The 2020 school year is beginning to come to a close as all high school students ponder their next steps to their education and career. On February 28, over 20 colleges set up information tables in the gymnasium to give students the opportunity to explore a variety of college options at the college fair. The college fair was available to sophomores, juniors, and seniors for approximately 30 minutes for each grade level.
“I’d like for [students] to be more prepared as far as options, and colleges, and scholarships, and all that is available in higher education,” expressed Randy Engle, a representative from Montevallo University in Alabama.
Students were exposed to different fields of work and schools that could prepare them for those areas. Art colleges such as the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and Nossi College of Art were represented. In addition to art opportunities, technical colleges such as Tennessee Colleges for Applied Technology (TCATs) were also represented. Higher education was not only represented as a traditional or community college; cosmetology schools, such as Douglas J. Aveda Institute, were available to students for information.
“I’d like [students] to know college can be for anyone. Some people have parents that didn’t go to college, so they think they can’t go, but with the Tennessee Promise, they can go to any community college or TCAT,” explained Holly Melton, a representative of Cleveland State Community College.
Students who visited the college fair may already have decided on a college or know what colleges they are considering, but some are only exploring their options. The college fair gave sophomores and juniors the opportunity to consider options and gather information, while it helped seniors come to a final decision. Some seniors, like Jordan Lowe, have already decided on the college they would like to go to, and have already completed their applications.
“I went to the Tennessee Tech and Nossi tables, but Nossi made me realize I want to go into the media or video field… I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do before,” explained Taylor Hearrell, a junior at Central High School.
The hope of Central’s counselors is that students will be equipped to fully pursue whatever future path they decide to take.
“[Students] get a lot of good information to decide, [and this event will prompt] seniors and juniors [to] begin making their decisions,” concluded Stacy Alexander, Central’s college adviser.