Senior Staff Writer
Marshall County's College Night on Tuesday attracted plenty of students who want a university degree as local economic developers and guidance counselors advocate vocational education.
"The word college has been redefined," Marshall County High School guidance counselor Jennifer Harris said in the lobby during College Night at MCHS, the central location for students from Chapel Hill to Cornersville. "The word now refers to many levels of post secondary-education."
College fairs are different from what they used to be, Harris said. Students, parents and admissions officers agreed.
"Nashville Auto Diesel College is where it's easy to get greasy," NADC admissions representative Danny Noel says when pitching a 13-month program. "We're teaching about a new diesel engine with exhaust that is as clean coming out as the air going in."
City and county leaders are working to increase job opportunities to combat unemployment and grow the economy here. They have local employers talking with state and county school leaders to prepare students for the local job market. Modern factory work is computerized. College Night was planned to help everyone.
Darin and Julie Selvy's daughter, Olivia, said, "I've been thinking about the University of Memphis. They have a very good dentistry program."
The young Duncan Drive resident wants to be a pediatric dentist because she likes working with children and parents would bring patients to her.
"I would like to own a psychiatric ward and be the head doctor," says Hollynn Brown, 16, of Finley Beech Road, daughter of Terri Pierce and Daniel Brown. "It interests me to know how people got that way, why they do what they do to themselves and others."
Hollynn Brown has volunteered at the extended school program and saw how children with mental disabilities behave.
Originally from Cornersville, Annie Trout, now of Nashville, was at MCHS on Tuesday as a representative from the Tennessee Student Assistance Corp. Bush explained state lottery scholarships, eligibility requirements and how to apply.
Connor Bush, 15, of Collins Hollow Road, son of Sherri and Scott Bush, wants to attend Vanderbilt University and become a doctor. Now, he's trying to make the best grades possible, and he's taking honors classes.
"If I don't get into Vanderbilt," Bush said about attending College Night, "I want to know my options."
Competition revealed itself at the U.S. Air Force recruiters' table, where Sgt. Stephanie Mills said on-the-job training, medical and dental benefits come with mechanical and/or electronic jobs. Maybe 50 people visited the table.
"If we're going to put in numbers," Airman 1st Class Justin Cathey said, "let's say nine million to beat the Marines."
Meanwhile, artificial intelligence is what interests Ryan Rogers, son of Rhonda Ormsbee of Ashworth Avenue. Ormsbee said College Night helps parents and students know what must be done for scholarships.
"And it relieves a lot of stress," she said.