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The workshops are being offered at the Roanoke Civic Center on Wednesday.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
For years the Roanoke Higher Education Center has held workshops to share information and resources with the community, but this week the center is dramatically expanding that approach.
Instead of hosting dozens of people for a workshop at its downtown site, the center will host a series of workshops at the Roanoke Civic Center where organizers hope to attract hundreds of people for the first “Pathways to Education” showcase.
“This is the biggest event we’ve hosted in our 13 years of existence,” said Carla James, the center’s director of academic and student services.
The center, which opened in the former Norfolk and Western Railway office building on North Jefferson Street in Roanoke in August 2000, offers more than 200 programs through a dozen affiliated colleges and universities.
James, who called the center a “hidden gem,” said “you can earn everything from the GED to Ph.D.”
She said Wednesday’s event is partly about showing people what the center has to offer, and partly a way to show those who may have completed some higher education that the center can help them finish up.
James said that about 50,000 people in the Roanoke Valley have some college education, and the workshops offered at “Pathways to Education” will show them how they can complete their studies.
“We want to map it out for you, show you how easy it is and how you can get there,” she said.
The showcase begins at 4 p.m. and will include six workshops. Officials from the colleges and universities affiliated with the center will be on hand to provide information.
School mascots will be there too, and will even compete in a contest to see which character has the most spirit.
James said the workshops address challenges people face when attempting to go back to school.
“We wanted to help students figure out how to be successful,” she said.
Workshops will cover the following topics : online student success, veterans education benefits, college transfer programs, understanding financial aid, career opportunities and returning to school.
The showcase is free. Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. James said workshops at the center usually attract 50 to 75 people, but that she hopes the showcase will draw 500.
“We would have had an event like this anyway, but we just took the opportunity to make it much bigger and better,” she said.
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