More than 400 juniors and seniors from 16 southwest Kansas high schools will be converging at Garden City Community College on Nov. 14 at for Exploration Day 2013.

The annual event offers students the chance to take a close-up look at career opportunities in 14 fields through lab or classroom time, campus tours and hands-on experience.

The day will begin and end at the Dennis Perryman Athletic Complex, with participants dispersing for part of their time to program areas in Automotive Technology, Agriculture and Animal Science, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Fire Science, Industrial Maintenance, John Deere Technology, Nursing and Allied Health, as well as Emergency Medical Services Technology, Welding, Athletic Training, Business, Journalism and Education.

"We're excited to have area students visit our campus, see the many diverse opportunities available and gather information that is helpful in making decisions and shaping their future plans," said Jayre Lee, Director of Admissions.

The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration to participate in Exploration Day is available at

Some of the featured associate degree programs that students can experience lead to certification, so enrollees can start their chosen careers in two years. Other programs involve transfer after GCCC graduation to four-year college or university bachelor's degree programs.

Students will begin the day with a shared program in the main campus gymnasium at 9 a.m., followed by campus tours at 9:15 a.m., and then individual career sessions at locations across the campus from 10 a.m. to noon.

Depending on the career fields they select individually, students will participate in hands-on experiences at the John Collins Vocational Building, Academic Building, Penka Building of Practical Arts and Sciences, Gary Jarmer Technical Annex, Southwest Kansas Fire Training Center or the athletic complex.

Students exploring health care, for example, will be able to work with robotic patient simulators in the Erdene Corley Simulation Lab at the Penka Building. Those focusing on welding may use or observe a plasma cutter in the welding lab at the Collins Building, as well as practice computer-aided design and TIG welding.

Students interested in becoming firefighters will visit the fire training center, which includes a multi-story training tower near the southwest edge of the campus. Those interested in the news and information media will produce an online publication.

The college is providing lunch for the visitors at the Beth Tedrow Student Center, with the students converging again at the athletic complex for a 12:30 p.m. closing session. There also will be a drawing for scholarships.

In the past, students have come from Cimarron, Colby, Deerfield, Dighton, Dodge City, Garden City, Greeley County, Holcomb, Hugoton, Ingalls, Moscow, Scott City, South Gray, Stanton County, Sublette and Syracuse high schools to participate in Exploration Day.