Published February 15, 2019
More than 600 high school and middle school students from all over southwest Kansas funneled into the Western State Bank Expo Center Wednesday for the Dodge City Community College Career Exploration Day.
The event showcases all of the DC3 tech programs in stations around the Center, and also featured exhibits by the rodeo team, student housing, fine arts and admissions.
“I’m very grateful to all the staff and teachers at our area schools for brining so many students together,” Ryan Ausmus, dean of Workforce Development, said. “I really get a kick out of watching them enjoy the hands-on activities and interact with our instructors.”
Area schools use the event as a way to expose their students to careers they may have never thought about.
Darrie Stebens, director of student services in Cimarron, tries to get students to as many of these events as possible.
“We want our kids to come back and serve southwest Kansas,” Stebens said. “We bring them out so they get hands-on experience and meet the people.
“It’s a good opportunity for them to start building relationships with people in their areas of interest.”
Cimarron advertises the event in their school but doesn’t force students to come. Stebens said they still bring more students every year.
“We get a good response,” she said. “I advertise it for sophomores through seniors and every year we have more sign up.”
Counselor Marcie Knoll brings sophomores from Moscow High School to get a head start on career ideas. Two former Wildcats are in the DC3 Electrical Power technician program, and were on hand Wednesday doing pole-climbing demonstrations.
Knoll said the trip creates motivation in the students.
“They start putting in more research of their careers when we go back,” she said.
Stebens gets good feedback from students after their experience. She’s had students who expressed no interest in a field, but after visiting a station and interacting with students and teachers pursued a newfound career choice.
“Students sometimes don’t know what’s available,” she said. “So this definitely sparks an interest.”
By Scott Edger