published Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Marion County college fair set Monday


The Countywide College Fair will be from 6-7:30 p.m. CDT Monday at the Whitwell High School gymnasium. The school is at 200 Tiger Trail in Whitwell, Tenn. From most areas of the county, take state Highway 28 to Whitwell, and the high school is about a quarter-mile south of the Highway 28-state Highway 283 intersection. For more information, call Suzanne Smith at the school at 423-658-5141.

Marion County public school students and their families can start looking ahead to life after high school by learning about educational and career options at a college fair set for Monday night.

More than 50 colleges, universities and all four branches of the U.S. military and the National Guard will have representatives at Whitwell High School’s gymnasium.

“It’s a chance for our students to be able to see what’s available in the area and ask questions about a college they’re thinking about or a branch of the military they’re thinking about to have a more informed decision,” Whitwell High School counselor Suzanne Smith said.

Parents and students also can talk to financial aid representatives.

The fair is not only for students and their parents, but anyone who wants to learn more about post-secondary education options, Smith said. She, Marion County High School counselor Cameron Perry and South Pittsburg High School counselor Lynn Hale are co-coordinators of the event.

Usually about 45 representatives show up, but this year’s fair will have even more, Smith said.

“They’re from everything from the Art Institutes of Tennessee to [University of Tennessee in Knoxville],” she said. “We’ve got Miller-Motte [Technical College] coming from Chattanooga and Berry College from Georgia.”

Private institutions such as Bryan College, Lee University, Tennessee Wesleyan College and the University of the South, and major public schools including the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga State Community College and Middle Tennessee State University will have representatives on hand.

“My hardest task has been getting enough tables,” Smith said.

Hale, at South Pittsburg, said more people have attended the fair since the event started rotating among the county’s three high schools.

“We want everybody to come, even people who have already graduated or adults who are thinking about going back to school,” she said.

Lee Pierce, UTC director of admissions, said parents and students probably should talk a little about their goals for going to the fair so they can make the most of their time.

“You can talk to the reps, and they can talk about looking for a certain major, admission requirements,” Pierce said. “It’s a good jumping-off spot to starting the college process.”

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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