WINTERVILLE—The Pitt Community College VISIONS Career Development & Scholarship Program held its annual Summer Institute this month to introduce new participants to career and educational opportunities available to them locally.
The program, which took place on campus June 14-17, featured PCC personnel helping students – all rising seniors at Pitt County high schools – identify career interests and develop pathways for achieving them. There were also presentations on college life and introspective activities that required students to utilize critical thinking skills.
“We hope the students will walk away from Summer Institute with a clear career goal in mind and an understanding of how they can take their passion for that employment field and turn it into reality,” said PCC High School VISIONS Coordinator Katelynn Speas.
To meet PCC COVID-19 protocols, VISIONS staff divided this year’s participants into small groups based on their respective career interests. Monday’s programming focused on Construction & Industrial Technology and STEM careers. Tuesday was for future health sciences students. Wednesday dealt with public services and business programs, and Thursday centered on University Transfer options.
Speas said the week went “really well” and that meeting with students in person, albeit masked and socially distanced, made it easier for VISIONS staff to learn more about the program’s newest participants. Last year’s event, she noted, took place entirely online due to health safety concerns created by the pandemic.
“It was so much better being in person,” Speas said. “We were able to truly build relationships and have side conversations with students during breaks to get to know them better. While we were grateful that technology made last year’s event possible, it was more difficult to make meaningful connections through a computer screen.”
Next month, VISIONS newcomers will visit Grady-White Boats, where they will receive tips for professional and life success from the company’s president, Kris Carroll, and tour the Greenville boat manufacturing facility. Grady-White’s owner, Eddie Smith, is the VISIONS program’s benefactor.
The 76 students who took part in Summer Institute this month were selected through a process that included an application and interview. They will receive a variety of support services from VISIONS high school staff, including personal and academic counseling, throughout the 2021-22 academic year.
Students who move on to PCC after earning their diplomas will continue receiving personal and academic counseling from VISIONS college staff in addition to scholarship assistance.