Outreach Program Hopes to Recruit Potential College Students to GCC

El Vaquero Staff Writer

With student enrollment down again this semester, 9 percent since last fall, GCC’s financial problems continue to escalate.

When this happens, more classes are cut and even higher tuition costs are not far behind. That money, after all, has to come from somewhere.
Worry not, however, the Student Outreach Office is on the case.

Student Services Coordinator Kim Bryant said the office’s main objective is to recruit potential (GCC) students by informing the local?community about the scholastic opportunities that the college has to offer.

In this effort, 10 student recruiters, or ambassadors, visit high schools such as Glendale, Burbank, Eagle Rock, and North Hollywood, just to name a few.

Further, the intent is to make the change from high school to college easier for students planning to attend a community college. Information nights, counseling, pre-registration advisement and tours of the GCC campus are among the many services provided.

In addition to the informative services provided by the Outreach Program, there is also Jump Start, a program that allows high school juniors and seniors to take college classes on campus.

The students are allowed to take up to two classes at a time and can finish their general requirements while still in high school.

For the fall 2004 semester, all they have to pay is $37 to cover health and student service fees, which also includes the cost of an I.D. card. The cost of textbooks is extra. Otherwise, all other fees are waived.
Arineh Khachatoorians, an ambassador for the program said, “When I was a senior at Clark Magnet High School, I remember having the Glendale College outreach staff visit on a weekly basis to talk to seniors about attending GCC. [After meeting with them], I decided that this was something I wanted to get involved with when I came to Glendale College [in the fall ’02 semester]. I came to the Outreach office and pretty much applied for a position.”

She said: “Outreach Services are beneficial to high school students for a number of reasons. As an ambassador, students are more able to come forward and ask me questions. It’s comforting for them to know I was in high school only two years ago like them … that their initial knowledge about college is coming from actual students. [It also provides] an overview about what the experience is like in an atmosphere that could be less intimidating than talking to staff [members].”

The communicative disorders major, who is planning to transfer to Cal State Northridge this fall, says that she reaches out to students who do not feel qualified enough to go to a four-year university.
“We’re there to advise them about different paths to a college education,” said Khachatoorians. “It’s important to let them know college is for everyone.”

According to Kim Bryant, there is always a need for outreach. “We need to be letting local high school students know their options for college, she said.

“A lot of the four-year colleges have asked for there to be [such a program] since they redirect 10 percent of their applicants to community colleges.”

Psychology major Desiree Rodriguez agreed: “I think the program is great and necessary. I wish I had known about it when I was in high school. With the way public schools are now [in regard to poor teaching], you might as well get started at community college early.”