MUSKEGON: “How did you first learn about the Career Tech Center?” is one of several questions asked of Muskegon Area Career Tech Center (MACTC) students each year. Last year, 59 percent said it was during a tour. High school guidance counselors and a friend who attended tied for second. Every December, the MACTC pauses business as usual to host Sophomore Tours. The four-day event, December 14, 15, 19, and 20 this year, is open to sophomores from all Muskegon Area schools giving them the opportunity to see the MACTC and explore classes of interest.
“This is our largest marketing event of the year,” shared Student Outreach Specialist Stephanie Hoekenga. “Our staff and students spend weeks getting ready.” Preparations include visiting local high schools to speak to sophomores, creating individual schedules for guests, and developing hands-on activities and demonstrations.
Each sophomore is assigned a three-class schedule based on classes they expressed an interest in visiting. They spend 15-minutes in each of their three assigned classes. During that time, sophomores meet instructors and current students, witness and take part in demonstrations, view student projects, and learn about each program through a mixture of instructor and student-led testimonials.
“It is a great experience to come visit and fall in love with the CTC. As a sophomore, I knew I was going to love it here. Now, as a second-year student in the Hospitality & Tourism program, I’m enjoying hands-on learning and am meeting lots of amazing people–including my instructors,” said Hospitality & Tourism student Noah Sweet.
Some of the activities prepared for this year’s guests included meeting pigmy goats Luna and Billy, the newest additions to the Environmental/Veterinary Sciences program; samples of recipes prepared by Hospitality & Tourism students; a tour of the progress at this year’s Construction Trades home; gummy bear dissections in Allied Health Technologies; a hands-on opportunity to weld; and more.
“I was nervous at first, but attending the Tech Center is one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. Each day I learn more about agriculture, and it’s pushed me to become a better leader,” said Environmental/Veterinary Sciences student Danielle Hysell.
The Muskegon Area Career Tech Center is free to all Muskegon Area ISD sophomores and juniors. Classes take place during their normal school day. To learn more, the Muskegon CTC will be open to the public during Connect with Tech Night on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 from 5–7 p.m. or additional information is available at muskegoncareertech.com.