question of the Month
Do you have a college or career planning question you'd like to ask? If so, email Mrs. Rivera at [email protected] Each month, at least one question will be answered right here in Pathways.

Question: I am afraid of picking the wrong college.  What things should I consider when choosing a college?
Senior, High Point, NC


Finding the Right College for You

Different schools fit different students

Choosing a college is a major decision. It is also a personal one. What may be the perfect college for your best friend may not be right for you. Look at the criteria listed below and decide which is most important to you. Then, keep that criteria in mind when you're looking at colleges. There may be one school that rises to the top in every category, but there also may be several colleges where you will find success.

(1)Diversity of Academic Offerings: Larger schools will have more professors and usually offer a wider variety of courses, specialized equipment, and larger research libraries. However, smaller schools develop special programs in selected fields and can match the opportunities at the larger school in a specific program.

(2) Focus on Research and Graduate Students: Most large universities offer master's and doctorate degrees, so their faculty members spend considerable time doing research and working with graduate students. This may lead to some courses being taught by graduate teaching assistants. At schools with fewer graduate degrees, faculty members are more involved in teaching undergraduate courses and may be more accessible.

(3) School & Class Size: At larger colleges and universities, there may be more cultural events and a greater variety of activities. With a larger student body, it might be easier to find a club or group of people with similar interests. Smaller colleges offer fewer activities and student groups, but you may have more opportunities for leadership roles.

(4) Diversity of Student Activities: Larger colleges and universities offer more cultural activities and a greater variety of activities. Smaller colleges offer fewer activities and student groups, but you may have more opportunities for leadership roles.

(5) Student Body Composition: While you are likely to meet interesting and
different people wherever you go to college, it is important to consider the kind of student body you are interested in joining.

(6) Location: Things you may want to consider include distance from home, climate, recreational
opportunities, cost of living, and opportunities for part-time employment and internships.

(7) Cost of Attendance: DO NOT rule out any school based on cost alone prior to finding out what you could receive in financial aid. North Carolina's public colleges and universities are supported by state tax dollars, while private colleges and universities are not. Even though initial tuition and fees may be lower at a public university, keep in mind that scholarships, grants and work-study opportunities might make an independent college or university just as affordable.

Source: The College Foundation of North Carolina
College Planning and Preparation
Tap into a wealth of college-related resources. Connect to college planning and preparation tools at

Financial Aid
Explore a wide variety of scholarships for college at
High School Seniors, electronically submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at
  Meet Mrs. Rivera
As the pre-college coordinator, Mrs. Koyah Rivera is responsible for planning, developing and implementing pre-college outreach initiatives across North Carolina.

Before joining NC-HCAP, Ms. Rivera was employed as a college admissions counselor at Shaw University in Raleigh. She has served as a Language Arts teacher for Wake County Public Schools and TV news producer/writer at two NBC TV stations. She is also the founder/executive director/TV host of Beyond Gifted, Inc., a non-profit organization which produces the "Beyond Gifted" television program to assist K-12 students in developing post-secondary plans to reach school and life success. She received dual B.A. degrees in communications and English from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.