Posted at: 10/23/2013 7:09 PM
By: Dan Conradt
Students Glimpse Their Futures
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Hundreds of teenagers around our area might have a better idea of what they want to do with their lives today.
And if they haven't made a specific choice, the hope is that they're at least thinking about it.
"Our goal is to jump-start them, get them thinking about what they want to do for a career," said Riverland Community College’s Nel Zellar.
“And more importantly, understand the education and training they're going to need to get those jobs."
It’s been a fixture at Riverland for more than 30 years – “I think the importance of it has gotten even greater," Nel Zellar told us – and on Wednesday, Riverland’s Career Day and College Fair drew nearly a thousand juniors from 14 area high schools.
"I am talking about my field, which is education," Heidi Schara told us during a break between sessions. She was a presenter in one of more than 30 career areas. "I'm talking to students about what they need to prepare for an education career, what they might do in terms of college."
“In the state of Minnesota by the year 2018, 70 percent of the jobs that are going to be available are going to require some sort of post-secondary education," Riverland’s Nel Zellar said.
That might be a four year college degree -- or it might not.
"Some of the greatest need and demand are in the career and tech areas ... manufacturing, welding," Zellar explained.
"I did not approach it the same way when I was 18," Riverland student Nate Howard said. As a 38-year-old father of two, Nate Howard is a "non traditional" student.
“Right now I'm back in school, pursuing a master's in fine arts," he explained. “At this point I'm looking at pursuing opportunities in education. I'd like to teach, ultimately."
“I think every single student walks into a learning situation with their own background, and that influences how they learn," presenter Heidi Schara said.
Wednesday, students start taking college-prep courses before they reach their teens.
"I think students do need to target what they want to do. but they can change their minds," Heidi Schara explained.
90 public and private colleges were also represented at the annual college fair at the Riverland campus in Austin.