February 2009

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

"Be the change you want to see in the world."                                                          - Mahatma Gandhi

Have you ever looked out at the world and wished that things could be different? That things could change?

This quote from Gandhi shows us that we don't have to wait for others to bring that change to our society. Through the things that we do on a daily basis - like helping others, community service activities, etc. - WE can create the change we want to see. 
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
Each year, more than 26 million people in the United States undergo medical procedures requiring anesthesia. Do you know who delivers this anesthesia?

A nurse anesthetist

Nurse Anesthetist
A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is a key member of a surgical team. A CRNA combines nursing skills with the science of anesthesia and works with physicians or dentists to administer and monitor anesthesia.

In addition to a hospital operating room, a nurse anesthetist may also 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 two to three years.
Hot Link:
American Academy of Nursing

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

Need Help Finding Money for College?
FASA Day-February 21
Attention High School Seniors: If you need help completing financial aid forms for college, then keep reading!

On Saturday, February 21, college financial aid officers and other financial aid specialists will help seniors complete and electronically submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Forms. The program is open to students who plan to attend college in the 2009-10 academic year, and will be held at 65 sites across North Carolina.

To find a location near you or to register, visit the College Foundation of North Carolina on the Web or call them at 866-866-CFNC.
2008-2009 Financial Aid for North Carolinians now Available Online
The 2008-09 edition of Student Financial Aid for North Carolinians is available on the Internet.  This volume provides extensive information, including eligibility requirements, deadlines, and application procedures for dozens of scholarships, grants, and other funding opportunities for North Carolina students. Also included are sections highlighting government programs and privately-funded programs, tax incentives, and funding opportunities for specific disciplines, students with disabilities, and veterans and their dependents. To access this resource, visit College Foundation of North Carolina
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: Do you have any tips for handling the stress of waiting to hear if I'm accepted into the colleges I applied to? 
Anonymous Senior,

So, you've applied to college...now, the wait is on. January, February, and March are tense times for everyone involved in the college admissions process. Bruce Walker, vice provost and director of admissions at the University of Texas, offers 10 tips to keep you from going nuts while you wait:

1. Take ownership of your application. Contact the admissions office to make sure they received all your materials.

2. Don't second-guess yourself. Don't worry about things you could have done differently with your application. Instead, congratulate yourself on a job well done and relax knowing you did your best and it is out of your hands.

3. Put down the phone. Don't call the admissions office to ask why you haven't heard anything. Chill out, knowing that everyone is working as fast as possible to bring the madness to a close.

4. Get busy with next steps. Whether you are accepted or not, there will be things to do next. Get started on them now. Form a back-up plan in case you don't get in and start completing the forms for financial aid or scholarships.

5. Express your gratitude. Write thank you notes to the people who helped you in the application process: those who wrote letters of recommendation, your counselor who helped you "get your stuff together," or a teacher who helped you organize your thoughts for the essay.

6. Prepare for disappointment. Prepare an emotional plan for how you will react if the news isn't 100 percent good.

7. Make a list. Write down all the good things about your alternate choices, keeping in mind all the good things they have to offer.

8. Don't be a martyr. It is easy to cop a "poor me" attitude when your friends are getting acceptance letters and you aren't. Most admissions offices operate on a rolling admission basis and notify students as soon as they are able to reach a decision. The delay you are experiencing could be something as simple as your having applied to a major that is being considered on a slightly different time schedule. So stay positive.

9. Don't lose twice. Senior year of high school is supposed to be fun. Enjoy the special events - prom, senior trip, awards day, yearbook signing parties - and don't let something that might happen in the college admission process ruin this special time in your life.

10. Plan a do-over. U.S. higher education has built-in opportunities for second chances. If you find you are unhappy at your "dream" college or if you're never going to be happy until you are at your dream college, there is a second chance to get it right: transfer.

Good luck!
Source: U.S. News and World Report "Professors Guide" by Lynn F. Jacobs, Jeremy S. Hyman
College Planning and Preparation
Find information on college careers & majors, the college application process, and financial aid at www.collegeview.com.
Enrichment Programs
For information about additional health professions enrichment programs, activities, and summer camps in your local area, contact the NC Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) in your area.

Financial Aid
Find a listing of free information from the U.S. Department of Education on preparing for and funding your education beyond high school at www.studentaid.ed.gov.

Health Careers
Explore various health careers, read about students and professionals in the health field, and even locate information on current health-related issues and topics at www.explorehealthcareers.org.
  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.