COC hosts College2Career Day at Valencia campus

College of the Canyons welding student, Uriel Melchor, right, assists an attendee who wears a virtual helmet while getting a hands on virtual lesson on MIG welding during the College to Career Day held at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal
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With dozens of booths to check out or different activities to join in, College of the Canyons hosted hundreds of career seeking students at their College2Career Day on Saturday.

“Each year we put on the college career day event and invite the public as a whole, specifically targeting high school students, with the intent of establishing that pathway to careers,” said Omar Torres, COC’s interim associate vice president of academic affairs.

Assistant Professors Jeremy Patrich, Geography & Geology, left, and Jason Burgdorfer Geography & Geology Vice President Academic Senate discuss careers in geology and geography with attendees during the College to Career Day held at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Held in the Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, the career day event featured a number of college faculty members and vocational instructors who answered any and all questions for prospective recruits for their specific field.

“This event gives students and their accompanying parents exposure to the current and emerging technologies related to career education,” Torres said. “We try to do smaller ones like this through the year, but this one is the culmination of bringing all the interested faculty and campus stakeholders to advertise, market and publicize the potential careers that are available to students.”

Miguel Catalan, a junior at West Ranch High School, attended the event. He plans on attending COC once he graduates. His mother, Rosario Gonzalez, who works in COC’s Community and Continuation Department, said she brought her son to encourage him to start looking at what he would pursue once he started his higher education.

Hart High School student Jacob Rasmussen, 15, left, talks to Keith Kawamoto, Fire Technology Department Chair about the equipment used in firefighting during the College to Career Day held at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

“I was talking to the sheriff’s (deputies) over there because I think I want to be a deputy or officer or in law enforcement someday,” Catalan said. “I was also looking at this video game (booth) too, cause I really like video games.”

Gonzalez said it was important for both of them to attend since her son remains undecided

“I feel if I give him options here, he can get some sense of what careers he’ll want to explore,” she said. “And in a way it alleviates me.”

This year’s career day set itself apart from prior events as this was the first time that organizers had invited a variety of disciplines outside of solely the vocational and technical education programs offered at the school.

Gia Vezzali, 13, gets the opportunity to look through a total station surveyor’s tool during the College to Career Day held at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

“Initially our focus was on vocational (careers), even up until last year,” said Torres. “But one of the things we heard from the students and parents was that it would be nice if it wasn’t only the vocational or technological education aspects. So what we decided this year … was to expand it this year to all the faculty … and include those fields that are related to transfers or general education courses.”

COC officials have said that if a student was interested in attending but missed career day, there will be more opportunities for them in the future. For more information about upcoming career-education events being organized by College of Canyons, visit the school’s website at www.canyons.edu.

“What we’re finding out through research now is that students coming into college need to be pretty set on what they’re going to do and need to make sure they’re still on that path,” said Torres. “We want our youth to be engaging with their career exploration sooner rather than later.”

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