Elsa Larson: Staff
What do you do at the college? How does your job help students meet their goals?
I work as a Program Coordinator here at the GHC Welcome Center. I process incoming transcripts and complete the transcript evaluations. I also process and send out GHC’s transcripts, diplomas, and certificates to students.
I am also the lead for our Zoom lobby for the Welcome Center. Students can call or email me, or go to the Zoom lobby and ask about how to order transcripts, ask what the status of their certificate is, get help with adding and dropping classes, and switching into the correct classes if they accidentally signed up for the wrong one.
I also do the transcript translations for the college, which is evaluating transcripts from other colleges to see whether they qualify as credit for a class here. Some students submit transcripts from the seventies and eighties and I do a lot of research to see how that translates by reaching out to the schools and looking at the course descriptions. Some courses in Washington are pre-designated to be accepted across colleges and we accept most of those, and we decide for others on a case-by-case basis.
What makes you passionate about what you do for students?
I love what I do here. I’m actively helping students complete their goals on a daily basis.
I also volunteer at the GHC table at the Aberdeen Sunday Market. I’ve met a lot of people there who have thought that college was too expensive for them, or weren’t sure that college was right for them, and we’ve had a lot of people follow through with us.
What’s your favorite part about working at GHC?
I’m helping people complete their goals every day, and I have really amazing coworkers and work in an office with a really nice atmosphere. GHC is a smaller college, and you really get to know your coworkers more, so even if you don’t get to see them face-to-face on a daily basis, you build up a camaraderie. I enjoy the people I work with and we have a lot of fun.
What advice do you have for students? What do you wish students knew about?
Make sure you know what you’re interested in and take classes in different fields if you don’t know. Try to take school seriously even if you don’t know exactly what you want to do. Ask questions, do what you need to do, and if you do have a bad experience, there are options like submitting for a retake.
For those that don’t know, ordinarily when you retake a class, the original grade remains on your transcript in addition to the new one. But if you submit a retake form, your new grade will replace your old one and from the outside, it will look like you only took the class that one time.
We also have a process called ‘redlining.’ If you have a really bad quarter, you say “I want to redline my grades for this quarter,” and it will erase those grades from your transcript like they never happened. This does apply to an entire quarter and you can’t choose to keep one or two good grades, so it is a big step to take. We keep the paperwork showing that you did take the classes and that you asked us to take that off of your transcript, but that information will not be on your transcript.
Are you a GHC alum? If so, can you share something awesome about your experience as a student? What about your experience as a student made you want to get a job here?
I am not, but my grandmother actually came here when she was younger. I have a lot of family that lives in this area, and I had wanted to move here for a long time. When I saw an opportunity here, it was a dream come true. Getting interviewed and being able to come here is almost unbelievable. I thought it would never happen and it makes me so happy.
I went to college at Ball State University in Indiana, but my family is originally from Washington. I got my Bachelor of General Studies with concentrations in Japanese and Asian studies from Central. I also have a bachelor’s in English writing and a master’s in Elementary Education.
If you’re not an alum, why do you think community colleges are awesome?
Community College is a great option. There are a lot of great programs, whether you want to go for a more hands-on degree or a more ‘cerebral’ one. Community Colleges save you a lot of money. I didn’t do that, and I regret it. Some people have this bad idea that a Community College is for people that don’t have the smarts to go to a “real” college, and that’s just wrong. Community college is a great option, AND it saves you money. If you can get the same education for a cheaper price tag, why not?
What do you do when you’re not working at GHC?
I am a gamer. I’ve been thinking about joining the Esports team here, but I haven’t had time yet. I’m definitely interested. I also have my own twitch channel under MythosBearThe. I mostly stream Sims 4 now, and used to play Sea of Thieves also.