It could be a high school student on the fence between a degree or a certificate; it could be a worker ready for a completely different career; it could be a parent trying to figure out how they’re going to pay for their child’s education. For the people wandering a maze of career paths, some guidance may be found on Tuesday afternoon at the Ardmore Convention Center.
That is where Southern Tech will be hosting their annual College & Career Expo. During the two-hour event, high school students, their parents, and even adult learners will be able to visit with representatives from area colleges, businesses, and branches of the military.
“This is a community event,” said Whitney Elmore, a career advisor at Southern Tech. “There are going to be colleges from all over, so this is going to be a good opportunity for community members,” she said. More than 30 colleges are expected at this year’s expo, a number Elmore said has been increasing each year.
“About 90% of it is a chance to go and talk to different colleges and find out what their programs are, what it’s like to get into them, things like that,” said Peggy Maher, president of the University Center of Southern Oklahoma. UCSO will be represented on Tuesday and offers classes and degrees from Murray State College, Langston University, and Southeastern Oklahoma State University--all expected to have a presence at Tuesday’s expo.
Information about paying for college will be plentiful. A financial aid specialist will be giving tips every 30 minutes during the two-hour event, and questions about FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, can be answered. Tribal representatives will also be available.
This is the second year the College & Career Expo will be held at the Ardmore Convention Center. Elmore said the expo used to be smaller and was held on the Southern Tech campus for its first few years, but it has been expanded to include more high schools, more grade levels, and more parents.
“It has grown tremendously in the past few years,” she said.
Partners for this year’s College & Career Expo include Southern Tech, UCSO, The Chickasaw Nation, Partners in Education, and Tulsa-based Stephens Media Group, which owns four local radio stations.
The College & Career Expo will be from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 8, at the Ardmore Convention Center.