"Help is out there, for those who want it," Kim Westby, dean of Student Support Services, proclaimed in the opening of the financial aid presentation that initiated the Board of Trustees meeting.
Financial aid was the highlight topic of the Sept. 16 Board of Trustees meeting which took place in the Cherryl A. Epple Board Room at 6 p.m.
The financial aid presentation provided an overview of data collected from the 2008-2009 school year.
The information included Cerritos College students that applied financial aid, the number of recipients of financial aid versus non recipients, and a categorical bar graph itemizing the financial aid recipients by each form of aid.
From the 2008-2009 school year, out of an enrollment of 37,222 students, 42 percent were recipients of financial aid.
"Without financial aid, I don't know where I would be," said Jason Balandra, student and recipient of financial aid, in a testimonial presentation aimed at reminding the board the importance of financial aid programs and services on campus.
Balandra is a student at Cerritos College who faced a troubled life before moving to California and finding Cerritos College, as he made clear in his speech.
With little guidance, he inquired about some of the financial aid programs offered on campus, and is now on the road to academic success.
In the pursuit of a degree in Business Management, Balandra plans to open his own restaurant one day.
The student support services staff was applauded by the board for their hard work in ensuring student success through offering financial aid services that went above and beyond as far as reaching the student body.
The outreach efforts of the financial aid staff was noted when it was announced that a total of 99 workshops were conducted by the staff, and recorded a student attendance total of 11,119.
Followed by the financial aid presentations was a presentation by Dr. Renee DeLong Chomiak, dean of Counseling Services.
Chomiak went over 16 different services offered by the Counseling Division, all services that are offered to any student who is in need of counseling and academic guidance of any sort.
These services that are pertinent to the 2009-2010 school year were available as early as July.
There are still plenty of financial aid services available for students which can be found by visiting the financial aid office in the Administration Building, or by visiting MyCerritos at www.cerritos.edu.
Counseling Services are available to all students, the office hours are Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The next regular board meeting will be held in the same room on Oct. 7 at 6 p.m.