Connect the Dots Logo

Columbia College's

Academic Wellness Educators    

Keeping Us Connected

A connecting icon


Keeping Us Connected                 

Volume 2, Issue 6, February '09


Embedding Basic Skills in the Financial Aid Office


This year the Financial Aid staff Marnie Shively, Michelle Vidaurri, and Wendy Hesse have had an increase in student success by focusing efforts on assisting Foster Youth and Veterans by helping them enroll in college, apply for financial aid and scholarships, and activating their benefits. Part of their success comes from building relationships with the students by providing more one-on-one personal assistance.


Marnie Shively helping a student

Marnie Shively helping a student with the Financial Aid forms


In January and February, they held 9 "Cash for College" Events featuring workshops in and around Tuolumne and Calaveras counties, drawing 391 participants.


Wendy, Michelle, & Marnie

Wendy Hesse, Michelle Vidaurri, & Marnie Shively


All students who come to the Financial Aid Office can receive the same personal attention while utilizing the Financial Aid computer center. At the center they are able to complete their FAFSA and scholarship applications or required financial aid forms. "Part of our 15% growth can be attributed to offering a fully online financial aid process". Along with the increased personal attention, students can get their questions answered by viewing the Financial Aid TV located on the newly designed Financial Aid web site which is another AWEsome service they provide.


Spring Review 





On Thursday, February 26th, the annual Spring Review Extravaganza was held in Columbia College's Library. Student authors read their poetry and stories. Meryl Soto who coordinates and hosts the event each year was quoted as saying "Seeing so many students beaming with pride and sharing the event with their families really made this year's event for me.” Meryl encourages all of us to remember to send our student's exemplary writing and artistic work to her for the next edition of the Spring Review. The Spring Review is a cross-curricula, multi-genre publication.


Students and Guests at the Spring Review Event

A collage of the Spring Review Event


This year there were a few new unique entries in Spanish and Math focused. The event also celebrates Columbia College's 40 Year Anniversary. You may purchase a copy of the Spring Review in Columbia College's bookstore.


Lunch & Learn


An AWE Lunch bag


will be held to introduce


our Course Management System

for Online Learning

  to our Student Services Staff


When: Wednesday, March 18th

Where: ITC

Time: Noon - 1:00pm


Please RSVP with Melissa Colón

Lunch will be Provided


If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact Adrienne Webster, Anne Cavagnaro, Alicia Kolstad, John Leamy, Meryl Soto, Lynn Martin, Karin Rodts, Craig Johnston or Melissa Colón. Check out the AWE Web site.