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Local high school seniors explore college and career opportunities at MECC

April 25th, 2014 9:00 am by Amy Greear, Community Contributer

Local high school seniors explore college and career opportunities at MECC

More than 500 high school seniors from the region visited the campus of Mountain Empire Community College on Tuesday, April 8, to participate in hands-on activities designed to spark interest in potential college and career opportunities.

MECC's "Spring Fling 2014: Explore the Possibilities" offered students the chance to participate in mining and welding simulations, mobile app development, chemistry and biology labs, phlebotomy and respiratory therapy demonstrations and much more. Schools participating included Central, Union and Eastside high schools in Wise County; Gate City, Rye Cove and Twin Springs high schools in Scott County; and Lee High and Thomas Walker high schools in Lee County.

"Seniors today have more college and career options available to them than they often realize. The purpose of bringing this group on campus was to provide them an opportunity to experience real-world simulations, hands-on lab exercises and much, much more to provoke their interest in occupations that are in high-demand in our region and beyond," noted Dr. Scott Hamilton, president of Mountain Empire Community College.

High school students were provided time to spend in the career field of their choice or to explore degree programs they may be considering. Hands-on activities in a variety of MECC coursework were hosted by faculty and students in Arts & Sciences, Health Science, Industrial Technology and Business & Information Technology.

Degree programs and courses highlighted during the event included: LPN/RN, Phlebotomy, Respiratory Therapy, Radiography, Art, Mining, Welding, Health Information Management, Paralegal, Mobile App Development, Computer Aided Drafting and Design, Advanced Manufacturing, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Computer Networking, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Students were also provided a tour of MECC resources, including the enrollment and financial aid office, business office, GAIN tutoring lab, and library. Games, food and additional program activities were offered to students following their tour of the campus.

"I want to go into nursing" said Gate City High School student Ashley Carver who simulated listening to patient's abdomen in the health science lab. "This is something I've always wanted to do and I plan to attend MECC. This event gives you a hands-on perspective and it gives people different ideas of what they might want to do. It's a visual experience."

"The event has been eye-opening," added Cody Jessee, a future RN student. "It has helped me consider the different programs at MECC and made me more excited to go into my career field."

Early enrollment in MECC summer and fall 2014 classes began Monday, April 7. Students interested in enrolling are advised to apply online at MECC's website at A MECC recruiter will make contact once the student has been accepted to attend.

Students and parents are also invited to participate in free financial aid workshops being offered this spring at MECC. A complete list of financial aid workshops is available on the college's website at or by calling 276-523-2400. Students do not have to attend MECC to attend a financial aid workshop.

Share Your Story features stories written and contributed by our readers. Today's featured story and the accompanying photos were submitted by Amy Greear. She is the community relations coordinator at Mountain Empire Community College. If you'd like to submit your story for consideration, email it to: with Share Your Story in the subject line.

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