morningthunder Archives - Niagara County Community College

Gap Year

NCCC Offers Exploratory “Gap Year” Options

By News Archive

While the pressure to attend a four-year college, trade school, or enter the workforce can weigh heavy on high school seniors, the option for a “gap year” may be an option that facilitates career exploration while moving forward with purpose. Bob McKeown, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management at Niagara County Community College is a strong supporter for prospective students who are on the fence between committing to a full course load and cautiously planning their path.

McKeown explains, “Typically a gap year is a semester or year that students use for experiential learning and exploring educational options. It’s typically taken after high school and before post-secondary school. However, it can be taken at any time throughout your college career. Students use this time to deepen their professional and personal awareness.” And, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter plans later into the year, more students are considering a gap year closer to home.

NCCC offers more than 60 programs and many ways to attend class. While NCCC’s Sanborn campus and Niagara Falls Culinary Institute are home to state-of-the-art classrooms, labs, athletic facilities, and student spaces during regular daytime hours, the College also offers evening class formats and online learning options. There is truly something for everyone.

Topics span a diverse spectrum of liberal arts courses, hands-on technical training, allied health classes, and specialized hospitality and culinary arts experiences at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. Students have the option to sample an array of subjects to find their passion without much of a cost to their time or their wallets. “NCCC is literally the ‘Smart Place to Start’ because students can earn credit online, continue to work their job, and save money simultaneously. This is also a good option for students who may be undecided. They can sign up for classes in several different academic majors, take some of the their core courses like English and Math, and then when they know the exact major they are interested in, they can switch into that specific program, complete the remaining required courses, and earn their degree,” says McKeown.

NCCC’s homegrown podcast, “Morning Thunder” recently discussed the idea of a gap year with Academic Center for Excellence host, Madison Ebsary. The riveting discussion focused on the value of earning credits online while exploring your options, saving money, and then transferring those credits to a four-year institution in the future. If you are interested in learning more about exploratory education and taking a gap year at NCCC, you can tune into Morning Thunder at http://niagaracc.suny.edu/morning-thunder/ to hear the full episode.

For those who are ready to begin their gap year, McKeown encourages future students to, “Apply to NCCC in order to get started. There is no application fee or obligation. Go to the NCCC Admissions page at http://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/admissions/ and click on the “Apply Now” tab in the upper right-hand corner.” You are also encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see how much financial aid you would qualify for. NCCC Admissions counselors and Financial Aid representatives are happy to guide you through the application process and talk to you about your options.

Media Contact Information

Denyel Beiter
Events Coordinator
Phone: 716-614-5974
Email: dbeiter@niagaracc.suny.edu

Morning Thunder

NCCC to Launch “Morning Thunder” Podcast

By News Archive
NCCC podcast co-host, Madison Ebsary, shows off her recording studio. Denise Prohaska virtually speaks with a guest on the latest episode of Morning Thunder.

NCCC podcast co-host, Madison Ebsary, shows off her recording studio. Denise Prohaska virtually speaks with a guest on the latest episode of Morning Thunder.

With social distancing measures taking place across the globe, Niagara County Community College seeks to safely connect students to faculty members in new ways. Zoom meetings, virtual classes, conference calls, and utilizing social media accounts are the new settings for academic and social encounters, but NCCC’s latest bridge to students comes in the form of a new podcast, “Morning Thunder.”

The founder and co-host of this creative podcast is NCCC Admissions Counselor, Denise Prohaska. Her co-host, Madison Ebsary, Coordinator of the Academic Center for Excellence, also brings a wealth of information and discussion topics to each episode.  In addition, while he may not have a lot to say, Tripp the Thunderwolf, NCCC’s beloved mascot, played an instrumental role in giving the podcast its unique name.

“Morning Thunder,” according to Ebsary, seeks to “Connect with NCCC students and provide a means of communication during this unique time in history.” She adds, “Our primary audience is our current NCCC students, but depending on the episode, we hope that employees, alumni, and the community will enjoy it, as well.”

Prohaska further explains, “This tool will allow us to remain current and in touch with our NCCC community.  We have such an amazing group of people on our staff who have expertise, experience, and knowledge to share.  Plus, with Madison as our interviewer, she brings out the best in our guests and creates a warm, open, inviting podcast. Our audience can listen to this information at any time or in any place.  ‘Morning Thunder’ will surely help all of us stay NCCC Strong.”

The range of topics are diverse and have already included a discussion with campus counselors about mental health practices, tips on prepping for finals with on-site academic coaches, and the impact of grades on students’ transferability and Financial Aid. Future episodes are currently being recorded and will include speaking to Program Coordinator, Aaron Cobaugh, about the Animal Management degree and his thoughts on the Netflix hit, “Tiger King.” Also in the works: a discussion about Workforce Development opportunities with Director Karen Kwandrans.

You can listen to “Morning Thunder” at your convenience by visiting the NCCC website at http://niagaracc.suny.edu/morning-thunder/ or by listening on the podcast platform, Spreaker, at https://www.spreaker.com/show/morning-thunder-nccc-podcast. The college community, especially students, are encouraged to email ace@niagaracc.suny.edu to pitch ideas about topics they’d like to hear.

Media Contact Information

Sara Harvey
Assistant Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-6220
Email: saharvey@niagaracc.suny.edu