Tusculum College has received a “2010 Extending the Dream Grant” from the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling to fund an outreach event designed to help high school juniors plan for college and the career market.
The college has been awarded a $2,325 grant to provide funds for materials, transportation support, speaker-related costs and facility expenses for the Junior Conference. The Extending the Dream Grants provide funds for special outreach programs by colleges, such as the Junior Conference that provides access to college resources to both rural and inner city youth.
“We received a record number of qualified grant applications; however the combination of both your grant proposal and presentation really made the difference in helping the committee decide in favor of such a powerful and impactful program,” the award notice from the committee stated.
Jacquelyn D. Elliott, vice president for enrollment management, was interviewed for the grant by the committee at a recent Southern Association for College Admission Counseling conference. Elliott said she wanted to submit a proposal for the grant because its title embodies what the Junior Conference is about, helping making the dream of college accessible. The event is the realization of a long-time idea of Elliott, who also made a professional presentation at the conference about using emerging media technologies in marketing efforts to engage students.
The first ever Junior Conference was held in March on campus and was attended by more than 800 juniors from Greeneville and Greene County. The high school students received personalized expert advice about educational opportunities and careers from area professionals and local company representatives. The speakers as well as others who served as moderators and guides were volunteers, giving of their time to provide their expertise to the youth.
Students had the opportunity to attend two sessions of their choice from the more than 20 offered. Students could choose from sessions such as “Preparing for your College Interview” and “College Lingo and Terminology” as well as from sessions from community representatives such as the Wal-Mart Distribution Center and John Deere Power Products.
Additionally, sessions were also provided on career/professional topics including sport management, nursing, education, athletic training, information technology, medical technology, business, politics and law.
The students began the Junior Conference by being challenged by keynote speaker Nathan Honeycutt to define the story of their lives. Honeycutt, a local architect who was worked on projects ranging from the Georgia Aquarium to high profile developments in the Middle East, gave the students advice on thinking about a career path and encouraged them to begin to prepare now for their future.
The next Junior Conference is planned in the spring of 2011.