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ASCC Outreach Program bridges high school/college business studies

As part of its yearly Outreach Program, the Business Department at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) hosted 97 students from the Business Clubs of five Tutuila high schools for a morning of touring the ASCC campus and sitting-in on business classes.

“This activity provides the high school students with a preview of the Business Program at ASCC, and also establishes a continuity between their interest in business while in high school and the options open to them should they choose to continue pursuing that interest when they enter college”, said Business Department Chairperson Dr. Faofua Fa’atoafe.

Students from Fagaitua, Samoana, Kanana Fou, Leone, and South Pacific Academy began their morning in the ASCC Lecture Hall, where Dr. Fa’atoafe and members of the Business Ambassadors of ASCC (BAOA) gave an overview of the ASCC Mission as well as the goals and objectives of the Business Program. They next divided into small groups based on their area of interest and attended one of three regularly-scheduled Business classes: Principles of Accounting ll (ACC 151), Principles of Marketing (MKT 195), or Business Communication and Careers in Business (BUS 160).

Following a tour of the College’s campus, the students ended their visit with a closing Reflection Session, which gave them a chance to share what they had learned and ask questions. “Students wanted to know more about our Business Program and ASCC entrance requirements”, said Dr. Fa’atoafe, “and the Reflection Session also gave them the chance to network with fellow students from other high schools.”

BAOA Treasurer Ruby Afamasaga recalled how some of the statements made by students during the Reflection Session offered interesting insights into the many reasons some develop an interest in the subject. “One senior from Fagaitua talked about taking some of the ASCC courses offered to high school students”, said Amagasaga. “She had been thinking of going into Education when she enters ASCC, but since this Outreach Program she’s decided she prefers Business instead. Another girl from Samoana isn’t even a member of their Business Club, but she works in their canteen and wanted to pick up more business skills so she asked if she could come along, and now she’s also decided to study Business.”

Faatumu Enele, another BAOA member, noticed an increase this year from the number of high school students who participated in the same event last April. “Word seems to be getting out about how the ASCC Business Program can teach you not only about how business works overseas, but also about how it works here at home”, she reflected.

“The department always emphasizes useful employment resources, and also sticks to high standards.”

Afamasaga also described the Business Program as “unique”, and emphasized the need for American Samoa’s youth to become adept business people. “Foreigners meet so many of the business needs here”, she observed. “Why can’t our own young people meet these needs?”

Dr. Fa’atoafe credits BAOA for their role in making this year’s Outreach Program a success. “By taking an organizing role in this event, it helps BAOA members develop their leadership, management, communication, and marketing skills. It’s their responsibility to plan, organize, direct, execute and evaluate the various processes utilized during the visit. Overall, it builds their self-esteem and helps them become effective leaders and communicators.”