More than 200 high school students from all across Sampson County got the chance to see what a college education can offer this week as part of Sampson Community College’s Occupational Career Day.
The event, which spanned two days, is made available to all high schools in Sampson County through invitation at which point sophomores, juniors and seniors in high school who may not be certain which career path to take are chosen to attend.
The students are taken across campus to tour each department under the college’s occupational programs which include Animal Science, Horticulture, Industrial Systems Technology, Building Trades, Cosmetology and Welding. The event is an effort to guide students to a better understanding of college, the opportunities higher education can offer as well as a direct career path to choose after high school.
Barney Grady, SCC’s Division Chair of the Building and Construction Department, says it is always enjoyable to see such young faces come through the doors on career day. “I see these high-schoolers, age 15, 16, 17….some of them may not know exactly what they want to do or maybe they have some idea” he says. “But every once in a while you will see something click and they may decide that ‘Wow— that’s something I’d like to do’. It might be that they had no idea that such an opportunity was available to them before.
“This is the third year we have held this event,” says Steve Matthis, the college’s Dean of Occupational Programs in Agriculture. “Each year there appears to be more and more interest in doing it again the following year.
SCC President Dr. Paul Hutchins, who welcomed the groups to the campus this week, said it is important now for these students to start thinking about the future. “It is our job to make sure we have the latest training techniques and equipment available to these students when they enroll in college” said Hutchins, “All the student has to do is come on board with a plan and some direction…and this event can help with that.”