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August 26th, 2019

sccc logo 2017ELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


Many high school students are already planning for furthering their education, and Seward County Community College has a program helping with just that. 

The college’s Sophomore Career Days will be going on (with the next one being Feb. 20 at the college) and coordinator Bert Luallen said it is a great opportunity for sophomore students. 

“We’ve been doing this the past few years and the purpose of the sophomore career days is to expose our high school sophomores to opportunities for concurrent enrollment and explain to them what is available to them,” Luallen said. “That’s really the purpose of it, and we do talk about all of our programs and not just the CTE ones. And those courses are covered by Senate Bill 155, which means the state pays for the student to take those classes so they can get both high school and college credit. So we decided this year to expand our sophomore career days out to the other 10 area schools we work with aside from LHS, and those include Elkhart, Rolla, Hugoton, Stanton County, Ulysses, Sublette, Meade, Southwestern Heights, Moscow and Satanta. It’s important to inform the students of the opportunities there for them. They can complete a certificate in one of our programs or even their associate’s degree by the time they’re finished in high school, which gives them a real head start out of high school toward the college they want to attend or a really well-paying job if they decide to enter the workforce.”

Luallen said there are many things he hopes the students take away from participating in the career days events. 

“The biggest thing is they can take these classes now while they’re in high school and get them paid for. If they wait until after high school to take these classes or be part of one of our programs, they’ll have to pay for it out of pocket, so taking these now is only a benefit to them,” Luallen said. “It really is up to the individual students, but if they know it’s the right thing for them to get an early start on either their further education or their career, that’s great, and we emphasize how much of a benefit it is for them to get these classes paid for by the state through that bill.”

Luallen added it is also somewhat entertaining watching the students as they come through and get all the information presented throughout the day. 

“One of the more entertaining things I see is when the students come through our cafeteria and they realize they’re not restricted like in their high school cafeteria and can get as much as they want, it’s always rather entertaining seeing their faces when they realize that,” Luallen said with a chuckle. “It’s also great how we get to share all of this information with all of them and then we feel good knowing they know about all these opportunities they have through the college.”

Luallen also said it is a good idea for parents to also do some research into concurrent enrollment programs and some of the other programs offered through the college. 

“The biggest benefit is the cost savings,” Luallen said. “One college class is typically three credit hours, which is about $300 in books and tuition for here, and we’re one of the least expensive community colleges in the area, and that cost is going to be way higher if a student goes to a 4-year university. But if they can get a few of those courses knocked out during high school and take them for free, they’re saving themselves so much money and the typical college student now graduates with an average of about $30,000 in debt. I’m hoping the students will get this information and then tell their parents about it and have that conversation with them. This is also good especially for the parents since it’s such a great opportunity.”

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