ORIENTATION

WELCOME NEW STUDENTS!
We feel privileged to hold one of the most rewarding positions on campus because it allows us the opportunity to meet and offer support to the newest student members of our DEC family as they prepare for a significant transition.


With all new beginnings comes change and adjustment. Attending Orientation is one of the best ways to ensure your successful transition. Orientation will help to prepare you for the physical and emotional opportunities and challenges that will come. Just getting to know the staff, learning classroom and resource facility locations, and having a chance to get to know other students will open many doors for you.


We hope you will benefit from the following information. And for each of you, we wish you a very positive and successful experience.


Tony Baez Milan

Director of Admissions
tbaez@dec.edu | (724) 653-2183

 

 
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+ PREPARING FOR DEC

A successful first-semester experience at DEC requires careful planning. DEC’s staff will communicate with you prior to your first day about the important academic and campus life matters.


You MUST Set Up The Following:

  • Student Portal
  • DEC Email Account


WHY STUDENT PORTAL?

Student Portal gives students instant access to:

  • Grades
  • Class Schedules
  • Attendance
  • Account Balances
  • And More!


For “How-To” instructions on Student Portal set up, please visit our IT Department
 here.


Having trouble? Please contact DEC’s IT Support Desk here.


WHY DEC EMAIL ACCOUNT?
As soon as you accept admission to DEC, you can activate your official DEC Email Account. This email address will be used to communicate to you during your tenure at DEC. Your DEC Email Account provides important information, including:


Instant Access To:

• DEC News
• Emergency Alerts
• Inclement Weather Delays
• Student Life Announcements
• Scholarship Opportunities
• And More!


Again, you must activate your email account in order to receive these important emails. For “How-To” instructions on DEC Email Account set up, please visit our IT Department
 here.


Having trouble? Please contact DEC’s IT Support Desk here.


COMPUTER / INTERNET LOGIN
Individual login information will be emailed to your personal email address prior to Orientation.


For “How-To” instructions on Computer / Internet Login set up, please visit our IT Department here.


Having trouble? Please contact DEC’s IT Support Desk here.


WIFI ACCESS
WiFi is available for personal devices. You MUST contact the IT Support Desk here to have your device registered.


DEC MOBILE APP

Incoming students are encouraged to download DEC’s Mobile App for their mobile devices prior to Orientation Day. The DEC Mobile App is available for FREE in the Apple Store / iTunes, as well as Google Play for Android. Simply search for “Douglas Education Center.”


The DEC Mobile App Features Direct Links To:

  • Orientation Information
  • Campus / Facility Overviews
  • Street View Mapping
  • Campus Maps
  • Tap-to-Dial DEC Departments
  • Student Portal
  • DEC Email
  • Local Services (i.e. Gas, Food, ATM, etc.)

+ WHY ORIENTATION?

Orientation is your chance to get a head start. It is designed to introduce all new students to life at DEC. Although your Orientation Day will be brief, it will be both an intensive and rewarding time. You will have the opportunity to meet new students and staff who make DEC a supportive and caring place. You will have a chance to explore the campus and take care of all the necessary procedures to prepare you for your first day of classes.


It is important for your successful start to DEC that you attend Orientation. You will gain a greater understanding of the school, its programs and your options whilst here. During Orientation you will:

  • Get Picture Taken For Student ID
  • Receive Class Schedules
  • Meet Departments
  • Learn About Available Student Resources
  • Tour Campus / Classrooms
  • Get Books / Materials
  • Make Friends
  • And More!

+ LOCAL HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS

Be sure to mention that you are a Douglas Education Center student to receive a discounted rate!


Best Western
101 Gosai Drive

Bentleyville, PA  15314
(724) 239-4321


Holiday Inn
25 Smita Lane

Bentleyville, PA  15314
(724) 239-7700


Comfort Inn
4300 State Route 51 South

Belle Vernon, PA 15012


Hampton Inn
1525 Broad Avenue Extension

Belle Vernon, PA 15012


Holiday Inn Express and Suites
181 Finley Road

Belle Vernon, PA 15012

+ ACADEMIC LIFE

DEC provides an abundance of academic support services to help students achieve their academic objectives.


The Education Department is DEC’s academic advising hub. Our staff serves as advisors to students, as well as assists students with academic issues and enhanced academic support.


Academic programs include advising, mentoring, and tutoring services.


ADVISING SERVICES AND MENTORING

Personal attention, service and mentoring are important parts of the “DEC Experience.” Academic advising and tutoring are available to students. Students should contact their instructors or the Vice President of Academic Affairs located in DEC’s Education Department.


