Parish students attend college day

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 7, 2010

VIDALIA — Battling dropout rates is a priority for the state and nation, and educators are looking for more ways to keep students involved and interested in life after high school.

Wednesday morning at the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center, Concordia Parish seniors had the opportunity to learn about colleges and career choices at “College Day.”

Career and Technical Education Coordinator Rhonda Moore said this is an annual event the school board hosts.

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“We have students from Vidalia High School, Ferriday High School and Monterey,” she said. “We bus them here so they can go around and learn about different educational options available for them.”

Universities, technical colleges and branches of the military were all at the convention center informing students of the programs and activities they provide.

Moore said the approximately 200 seniors in attendance were allowed to go around and talk to any organization they wanted, to help make a final decision on what they want to do after they graduate.

“Some kids are undecided about their future,” she said. “(College Day) helps the students get specific questions answered that they may have.”

Moore said college is something graduates need to consider.

“Most jobs require some form of education,” she said. “Whether that be a four-year university, or a two-year technical college, most kids who go are able to find more stable careers.”

Enrollment counselor for McNeese State University Kourtney Istre said her work at college and career fairs has shown that high school seniors do enjoy hearing about college.

“Some may not know a lot about college,” she said. “These fairs really help spark their interests.”

Istre also said students need to understand the value a college education brings to a student’s future.

“It makes you more marketable and prepared for the workplace,” she said. “You are more prepared for life.”

Careers in the military also peaked the interest of many seniors in attendance, Moore said.

“Students need something to do after they graduate,” she said. “The military is a fine place to start for some.”

FHS senior Jimmie Green said he talked with the U.S. Army at the event, and he was looking at joining.

“It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “They can offer so much, and they will even pay for my college.”

Green said he was given new motivation to help finish high school after seeing his options at College Day.

VHS senior Kali Barnhill said her attendance at College Day aided her in her decision about possibly attending Nichols State University.

“(College Day) is a good thing,” she said. “It shows you your options and it really helps out a lot.”

FHS senior Jerome Ventress said he learned about places he has never heard of for his years after high school.

“I learned where I can choose from and what I can do,” he said. “I had never heard of Nashville Auto Diesel College, and now I think that is where I am going to go.”