High schoolers get a taste of college with Exploration Day





Ian Rupp wants to pursue a career in criminal justice.

Rupp, a 17-year-old junior at Holcomb High School, narrowed his career goals Wednesday after Garden City Community College's Exploration Day.

Rupp said the day of information on careers, education and the college was helpful.

"It helped me discover what part of criminal justice I wanted to do," he said.

After seeing a demonstration by the Garden City Police Department's K-9 Unit, Rupp said he would like to go into that division of law enforcement.

"I liked seeing how the people and the dogs interact. It's pretty interesting," he said.

His future plans include going to GCCC for two years and then possibly attending Adams State University in Alamosa, Colo.

Rupp was one of 390 juniors and seniors from 16 southwest Kansas schools and one Colorado school who attended Exploration Day.

The day was designed to provide lab or classroom time, campus tours and hands-on experiences in areas ranging from automotive technology, agriculture and animal science, cosmetology, criminal justice, fire science, industrial maintenance, John Deere technology, nursing, emergency medical services technology, welding and athletic training, to business and computer science, journalism, education and sociology.

Rupp's classmate, Kenzie Becker, 16, also found the day informational and helpful.

She also wants to pursue a career in criminal justice, but focus on the forensic aspect of the job.

"It just seems there would never be a boring day, other than paperwork," she said.

Wednesday she learned how to take fingerprints off of glass.

"I also learned that fingerprint ink doesn't come off easy," she said. Becker's plans include attending West Texas A&M University to study forensics. She said she may eventually want to become a lawyer and judge.

Kalen Savoy, 17, a HHS senior, said he found out Wednesday he can do a "two-by-two" program with GCCC and attend the college for two years and then transfer to Fort Hays State University.

Wednesday he attended the business sector and learned what classes he would need to take to complete a bachelor's degree in business engineering. He also wants to do culinary studies and maybe open his own restaurant.

Savoy said the decision to do two years at the local college was easy.

"It's cost-efficient and it's easier for me. It worked out so well," he said.

Belen Terrones, administrative assistant to the GCCC dean of technical education, said Wednesday's exploration day was a success.

"The focus was on juniors and seniors to see what kind of education it takes to go into the field of their choice," she said.

Students also went on a campus tour and ate lunch in the cafeteria.

"They got a taste of what college life will be like," she said.

Last year's Exploration Day attracted 387 students, as well as counselors and other sponsors from public and private high schools serving Colby, Deerfield, Dighton, Fowler, Garden City, Healy, Holcomb, Hugoton, Ingalls, Minneola, Moscow, Ness City, Scott City, Sublette and Ulysses.¬ Students also attended from Greeley County and South Gray high schools, as well as the GCCC Adult Learning Center, according to a release from GCCC.

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