Staff members are available for assistance with personal concerns or problems. Students are encouraged to ask for assistance from any of our staff. If a situation arises, or a student makes a request, DEC personnel will recommend referral to an outside professional service. All members of the administration and faculty are willing to devote extra time to those students who seek individualized instruction or assistance.


DEC has established a mentor policy, which assigns each incoming student with a mentor who is an instructor in his/her program of study. The mentor meets with all students whom he or she is mentoring during the first week of classes and as needed thereafter.


The mentor is available to answer any questions or address any concerns of the student. The mentor attempts to make the student feel more comfortable in this new educational experience. This service also provides the student with a specific person to whom he or she may go when an issue arises. If the mentor is unable to resolve the issue, he/she can direct the student to the appropriate staff person or resource.


TUTORING

Tutoring is available at no charge to the student upon request to the instructor of the course in which they require assistance. Tutoring will be arranged by the Education Department.


YEAR AT A GLANCE

DEC ACADEMIC CALENDAR

+ STUDENT LIFE

Extracurricular activities provide social interaction and provide students with the opportunity to get together outside of the classroom and mingle with students from different programs who they may not see on a daily basis.  These activities are valuable for a student’s personal development.

ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:

  • Movie Nights
  • Summer Picnics
  • Holiday Themed Parties
  • Seminars
  • Guest Speakers
  • Field Trips

There is also a Student Lounge located on the 1st floor of the Van Keulen Complex. Here students can come and relax and watch TV, play pool or darts, and enjoy hot food and snack options.

Stay Connected!

DEC has a number of social media outlets for which students can stay connected with DEC. These include: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Instagram. There is also a student social media committee that meets on a regular basis with Janelle Imbrescia, DEC Social Media Coordinator, to discuss ways in which DEC can improve its presence on all these channels. There is also a DEC specific hashtag, #DECLife, which students are encouraged to use throughout their time here at DEC.

+ BUSINESS OFFICE

The Business Office is your “one-stop shop” for any question you may have in regards to your account balances. Students should refer to their Student Portal Account for up-to-date information regarding their account balances. Payments are made to the Bursar / Business Office. Payment plan options are available to those who qualify. Please contact the Business Office for more information at (724) 653-2201.


STIPENDS

Upon referring to their Student Portal Accounts, students may be eligible for a stipend check. If this is the case, students can pick up their stipend “living expenses” check in the Business Office after 1:00 PM on Thursdays.

+ FINANCIAL AID

Everyone’s financial aid is unique and specific only to you. If you have any questions regarding your individual record, please contact the Financial Aid Department located in the 7th Street Administration Building, 2nd Floor or (724) 653-2194.


Financial aid is dispersed at various times through the semester. Please refer to your Financial Plan / Award Notification for the estimated date(s) of disbursement for your funds.


*Note* Stipend checks
 are to be picked up in DEC’s Business Office located in the 7th Street Administration Building, 3rd Floor.

+ CAREER SERVICES

Douglas Education Center’s Career Services Department strives to send each student into the professional world, with the strength and confidence to succeed

The Career Services Department offers the following amenities:

*Assistance in finding full-time, part-time, and freelance opportunities.

* Volunteer events for you to practice your skills.

* Custom made spreadsheets of potential employers all across the country.

*Specific  Career Service Facebook pages for each discipline.

* Resume and on-line portfolio building.

* Weekly job filers and notifications for all programs.


The Career Services Department provides access to a state-of-the-art photography studio. A professional photographer is available by appointment and photographs are provided in both print and digital format.


LIBRARY SERVICES

Students have access to the DEC Student Library for Books, DVDs, and Magazines. The DEC Library is located on the first floor of the Van Keulen Complex. The hours of operation are as follows:

Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Students are also encouraged to request a library card through the Monessen Public Library. The Monessen Public Library card also gives students access to interlibrary loans through the Westmoreland Library Network. This gives our students access to resources from all the libraries in Westmoreland County.

LEARNING RESOURCE CENTER (LRC)


Students have access to the Learning Resource Center (LRC) which is equipped with computers and printers for research needs.

+ PORTFOLIO & CAREER DEVELOPMENT CENTER

PORTFOLIO AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT CENTER
DEC recognizes the importance of students developing professional portfolios. The Portfolio and Career Development Center was created to give students in the art and entertainment disciplines a professional area for portfolio foundation. The Center is open to all students and they are encouraged to utilize it frequently so that their portfolios contain their absolute best work.


