High schools in the William S. Hart Unified School District hold their graduations during the last two weeks of May – handing diplomas to local students who have spent the last six years under their stewardship.
The district, however, does not believe their obligation ends as their students throw their caps and tassels into the air.
On Saturday, the Hart District partnered with College of the Canyons to hold their seventh annual College and Career Fair.
Held in and around COC’s Honor Grove, the fair offered students the chance to speak with representatives from nearly 120 universities, technical institutions and military agencies.
“Today we’ve invited all of our Hart District students, as well as all our COC students, to come and explore with over 120 representatives,” said Kari Soffa, Director of Outreach and School Relations at COC.
These representatives lined the sidewalks of the COC Honor Gove; offering students a chance to ask them questions about their institutions, to learn crucial details about their majors and, most importantly, to get excited about the college admissions process.
Eight of the nine University of California (UC) campuses and a plethora of California State University (CSU) schools were represented at the fair. Recruiters from the Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as their respective service academies, were on hand as well.
“They need to have a direction to go after high school,” said Suzette Davis, interim Career and College Advisor at the Hart District.
“They think ‘What am I to do? Am I going to go into career technical education? Am I going to go into a career field? Straight into college to a four-year university? A junior college? A military branch?’” Davis said, highlighting the concerns of many students. “This is a great opportunity for kids to discover these answers for what they want to do after high school.”
The event also feature a series of workshops sponsored by COC.
Students and parents were invited to attend these discussions on financial aid, community college transfers, career opportunities and programs that the Hart District offers in conjunction with COC.
The financial aid workshop was particularly popular.
“The financial aid workshop is currently teaching students how to access money so that they can pay for and finance their education,” said Nadia Cotti, Program Specialist for Career and College Readiness.
Cotti explained that, although the Hart District had been hosting this event for the last six years, this was the first year they had worked jointly with COC.
“We pooled our efforts and, in my opinion, came up with a great product that’s really serving students from junior high all the way through to students who are heading off into the workforce and transferring from COC,” she said.
“It’s a goal for both of us to make sure that kids in the valley are career and college ready.”