By DAVE McMILLION
10:10 PM EDT, October 10, 2012
Hundreds of high school students and parents streamed into Hagerstown Community College’s Athletic, Recreation and Community Center on Wednesday night to get an idea of what kind of college might meet their needs during the county’s annual college fair.
About 110 schools set up tables in the center and school representatives talked with prospective students for two hours.
The college fair has been going on for years and Washington County Public Schools, which partners with HCC to offer the event, does a good job of promoting it in schools, said Kevin Crawford, HCC’s recruitment coordinator.
Crawford said having more than 100 schools in one spot for an evening is a great benefit to local students.
“Not every college here gets to get out to each high school,” Crawford said.
In addition to the traditional colleges represented, there were other schools such as a culinary institution and a cosmetology school.
A group of girls crowded around a table set up by The Temple Paul Mitchell Partner School, a school in downtown Frederick, Md. Students entering the school’s 1,500-hour program can learn about careers in make-up, skin care and nail care and graduates can get jobs in places such as hair salons or in television production work.
“There’s a lot of stuff you can do,” said Alice Ness, a learning leader at the school.
Fair organizers also were promoting a new HCC college prep program for students at four county high schools. The TRiO Upward Bound effort is targeted for potential first generation college students who meet certain income criteria.
Students and their parents walked down rows of college booths, filling plastic tote backs will school information and hearing pitches from school representatives on issues such as average class sizes.
As a sophomore at Williamsport High School, 14-year-old Sheldon Crossland was getting an early start on his college search. Crossland and his mother Paula Jackson of Hagerstown were walking around looking at schools that might fit Crossland’s interests, which includes the film business.
“I’ve always been interested in television,” said Crossland, who had talked to representatives at Dickinson College.
Jackson said she and her son wanted to take advantage of the fair because she said the high school years roll around fast.
Jennifer Chinn of Smithsburg and her daughter Marissa were checking out the offerings, although Marissa has been considering Duquesne University and recently visited the campus.
“I’m still looking but I like that college,” said Marissa, who is interested in studying veterinary science.
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