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Workforce Development Programs Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that FAQ answers and all WIA program policies are subject to change at any time.  Changes to policies are made available to current students by way of a printed copy of the changed policy statement available to students in the Classroom Training Coordinator's office.


WIA Classroom Training Program FAQs

  1. What is the Financial Aid Policy and how do I register for WIA-sponsored training?
  2. What do I do if a class that I've registered for is canceled?
  3. What is the minimum course load requirement for WIA funded training?
  4. Do I have to buy my own school books and supplies?
  5. Are uniforms and equipment covered under the program?
  6. Who owns the books, supplies and equipment used in training classes?
  7. Do I have to pay for licensing test fees?
  8. Can I drop, audit or add a class?
  9. What grade point average must I maintain to remain in the WIA program?
  10. What is the attendance and behavior policy?
  11. Can I change majors?
  12. How long may I continue taking training courses as a "WIA Student"?

What is the Financial Aid Policy and how do I register for WIA-sponsored training?

WIA students are required to apply for the PELL Grant and encouraged to seek and accept any additional assistance for the cost of training that they may be eligible.  If a student qualifies for PELL Grant, or any other financial aid or scholarships funding, these sources must be used to pay for the cost of training prior to WIA funds.   WIA sponsored students are not encouraged to incur any type of debt associated with their training.

The registration process for new students is explained by the WIA Classroom Training Coordinator at the time of the student's enrollment into WIA.

Returning students will be notified prior to the start of early registration as to the specific steps to complete the registration process.  Generally, the returning student registration process is as follows:

  1. Discuss course selections with department advisor (if you don't have one, request one be assigned at the Registrar's office).
  2. Complete questionnaire provided by WIA Classroom Training Coordinator showing courses you plan to take during upcoming semester.  Return the completed form IN PERSON to the Classroom Training Coordinator for review with them (prior to actually registering for classes).
  3. Register for classes you plan to take.
  4. Obtain printout of classes you have registered for from the business office and deliver the printout to the WIA Classroom Training Coordinator.
  5. Review your selections with the Classroom Training Coordinator (pointing out any changes you made to your original selections).  You will then be provided a voucher telling the business office to send WIA a "bill" for your tuition.  YOU MUST TAKE YOUR TUITION VOUCHER TO THE BUSINESS OFFICE WITHIN THE TIME FRAME YOU WERE GIVEN AT THE TIME OF REGISTRATION (otherwise, your registered courses my be purged from the system).
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What do I do if a class that I've registered for is canceled?

You must notify the WIA Classroom Training Coordinator of any canceled courses and will, in most cases, be required to register for any additional hours needed to meet the WIA minimum course load requirement.

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What is the minimum course load requirement for WIA students?

WIA students are expected to carry a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester and to be able to complete their course of study in the time agreed upon prior to selection for WIA sponsorship.  If during a given semester there are insufficient courses offered to maintain these requirements, the WIA Program may require that the student skip that semester or take additional, related classes to make up the required number of credit hours, whichever works best with the student's existing time  for completion of training.  Exceptions to the 12 credit hour requirement must be discussed and approved by the WIA Classroom Training Coordinator.

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Do I have to buy my own school books and supplies?

No.  Once you have registered for classes and provided the Classroom Training Coordinator with an official printout showing the course's cost of tuition and fees, a voucher will be provided to be taken to the Gaston College Business Office that notifies the college to bill WIA.  The business office will notify the student when they can pick up their books supplying permits which allow the student to get their books and supplies from the college's bookstore.  Students are allowed up to $50 per semester for personal school supplies (pencils, pens, composition notebooks, notebooks and other daily class attendance supplies).  The student is not required to use the $50 and any bookstore charges in excess of the $50 allotment will be the responsibility of the student.

If a student requires books, supplies or other items not available from the college bookstore, he/she must obtain approval for the purchase of all items needed from the WIA Classroom Training Coordinator prior to any such purchase if reimbursement for the item(s) is going to be requested.  Students having the school's bookstore charge WIA for items not required for their classes or which are in excess of the semester $50 allotment for personal school supplies, will be asked to repay the inappropriate charges to Gaston County and may be removed from the program.

