Local News

Monday, Sep 07 2009 12:00 PM

Get involved: College night a chance to learn about higher education options

BY ERIN PATTESON, Californian staff writer epatteson@bakersfield.com

This year will mark the 10th anniversary of Kern County College Night, an event expected to draw close to 6,000 students and parents seeking information about higher education.

It will be held from 6 to 9 p.m Monday, Sept. 14 at the Bakersfield Convention Center.

The event is a chance for juniors and seniors in high school, as well as college transfer students, to meet and talk to representatives from 70 to 80 colleges from around the country, said coordinator Christine Goedhart-Humphrey at the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office.

Colleges send representatives who can answer questions student might have, such as those pertaining to financial aid, scholarships and admission requirements. Students can learn the specific requirements of the school of their choice, and policies on transferring from a junior college.

In addition to most University of California and California State University campuses, representatives from Columbia University, the University of Notre Dame, and Stanford University, among others, will be there.

Goedhart-Humphrey also pointed out that not only can students speak to representatives of their dream school, but they can also look at schools they may not have previously considered.

April Woody, the 10th-grade and head counselor at Centennial High School, said it is important for students to attend College Night.

"It helps them become aware of all the college options," she said.

Bakersfield resident Julie Francisco attended College Night with her son two years ago, and her son still receives brochures from the colleges. While helpful, she said the event was "very crowded," but it thinned out after the first few hours.

Organizers hope more students will consider the life-long benefits of college.

In 2007, 44.1 percent of students in Kern County went on to college, according to the California Postsecondary Education Commission. That number is below the state average of 48 percent.

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