Experiencing college from different perspectives
When Angelina was in high school, she took advantage of the opportunity to earn college credits early through a collaboration between Laurel High School and Prince George’s Community College (PGCC). She enjoyed being on the college campus; she just wished there was a way to get there without spending so much time in her car. Accounting for traffic, sometimes her commute to school was 50 minutes. Once Angelina graduated from high school and was attending PGCC, she learned of another, more convenient option.
“I needed to take Interpersonal Communication, Biology, and Pre-Calculus, and all three were offered on the Laurel College Center campus, which is about a 10-minute drive from home,” recalls Angelina. “I didn’t think twice about registering to take them there. I could get the credits I needed, and save a lot of time and gas money.”
The Laurel College Center (LCC) is a regional higher education center founded by PGCC and Howard Community College (HCC). A number of courses offered on both campuses are also available at LCC, giving students more flexibility when it comes to building out a schedule that will work each semester. For Angelina, LCC also provided an answer when she looked to gain practical, hands-on work experience. She began volunteering in the LCC business office two years ago, with an initial goal to fulfill a service-learning requirement; part of her course of study as she pursues an associate degree in psychology. She enjoyed the experience so much that she accepted an offer to stay on board, working part time to plan and manage campus events and help out around the office, during the spring 2019 semester.
“Being a student as well as an employee, I have been able to see things from a different perspective,” said Angelina, who plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor in neuroscience. “There are many challenges involved with managing a busy college campus, but there are also many rewards. Being able to see and be part of the big picture has taught me a lot, and I’ve had a lot of fun too.”
UPDATE ON ANGELINA’S JOURNEY – January 2020
Angelina proudly walked across the stage in spring 2019 with an associate’s degree in psychology from Prince George’s Community College. A few months later, she stepped foot onto the University of Maryland at College Park campus as a new student, with her sights set on earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology, along with a certificate in women’s studies.
“College Park is much bigger and more diverse, but my community college experience definitely prepared me well,” said Angelina, a full-time student who also runs an Etsy shop to pursue her creative passions while making some extra cash. “The psychology courses I took at PGCC, Laurel College Center, and online gave me a good foundation, so that I could come here and do well.”
Angelina is also taking advantage of opportunities to be active on the College Park campus outside of class. She was recently elected President of the new Vegan Club and will be working to spread word about the purpose of the group and get more students involved, in the months to come.
“We want to create a network of people who are living the vegan lifestyle or who are interested in learning more about it,” said Angelina. “This spring I’ll be focused on recruiting new members and planning events to bring more students together. It’s a great way to be involved on campus.”