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Teens Explore College And Career Possibilities!

Over 270 students participated in the 7th annual Kenai Peninsula College Fair, October 18, 2016, held at the Soldotna High School gymnasium. Representatives from 50+ colleges, vocational and technical education schools, and dozens of counselors and staff made a commitment to providing KPBSD students with an opportunity that many may not otherwise have, and time to discuss education, career paths, and financial aid. Students and parents learned more about loans, state, and federal financial aid programs at the Financial Aid booth.

"At the university and college level there's a lot of competition for students," said John Pothast, director of elementary and secondary education. "These schools coordinate their travel, they don't travel all this way just for one college fair, they will be going to other districts in the state in conjunction with our fair." According to Pothast as the graduation percentage has risen, so has interest in higher education that provides job ready training, "The opportunity and options are far greater than ever and kids today are far more savvy consumers than in the past when just going to college to get a degree seemed mandatory for success. The kids are looking at what they want to do with their lives and what are the avenues they need to take to get there. It may mean a local community college for a few years or a trade school or military. Kids have a lot of choices these days and that's why the college fair is such a great environment that allows kids and their parents to have those conversations with the professionals here and talk about they have to offer for what the student wants to do in their future. That information prepares them to make a better decision. The recruiters are great at their jobs and sell their schools more and more students decide to stay in Alaska after considering their options," said Pothast.

The college fair has become a signature of the KPBSD to give the kids choices and information to make the best decisions possible as they prepare to graduate from high school and continue their lifetime learning experience.

Living in Alaska, along with the cost of travel, can often make college visits difficult for prospective college students. The KPBSD College and Career Fair brings students together with college and career and technical institutional representatives to meet face-to-face in one convenient location. Thank you to all the organizers, institutions, and counselors who make this annual event possible for KPBSD students.

Educational institutions included:

Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, Alaska Pacific University, California State University San Marcos, Central Washington University, Colorado Mesa University, Colorado State University, Corban University, Eastern Oregon University, Eastern Washington University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Fort Lewis College, Gonzaga University, Idaho State University, Kenai Peninsula College, Lewis-Clark State College, Linfield College, Montana Tech, Northern Arizona University, Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, Oregon Institute of Technology, Pacific Lutheran University, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland State University, Presentation College, Saint Martin's University, Seattle University, Southern Oregon University, Southwestern Oregon University, The College of Idaho, The Moody Bible Institute, University of Alaska – Anchorage, University of Alaska – Fairbanks, University of Alaska – Southeast, University of Hawaii at Manoa, University of Idaho, University of Portland, University of Puget Sound, Washington State University, Washington State University – Tri-Cities, Western Oregon University, Whitman College, and Willamette University.

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