Career Day gives students a glimpse of work, life pathways

Area high school students can get a closer look at life and work when Seward County Community College hosts the first of its annual Career Days from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday. Part campus visit, part career counseling, the event offers high schoolers a peek at the future they can build through programs at the college. 

“It’s a great chance for students to speak with instructors about programs and the career possibilities to choose from,” said Director of Admission Bert Luallen. That includes hands-on visits to labs and workshops in the college’s five divisions — Allied Health, Business, Agriculture & Personal Services, Industrial Technology, Math & Science, and Humanities. 

“We want them to do more than just read about the programs, we’re giving them an opportunity to see what happens is you study and practice in the lab. That can be taking a look at the salon in cosmetology, or getting a look at machine tool technology. It’s pretty amazing what the machines are capable of producing,” said SCCC Admissions Recruiter Johnette Johnson. 

Admissions staffers have created a passport for each student, and students can choose which of the seven focus areas to visit. Instructors will stamp the passports through the day, and students who turn in complete passports at the end of the day will be entered in a drawing for prizes.

“We’re expecting around 200 students from the area high schools,” Luallen said. “Feb. 7 and 8, we’ll host sophomore students from Liberal High School. They come on separate days, just so we can give them the most possible individual attention.” Each day begins with an assembly in the Greenhouse and continues to sessions across campus. At noon, the Admissions office will serve lunch in the Student Union. 

Career Days fill the campus with energy and traffic, and demand extra effort from instructors, administrators and the admissions team. However, Johnson said the effort is worth everything it demands. The biggest reward for her is seeing students connect with the possibilities ahead. 

“Taking them through the Industrial Technology division is awesome, because there are so many options,” she said. “When I was in college, I had no idea what those careers involved, or how much money you could make. We have men and women coming out of our Industrial Technology programs making an impressive income. I don’t think people know that.”

Whether students gravitate toward traditional general education, academic programs, or the certificate-offering areas, Luallen said the instructors on campus do an excellent job of engaging students, getting them to participate, and explaining newer areas of study, like the Process Technology program. 

At the end of each day, the hope is that students will return to their high schools with a clearer sense of the choices available to them. 

“We want to make this valuable to every one of them that attends,” Luallen said.

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