GCHS hosts college and planning fair for students





When the Garden City High School Class of 2013 goes out into the world, the students' lives will take different paths. Some will go to four-year univerisities, some will attend technical schools and some will enter the workforce.

To help determine which route is best for each student, GCHS offered a College and Career Ready Day on Tuesday, which gave students access to 51 colleges, schools and military booths, with representatives and information. The morning conference was offered to juniors and seniors. Students from Holcomb High School and Deerfield High School also attended the event.

Senior Ricardo Duran, 19, came to the fair Tuesday already knowing what his plan is.

He showed Kae Lee Hogan, counselor, a letter of acceptance from Garden City Community College.

Duran said the process for applying and becoming accepted seemed like a long wait, but it was worth it.

"I filled out the application form and found out a few weeks later," he said.

Duran plans to pursue a certificate in the welding program. He already has taken welding classes at the high school.

His first choice was to join the Marines, but he decided to pursue welding.

Duran said he will have many career and travel options after he completes welding courses. Those include welding pipelines all across the country.

"I'm already set on what I'm going to do," he said.

Classmate Maria Rivas, 18, said she's also sticking around Garden City to complete some college courses.

She'll head to GCCC and study nursing. After that, she plans to go to a four-year college. Tuesday, she said she may look for some possibilities at the conference.

"I'd just like to see where I can go after two years at the college, and explore my options," she said.

Maria Ruiz, 18, a senior, said she's undecided about her route of study but knows it will begin at GCCC.

She said she'll be enrolling at the college to complete some basic courses of study.

Ruiz said she may then head to a four-year university to study social work.

"I just really like helping people," she said.

Ruiz said Rhonda Hutton, her school counselor at Florence Wilson Elementary School, inspired her to pursue a degree in social work.

"And now I'm just keeping my options open," she said.

Austin Longoria, 17, a senior, also plans to go to GCCC to complete his first two years of study. After that, he'll head to Kansas State University to complete a four-year degree, then will go to chiropractic school.

"I know it's going to be a lot of school but you do what you've got to do," he said.

Jennifer Meng, counselor, said the school helps students determine what their interests are, and the involvement in the four different academies at GCHS reflect those interests.

The new school features four academies: the Academy of Trade and Health Science, the Academy of Arts and Communications, the Academy of Public Service and the Freshman Academy. Each career academy will have teachers from different subjects who will combine their efforts as a means of integrating academic and technical curriculum.

"We take an interest inventory their freshman year and try to help them make the best choices based on their interest and skills," she said.

Meng said this is an appropriate time of year to have a college and career fair because many scholarships are due Nov. 1.

Hogan said seniors have more of an idea of what their future holds and juniors are starting to think more seriously about their futures. Hogan said it's important to expose students to a wide variety of options including four-year degrees, two year certificates, military options and cosmetology schools.

"Research is showing that a two-year degree or tech certificate is going to be more in demand than a four-year college degree in the future," Hogan said.

The 51 different booths included colleges, universities, technical schools and military branches offering information to students on future options after high school. The conference is held to help answer students' questions about higher education.

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