Services at The Center include professional photographs of student work, information on how to light pieces for photography purposes, how to use social media, and assistance with layout and design to be able to create a comprehensive and compelling portfolio.

+ STUDENT SERVICES

This is a time when students are developing their ability to function independently in the world. Some students experience roadblocks in this process, and the Student Services Committee is here to help. The Student Services Committee helps students who have concerns in the following areas:
Personal Issues: Adjustment to school, relationships, self-understanding, resolving conflicts, depression, anxiety, grief and loss, stress management, etc.
Academic Issues: Time management, study skills, test-taking skills, test anxiety

Career Planning: Learning more about how interests, skills, personality, and values relate to careers; deciding on a career choice; understanding how to gather information about career fields; putting together a portfolio of your work

Student Activities: Giving feedback about events, sharing ideas for new events, learning more about the surrounding area
There are specific committee members designated for each area. They are as follows:

Academic Issues- N.  Renee McDowell/ rmcdowell@dec.edu / 724-653-2212

Portfolio Planning- Rick Szymanski/ rszymanski@dec.edu / 724-653-2227

Personal Issues/Title IX- Mike Crosby/ mcrosby@dec.edu / 724-653-2196

Student Activities- Janelle Imbrescia/ janelle@dec.edu / 724-653-2192

Admissions/ Welcome Center- BJ Rapp/ brapp@dec.edu / 724-653-2100
There is also a student services guide available (provide link)
If long-term care or special treatment programs are indicated, we will refer to appropriate service providers.

+ INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

DEC provides reliable access, with responsive service and support, to computing and information technology resources. DEC continually looks to incorporate new technologies to improve processes associated with instruction, research and administration. The Information Technology Department empowers students to make effective use of information resources.


As a new student, there are many IT “To Do’s” you must complete in order to fully benefit from DEC’s IT services. These include:

  • Create a Lab Computer Login and Internet Use Login
  • Create a DEC Portal Account
  • Create a DEC Email Account
  • Download DEC Mobile App
  • Acquire your building Key Fob
  • Understand DEC’s Computer / Network / Internet Usage Policy


All of these instructions and guidelines can be found
 here.


For IT help, please open a support ticket at www.dec.edu/support.

+ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The transition to attend a higher education institution can be overwhelming. We’ve developed a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help answer some of the more common questions new students have.


Q: Is Orientation required?
A: Yes. Every new student is required to attend Orientation. This is because Orientation gives you the opportunity to meet and get to know your classmates, learn about campus and available resources, meet with faculty and administrators, and receive your course schedules.


Q: What time does Orientation start?
A: Registration begins promptly at 9:00 AM.


Q:
 When do I get my student ID?
A: New students will have their picture taken during Orientation Day. Your instructors will hand deliver your student ID a week after Orientation.


Q: How do I get my class schedule?
A: You will receive you class schedule during Orientation Day. If you have any questions or concerns about your schedule, or you didn’t get a schedule, you will need to see the Education Department located in the 7th Street Administration Building, 4th Floor.


*Note* Cosmetology students will pick up their schedules in at The Cosmetology Academy.


Q: How do I get a parking permit?
A: Permit parking is available for $25 per month. To find out if a parking spot is available, please contact the City of Monessen at (724) 684-4620. Meter parking is also available. Do NOT park in a permit parking spot. The meter maid is notorious – you will be ticketed.


Q:  I need to contact an IT Support Specialist with a problem that I’m having. How do I contact them?
A:  Please visit
 www.dec.edu/support and fill out an IT Support Ticket.


Q:  What is Student Portal?
A:  The DEC Student Portal is a web service that allows you to check your grades, attendance, and get campus-related updates. It’s VERY important that you check your Student Portal account frequently for alerts, announcements, and updates.


The questions and links below, divided into the most common themes, lead to frequent questions that come up for incoming students. If you can’t find the answer to your question, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a staff member at DEC – a list of offices and contact information can be found here. Or, simply email DEC’s Admissions Department at
 info@dec.edu and we will connect you with the right resources on campus.

Move-In / Housing Questions
Boss Development, Inc.
(724) 653-2224


Billing and Payment

Bursar’s Office / Business Office
(724) 653-2201


Financial Aid

Financial Aid Department
(724) 653-2194


Student Services

(724) 653-2192


Computing at DEC / Wireless Access

Information Technology Department
(724) 361-8889


Career Services

Career Services Department
(724) 653-2215

GET MORE INFORMATION
 
 

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