Testing The Waters

Area high school students and their families were welcomed onto Jamestown Community College’s Jamestown campus for an early look at what their futures may hold.

On Wednesday, the college hosted its annual College 101 event, which saw nine families consisting of high school juniors and seniors and their parents attend a series of informative sessions.

According to Dr. Marilyn Zagora, vice president and dean of academic affairs, the purpose of the event is to encourage high school juniors and their families to get a head start on the college search and application process, in order to achieve the best results.

“The intent of this program is to spur the families of our high school juniors to begin the process early, and consider the process to be a great opportunity for the whole family,” she said. “And to (get them to) think about how the family will position their son or daughter to be successful in choosing a college that will help them to reach their goals.”

This was accomplished through the implementation of four sessions, which ran from 5:30-8:30 p.m., to address the aspects of the process. The sessions discussed topics such as: evaluating college options to find the right fit; exploring career directions; separate parent-to-parent and student-to-student discussions, which allowed the attendees to meet with peers that have been through the process already; a parent session regarding the affordability of college and means of financing; and a student activity called, “Survivor: College Edition.”

“The process, when you really engage in it fully, does play out over time. And with each step in that process, you gather more information, which builds upon the things that you’ve learned from the previous step and, I think, leads to a sound decision in the long run,” said Zagora.

While the college has hopes of seeing some of the students that attend College 101 become JCC students, Zagora said that the motivation behind the event is much more altruistic.

“Obviously, we would love every student who’s here tonight to choose JCC, and perhaps many of them will,” she said. “We recognize, however, that as the community college in our region, we have a responsibility to help the students of our region and the families of our region create smooth pathways to bright futures for those young people. We hope they will come through JCC, but even if they don’t, it is in everyone’s best interest in the community for this community college to contribute to the well-being of all the families in this community.”