First College and Career Fair held on Jan. 29


photo by Erika Rodriguez

This is the invitation that was sent to students to inform them about the fair. Along the side, there are departments, schools and businesses that are visiting the fair.

Students have been conditioned to follow the “traditional path” meaning to attend a four-year university immediately after graduating high school. Student services has ensured that students are able to become informed on alternate routes through the College and Career Fair that is being held on Tuesday, Jan.29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Practice Gym. This event will have 17 agencies and schools attending such as departments of Seminole State College, Oviedo Parks and Recreation, Paul Mitchell, and the University of East London.

“It is the culture of Hagerty to just look at four-year universities, and not everyone can afford it, not everyone is interested in it, not everybody wants to do it,” guidance counselor Michelle Cortes said. “So we wanted to bring more information, because the more information you have, the better decisions you can make.”

This is the first year of the fair and student services has sent out invitations to students who are looking for other pathways after high school.  They plan on keeping it small this year with 300-400 students attending in total, but once they see what works and what does not, they plan to make the future events bigger.

To make the event more interactive, Cortes and guidance secretary Erika Rodriguez planned a scavenger hunt for students to visit each table.

“I think if you are given something to do you will be more apt to talk to those people instead of just meandering through tables,” Cortes said.

Professionals in their field, like Seminole State College Criminal Justice professor Sandra Dillard, will be in attendance to introduce her topic of study to students.

“I hope to help Hagerty students understand what programs are available to them at the Center for Public Safety at Seminole State College and give them insight on options they have for their future careers right here in Seminole County,” Dillard said.

She proves that learning from professionals not only allows for more information to be transferred, but it is also more engaging for the student as it adds a personal touch. For her, she knew she wanted to study Criminal Justice after taking a class in it her freshman year at Daytona State College which was taught by a probation officer.

Cortes and Rodriguez hope that this first College and Career Fair will show students that they can be successful no matter what route they take.

“I feel like a lot of our students do not get exposed to alternate pathways, so having the opportunity to talk to professionals and schools that have programs dedicated to their desired field will allow them to explore options,” Rodriguez said.