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Fast track program helps prepare first-time college students

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Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 7:40 am, Thu Aug 8, 2013.

Recent graduates from area high schools gathered at Central Texas College on Wednesday for a three-day crash course in what to expect as first-time college students.

“It can be overwhelming when you don’t know anyone or where anything is,” said Kim Christian, the director for the Fast Track Finale program. “This is a chance for the students to get to know each other, and get information about the support and services available to them.”

In addition to team-building activities, the workshop offers participants assistance with everything from registration, guidance and counseling to establishing degree plans and financial aid. The students also received information about campus life and college readiness through various breakout sessions.

For incoming college freshmen such as Jessica Travino-Mora, the free event provided a way to ease into the sometimes stressful transition from high school to college.

“I didn’t just want to just jump in not knowing what I was doing,” said Travino-Mora, who graduated from Copperas Cove High School in May. “I thought this would be a great way to get information.”

About 125 students showed up to participate in the first day of the workshop. The college also runs the Fast Track program at high schools in the Copperas Cove and Killeen school districts during the academic year.

About 300 to 400 students from local high schools participated last year. According to college officials, about 20 percent of each graduating high school class ends up enrolling at CTC.

Rayvin Edayan, a Shoemaker High School graduate, said the Fast Track program helped him successfully navigate the college application process.

“There’s a lot of stuff to do. Things like applications and financial aid,” Edayan said. “I’d definitely tell (high school students) to do Fast Track to make it easier.”

Wednesday’s workshop also included an information session for parents of incoming freshmen. CTC Chancellor Thomas Klincar outlined the college’s benefits and highlighted the variety of schedules and courses available to meet students’ schedules.

“Be creative in getting your young person’s education completed,” Klincar said.

For students, the Fast Track Finale workshop continues through Friday.

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