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Are uniforms and equipment covered by the program?

Uniforms, supplies and equipment that the training institution requires students to have in order to participate in the course of study will be purchased by WIA using normal county purchasing procedures.  If the student already owns a serviceable item (or if the purchase of an item does not present a financial burden to the student) then the student should consider providing the item and not requesting WIA to purchase the item for them.  Remember, only required items will be purchased by WIA.

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Who owns the books, supplies and equipment used in training classes?

All books, supplies and equipment are the property of Gaston County and should be utilized while the student is an active participant in the classroom training project.   If a student should leave the WIA program before completion, he/she must return all reusable books, supplies, and equipment to the WIA program.  If these items are not returned to the WIA program, the student may be billed for them.  Upon completion of the course of study and notification by the Classroom Training Coordinator of such completion, title to these items passes to the student.

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Do I have to pay for licensing test fees?

Some fields of study require that graduates pass a state licensing examination prior to being able to work in the area of training.  Required fees are paid by WIA upon receipt of the proper documentation of charges.  Proper documentation may be either the application to take the test or a statement by the school officials of the necessity for the test and the amount of the fee.  Once the Classroom Training Coordinator has approved WIA funding for the Licensing exam, the preferred method of payment is to reimburse the student for the costs incurred.

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Can I drop, audit or add a class?

No person sponsored by WIA may withdraw from or audit a course without the written permission of a WIA Classroom Training Coordinator.  Requests to audit or withdraw from a course must be in writing stating the reason for the request.  The request must also include statements as to how the audit or withdrawal will effect the anticipated completion date of training and when the student plans to retake the course.   Requests based upon a student's poor performance in the class, for whatever reason, will be denied (also any request not in writing and/or requests without required supporting documentation will be denied).

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What grade point average must I maintain to remain in the WIA program?

All students must maintain a grade point average (GPA) that will allow them to successfully complete their course of study.  This is generally a 2.0 average but, some areas of study may have additional, more stringent requirements (such as Nursing, Medical Assisting).  Students whose GPA falls below 2.0 will be given one additional semester to bring up their GPA to 2.0 or higher if the student can demonstrate that he/she can complete the course of study in the previously agreed upon time frame.  If a 2.0 GPA is not high enough to remain in the course of study, WIA will not be able to continue sponsorship.  Students whose GPA falls below 2.0 will be notified in writing by the Classroom Training Coordinator of their probationary status upon receipt of the student's grades.  The student will have already been enrolled in the probationary semester when they receive notification.

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What is the attendance and behavior policy?

Students should be in class unless they or their family members are ill, or another significant reason necessitates their absence.  Students also must adhere to the attendance policy required by their individual instructors.  Attendance reports are required of each student on a monthly basis (forms are available on 2nd floor of Social Services Building and due by the 3rd class day of each month for hours spent in training during the preceding month).  If a student is dropped from the college's role for poor attendance, they will be dropped from the WIA program.

A student's behavior is governed by the Student Handbook of the appropriate college.   If a student is dropped for violation of the policies of the school they will be dropped from the program.

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Can I change majors?

Normally, students are not allowed to change majors once they are enrolled into the WIA program.  However, there are some cases where it is advantageous to both WIA Program and the student to allow a change in majors.  Permission to change majors must be requested in writing to the WIA Classroom Training Coordinator and must include the reason for the request and a signed statement by their advisor showing a semester by semester projection of classes needed to be completed for the new major.   Students may discuss changing majors with the Classroom Training Coordinator without submitting a written request however, only written requests meeting the requirements noted above will be given consideration for approval.

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How long can I continue taking training courses as a "WIA Student"?

Gaston Counties WIA program will sponsor students in certificate, diploma and 2 year degrees.  Additional time may be available to allow the student to take advantage of any developmental or pre-requisite courses required as a result of the College's placement exam.

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Copyright Gaston Workforce Development Programs,  All rights reserved.
Revised: August 13, 2003.