Planning for school after high school | SierraSun.com

Planning for school after high school

Andrew Cristancho
Sierra Sun

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunMarc, Celia and Andrew Pado, a Truckee High School senior, listen as Meg Raymore talks about Stanford University at College Night at Truckee High School Tuesday. About 500 people attended the informational college fair.

With a majority of local high school graduates moving on to universities and colleges around the country, it wasn’t surprising to see more than 500 parents and students at a college night offering in Truckee.

Representatives from more than 30 schools came to Truckee High School Tuesday night to field questions and hand out applications. And chances are that soon-to-be graduates will end up at one institution of higher learning or another.

According to Truckee High School Counselor Nancy Evans, 80 percent of the school’s 2007 graduating class went on to community college or university.

North Tahoe High School’s Registrar, Joanne Mathis, said almost 60 of the 84 graduates from the lake-side school went on to traditional higher learning this year.

The remaining students plan to attend trade school or enter the workforce. That’s likely the reason why Sierra College’s booth got a lot of attention Tuesday night. It also may have been because of an automated robotic arm representing a project students will build during a vocational education program called Mechatronics. The class will be offered in January through Sierra College’s Truckee campus.

“We call this ‘just-in-time’ education,” said demonstrator Marshall Lewis. “When I went to school they taught ‘just-in-case’ education, subjects like philosophy. But with this, you take this training and use it the next day.”

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Another two-year facility present, Feather River College, attracted one local student for a particular course offering.

“They have a nice rodeo program,” said 15-year-old Clayton Noel, a 10th grader at Forest Charter School.

Bruce Baldwin, Feather River’s director of marketing, said the program is actually an AS in Equine Science, which includes classes in rodeo science and how to be a rodeo clown. He explained why junior colleges are an attractive option.

“Let’s say you want to go to [University of Nevada Reno] ” they require a 3.5 grade point average as a freshman, but if you come from a community college as a junior with an AA ” they have to take you,” Baldwin said. “Plus a semester here will cost you $300.”

As a public university, UNR’s tuition ranges from $2,000 to $7,500 a semester, according to representatives present at the event, and private schools like California’s Stanford University can soar to $12,000 per quarter.

Alex Leslie, a 17-year-old Forest Charter high school student listened, with his aunt, to the vocational education presentation offered by Sierra College.

“This is what you build in the first course,” Lewis said pointing to the brass-colored robot arm.

“For college credit?” asked Leslie’s aunt, Nancy Sarvat.

“Yes, for full college credits,” Lewis said.

Leslie shakes his head ‘no’ when asked about plans to attend a university.

“Mechatronics was more attractive to him and it really grabbed me,” Sarvat said about her nephew. “I thought it had a lot of potential for him. He’s a junior and he already works for a heating company. His hope is to go get his feet wet at a junior college and then go to helicopter [mechanic’s] school.”

Showing students the many options that are available after high school was a valuable lesson Tuesday evening, according to Evans, the Truckee High counselor. Also having a community college based locally is a “tremendous boost” for the community, she said.