College advisers Toni Blount, Bambi Dove and Rosemary Simpson took a trip to Sampson Community College and observed aspects of the student center. In a couple of weeks, they hope it’s filled with seniors planning for life beyond high school.
The third annual College Gear Up Day is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 21, at Sampson Community College. Registration is set for 9 to 9:15 a.m., followed by information sessions and the college fair from 9:30 to 11:45 a.m.
For the first time, the event is being held on the college campus. Previously, Clinton High School served as the host building.
“Location is our biggest change,” Blount said. “We wanted to partner with our community college. So many of our students will become students here.”
Dove said she’s excited about the partnership being formed with the college for the upcoming event.
“We think it’s a place that a lot of the students will wind up attending,” Dove said. “We thought it would be a good idea to have the visit while they’re here.”
It also provides a neutral location for students attending area high schools.
“A lot of students feel more comfortable coming somewhere neutral as opposed to a high school that they don’t attend,” Dove noted.
Blair Hairr, director of admissions, said the college is grateful for the opportunity to host the event. She said it’s an opportunity for seniors to learn about college-credit courses they can take in high school.
“We’re looking forward to continuing and broadening our relationship with Sampson County and Clinton City Schools,” Hairr said.
Rising seniors enrolled in the Clinton City and Sampson County school systems are invited to attend to receive organizational materials, assistance with college applications and scholarships.
“It’s a great for them to get a jump start on the whole process,” Simpson said.
In addition, attendees may receive lessons on writing personal statement, preparing resumes and NCAA guidelines. A lot of the information will be provided in a binder for students.
“Anything that does with the funding and the application process we will cover that morning and follow up with individual students and parents in our schools throughout the school year,” Blount said.
The advisers also noted how the essay writing process is essential when applying for college. Simpson and Blount said it can make or break the process, since more students are becoming involved with organizations.
“The application process is becoming more and more competitive,” Blount said. “So when they write a personal statement or essay, that’s their chance to really shine. We try to give them strategies on how to make that really powerful.”
Blount mentioned how a lot of students are looking to earn two- or four-year degrees to receive additional education for career paths. She believes the college fair will help in the process.
So far, more than 20 colleges or agencies, along with military personnel, have signed up for the event. The number of participants are still growing and is expected to increase in August.
Parents of seniors are welcome to attend the fair as well. Last year about 250 people attended. With a couple of weeks lefts in the registration period, more than 200 are expected.
“Quite a few families are coming and that’s great,” Blount said.
The Simple Gifts Fund’s Love of Learning Grant Program assisted with the event, which was formed through a collaboration between Clinton City Schools and Sampson County Schools. Funds are awarded to educators for programs, instruction and opportunities such as College Gear Up Day.
“We’re just excited again that the city schools and county schools are collaborating again to start the college process early again for the seniors,” said Margaret Turlington, coordinator of the program. “It’s an opportunity to provide enrichment through this grant for all seniors in Clinton and Sampson County.”
For better preparation, the advisers are encouraging students to register before Aug. 19 at http://goo.gl/forms/fWv4p57UBQ.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.