ASCC Hosts “College Awareness Day” for Local High School Counselors and Principals

By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer

Published on April 23, 2018

(L to R) Dr. Lina Galea'i-Scanlan, Dr. Irene Helsham, and Dr. Rosevonne Makaiwi-Pato

In an effort to improve relations, communication, and access between the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) and the counselors in American Samoa’s public and private high schools, the ASCC Marketing Committee hosted “College Awareness Day” earlier this month, during which high school counselors and principals from across the Territory spent the morning at the College attending informative workshops and networking with ASCC administrators, staff and students. The counselors and principals attending “College Awareness Day” represented local high schools including Samoana, Nu’uuli Voc-Tech, Fagaitua, Faasao-Marist, Leone, Pacific Horizon, Tafuna, Kanana Fou, Iakina, and South Pacific Academy. Presenters at the event included ASCC President Dr. Rosevonne Makaiwi-Pato, who gave the welcoming remarks, and keynote speaker and former ASCC Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Irene Helsham.

After welcoming the counselors to the event, the College presented the first General Session for all in attendance. The General Session, under the auspices of the ASCC Admissions and Registration staff, featured presentations by Admissions Officer Elizabeth Leuma, Acting Registrar Tupu Fatuesi, and Admissions Outreach Counselor Katrina Helsham. Following the General Session, the attendees had a choice of three Breakout Sessions highlighting different aspects of the transition between high school and college. The Breakout Sessions were “Understanding You and Others’ Diversity” led by Tafaimamao Tupuola, Director of University Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities; a session with the ASCC Division of Academic Affairs hosted by Dean of Academic Affairs Letupu Moananu and Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator Evelyn Fruean; and “College Preparatory Tips & Best Practices” with DOE Administrators Dr. Dottie Aga-Tuisamatatele and Mrs. Talosia Uperesa.

Another General Session which followed, “FAFSA & Federal Student Aid Update,” given by ASCC Financial Aid Officer Peteru Lam Yuen and Financial Aid Counselor Shanelle Tauiliili, covered the important financial aid process that enables most American Samoan students to attend college. The participants then took a break for lunch, after which the Breakout Sessions were repeated to give the counselors another opportunity to choose between the three. The event wrapped-up with a Workshop Summary that gave the hosts a chance to thank all of the counselors for taking the time to spend their day with ASCC, and to acknowledge the many who contributed to the planning of the program.

“This gave us a great opportunity to reach out to the counselors in our high schools,” said ASCC Financial Aid Officer Peteru Lam Yuen, who also serves as chairman of the College’s Marketing Committee. “The information in the General Sessions and Breakout Sessions can apply to any post-high school institution, not just ours, but for those high school counselors who might not have been so familiar with ASCC, we hope they now have a clearer understanding of our own approach the unique challenges of providing American Samoa’s young men and women with a college education.”

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