published: Friday, October 12, 2012
Students meet their future
THERESA CAMPBELL | Staff Writer
More than 500 students and parents packed Everett A. Kelly Convocation Center at Lake-Sumter Community College on Monday night for College Night and a chance to mingle with representatives from 54 colleges and universities.
The free event allowed area students to explore their options, while also providing guidance for LSCC associate's degree students and adults working in the workforce interested in returning to school.
"We're providing them with information," said Debbie Marvel, director of enrollment management at LSCC. "We want to help them get their education to wherever they want to go."
"Being here is important to me and I think that it's great that they're doing this," said South Sumter High School junior Michel Short, who aspires to become a veterinarian. "This is helping a lot of kids out, giving them advice to help them do what they want to do in their life."
Two of the the college representatives who came the farthest were Lucy Negron of Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and Nelson Morales representing Monroe College in New Rochelle, N.Y.
"We specialize in engineering," Negron said of the Puerto Rico school that has a campus in Orlando. "I come to LSCC to recruit and I want people to know that we've been around for 45 years. We started out as a land-and-surveying school and then it grew into engineering and architecture. We are the second largest Hispanic university to graduate engineers nationwide."
Morales encouraged College Night attendees to check out going to college in New York City.
"There are a lot of great schools in Florida, but there is a different opportunity going to New York and experiencing the Big Apple," he said. "New York City is a young people town, and that is what I want students to experience."
He said the private college is home to about 8,000 students and is known for its nursing, hospitality, culinary, business and criminal justice programs.
"Every one of our programs requires internship and gives young people an opportunity to work while they're going to school," Morales said. "We're like a big family and that is what attracts people to Monroe College."
John Easterbrook of Florida State University said College Night was a chance to stress the importance of applying early and making the time to visit the Tallahassee campus.
"My biggest advice is to get organized and get ahead of the game, so that you're not scrambling when it comes time to submit applications," he said. "Make a spreadsheet with the all the colleges that you are interested in, check out their deadlines, ask about super scoring, and all the important information that varies from college to college."
Many students flocked to the LSCC tables to learn more getting a start on their education here at home. LSCC also hosted a presentation by the college's financial aid office and answered questions about admissions and program offerings.
South Sumter student Caitlyn Locke said LSCC is where she wants to go to school, which pleases her mother, Diane Lamb, who earned her associate's degree in business administration at LSCC two years ago. Lamb is employed as city clerk for Center Hill.
"I really want to go here," Locke said.
"And I want her to go here. I want her to get a good education," added Lamb.
"We really are a great place to get your first start," said Claudia Morris of LSCC. "And now that we are incorporating 4-year programs, there are endless possibilities here. Student success is our main mission."