Middle School Students Explore College, Careers at Penn State DuBois
Approximately 30 eighth graders from Ridgway Area Middle School recently got an up-close look at some options they'll have when choosing a career, and a college to attend. The group toured Penn State DuBois and sat in on sample classes during a field day, when they also visited DuBois Business College, Triangle Tech, and The Pennsylvania Academy of Cosmetology.
"This gives students examples of what career choices they may look forward to, and gives them an idea of what to expect," said Mark Heindl, an eighth grade Social Studies teacher from Ridgway who accompanied the students. Heindl noted that even for students in middle school, it's not too early to consider their options. "Students change their minds so many times about what they want to do, and there are so many things to choose from today," he said. "The more opportunity they have to see their options, the better. Then, hopefully they'll have their mind made up on a college and a career by the time they're a senior."
At Penn State DuBois, the students experienced college classes in the Wildlife Technology, and Information Science and Technology (IST) programs. For the Wildlife portion, Forestry Instructor Aaron Stottlemyer introduced students to dendrology, or the science of studying trees. He showed specific examples of various tree species and taught students different methods for identifying those species. It's the kind of education that is necessary in careers such as forestry, biology, and more.
In the IST Lab, Instructor Jason Long introduced the eighth graders to computer networking, and had them logon to the lab computers where they could work on network connections first-hand. This gave students a glimpse into the life of a computer networking professional, or information technology manager.
Enrollment Services Director Melissa Duttry said she and other campus representatives were happy for the opportunity to help the Ridgway students explore careers, and to showcase the campus.
"We welcome area students to Penn State DuBois any time. We want them to visit us and see what we have to offer. We have such a talented and diverse faculty that we want others to have the opportunity to see and hear about what they teach," said Duttry. "Attending a field trip or visiting a class gives area students the chance to see what exciting careers and opportunities are out there for them in the future."