“Time for New Career Choices: Engineering 101” Summer Career Exploration Camps at TNCC to Expose Students to Careers in Engineering

Published: May 30, 2008

VIRGINIA PENINSULA — Aspiring engineers from area high school engineers will be off to camp this summer but not just any run of the mill summer camp. Time for New Choices, Engineering 101 is a free week-long summer camp offered by the Office of Outreach and Recruitment at Thomas Nelson Community College. Aimed at students in grades 9 through 10, the camp is designed to expose students to careers in the science and engineering industry. The camp features TNCC faculty and other professionals teaching engineering lessons through hands-on activities, demonstrations, lectures and field trips. Camp participants will also be given individualized career and educational development plans to share with their parents and guidance counselors for support in accomplishing their goals.

The first camp is scheduled for June 23-27 with activities from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Historic Triangle Campus in Williamsburg. The second camp which will begin July 7 will run daily from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. through July 11, at the Peninsula Workforce Development Center in Hampton. There is no fee to attend these camps. Interested students must register by June 6 by calling 825-3524 or by visiting the Office of Outreach and Recruitment located in the Hampton III Building at 535 Butler Farm Road.

“The camps are intended to spark students’ interest in science and engineering at an early age,” said Dr. Crystal Taylor, Director of Outreach and Recruitment. “Students who are undecided about a career path can also benefit by participating in the activities so they can experience real world encounters in a specific career. This year, the focus is on Engineering.”

Thomas Nelson career coaches Doris Parks, Joyce Watson, Deborah Littlejohn and Elizabeth Marmion will be facilitators during the camps. Doris Parks is based at Phoebus High School, Joyce Watson at Jamestown and Lafayette High Schools, Deborah Littlejohn at Heritage and An Achievable Dream High Schools and Elizabeth Marmion at Warhill High School. Career coaches are community college employees that work at local high schools as part of a Virginia Community College System (VCCS) initiative. They help students define career aspirations and recognize community colleges as viable means to achieve their goals.

The four coaches advise students and their parents of career exploration and planning opportunities and high school to community college transitional programs such as dual enrollment, articulated credit, and Path to Industry Certification. Career coaches also advise students on career pathways accessible through secondary and post secondary career and technical programs, apprenticeships, and industry certifications and licensures. The goal of the VCCS’ career coach initiative is to increase the number of high school graduates prepared for employment and/or community college enrollment in a career and technical field.

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