Around Campus: High school students get Taste of College

  • By Suzie Kendrick
  • Sunday, February 1, 2015 9:23pm
  • NewsSchools

Last week, five high school juniors from Voznesenka, a Russian Old Believer community located about 25 miles east of Homer, visited the Kenai River Campus so that they could get a feel for what it’s like to attend college.

Now that the campus can offer student housing, students from rural areas are realizing that they have an option other than leaving the area to attend college.

The group of students and their advisor were hosted by the Residence Life staff that put together specific itineraries based on interest surveys the students completed prior to the visit.

Each student attended at least one class while on campus. Classes visited included computer electronics, process technology, paramedic technology and welding.

One of the students, interested in journalism, visited the advancement office and learned what it’s like to write news articles, work under strenuous deadlines all while maintaining a creative edge.

According to Tammie Willis, KRC associate director of residence life, emphasis on the importance of going to college is becoming more commonplace in the Old Believer culture.

“The advisor who accompanied the students indicated that many parents no longer just assume that their children will follow in the family business. There is an evolving awareness that working toward a gainful career or vocation will be beneficial to not only the students, but also to their community. This semester we have one resident living in the hall from Voznesenka—the first to enter KPC’s process technology degree program.” Willis said.

“He came and spoke with the visiting students about his impressions of life at KPC and how he is succeeding in his program.”

The Taste of College program allows high school juniors and seniors to visit KRC and spend one night in the residence hall and one day attending various classes based on their career interests. The students also meet with at least one faculty member, financial aid representatives and they interact with current students.

“The students who attended greatly enjoyed their visit and left KPC really thinking about how college fits into their future. They were very appreciative of everyone’s time but more importantly, the experiences and information that were shared.

There were some very deep and long discussions at the end of the day that demonstrated a shift in thought from ‘Should I go to College?’ to ‘What do I want to study when I go to College?’ and that made the event a success,” Willis said.

Suicide prevention and intervention training offered

The Kenai River Rotary Club and Soldotna Rotary Club will be offering a suicide prevention and intervention training from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 3 in the Soldotna Library Multipurpose Room. This training will be free and open to the public. A light lunch will be provided.

The training will use the Question, Persuade and Refer Method, which is a simple educational program that teaches citizens how to recognize a mental health emergency and how to get a person at risk the help they need.

To learn more about the objectives of the program, visit this link:

Diane Taylor, KRC Learning Center director and a Kenai River Rotarian, encourages KPC students, staff, faculty and the general public to take advantage of this opportunity.

“This event offers a neutral place to engage in a conversation about a topic that touches everyone. We would be hard-pressed to find a family that doesn’t have a story about how suicide has impacted them.

This training is something that can lead to more support for anyone who may themselves be dealing with this topic,” Taylor said.


This column is provided by Suzie Kendrick, Advancement Programs Manager at Kenai Peninsula College.

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