Year after year, about 10,000 students and parents make their way to Mechanics Bank Arena for Kern County College Night. Even though it’s going virtual for the second year in a row, an official of the event provided tips to get the most out of your experience Monday night.
“It is the best adaptive way because college is coming, whether we’re still in lockdown or not, the decision still needs to be made, and we still need to be having those conversations and doing that research,” Foothill High School counselor, Wendy Ward said.
Ward has your crash course for how to ace your Kern County College Night virtual visit, which is taking place on the Canvas platform online, from 4 to 7 p.m.
“Whereas before, we used to have the floor where you could walk around and talk live to the college representatives, now you’re going to be able to pop into the zoom and ask and ask them the questions,” Ward said. “You’re still going to have the direct access. You’re still going to have someone live to talk to, from those colleges and examine if it's the right fit for you.”
Continuing education, as Ward pointed out, is not a one size fits all: About 90 of 110 institutions so far, from trade and technical schools to private, CSUs, UCs, and out-of-state schools, have registered their links to host live Zoom sessions.
“A lot of the colleges will have separate breakout rooms where they can talk to someone, or they can set up a prearranged time to meet with them and talk, because it is intimidating,” Ward said. “They do have intimate questions or stuff that is specific to them. So they can ask the representatives to set up one on one, and they will connect them.”
A video will be accessible an hour before the event to prepare students on what to ask and what to look for on college night, according to Ward.
“What is attractive to you and what do you want to get out of your college experience? What kind of people do you want to be around, how far away from home do you want to be?” Ward said. “Those are questions you need to have with yourself, and with your family. [That way], when you’re with the representative, you can ask those questions and be prepared.”
There will also be pre-recorded and live workshops on 35 different topics, from staying out of debt in college to best practices for applying to certain schools. Ward added that it’s never too early to be prepared.
“There’s no preregistration, there’s no connecting to a school account. Anybody just has to open up a link and they can get access to it,” Ward said. “Even if you’re in junior high or as a parent you’re questioning those conversations with your students when they’re younger, on, can they afford it, or what opportunities are out there.”