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May 9, 2013

Blinn – Schulenburg instructors show students the path from education to a rewarding career

Second annual CareerQuest draws almost 300 Fayette County eighth graders

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Doug PierceHundreds of area seventh and eighth graders visited Blinn College’s Schulenburg campus today to discover real-world applications for a college degree.

Middle school students from Flatonia, Fayetteville, La Grange and St. Rose Catholic attended the second annual CareerQuest, which included presentations on career paths and the educational goals students must achieve to make their aspirations possible. The program was co-sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service of Fayette County and Fayette County 4-H.

Math Instructor Yvette Janecek showed students how some of the best careers available after graduation require an education in mathematics; Nursing Instructor Rebecca Presswood demonstrated nursing lab mannequins that can moan, cry out and even vomit; Agricultural Science Instructor Douglas Pierce showcased the myriad careers available in the agricultural industries.

Science Instructor Nancy Jurecka demonstrated basic scientific principals and English Instructor Connie Youngblood spoke about the value of an education in humanities. Students also used career exploration software to plan for their future. The program was designed to get students thinking early about how they can best position themselves for successful careers.

Rebecca PresswoodSouthern Regional Education Board research shows that middle school students are able to make connections between their school work and their interests and talents. Finding a way to take advantage of those connections helps educators better engage and interest their students, preparing them for success in high school and college or technical training programs.

“We always seem to focus on the juniors and seniors and forget about those middle school students, but if we can help them begin to prepare when they’re in seventh or eighth grade they have four or five years to research and begin exploring potential careers,” said Kayla Kaspar, Fayette County Extension Agent for 4-H and Youth Development.

CareerQuest is one of several community outreach programs conducted by the College’s Schulenburg campus. Blinn also presents a Kid’s College for fourth through eighth graders that focuses on science, technology and math, and its “If I Had a Hammer” program teaches fifth graders mathematical concepts through construction projects. The College also hosts events for high school students along with “Star Parties,” where residents are invited to view constellations at the Schaefer Observatory on campus.

“Blinn College is dedicated to making an impact in our community,” said Blinn – Schulenburg Director Becky Garlick. “It has long been part of our mission to not only guide students inside our classrooms, but to benefit K-12 students with our education and service programs.”

Blinn – Schulenburg offers a variety of academic transfer, workforce training and continuing education classes to fit the needs of any student. For information on course offerings and student registration, visit: www.blinn.edu/schulenburg or call 979-743-5200.