More than 1,500 high school and CareerTech students, as well as parents, instructors and adult learners, were on OSU Institute of Technology’s campus Tuesday for Career Encounters, a one-day open house where potential students can get a hands-on experience of the technical programs offered at the university.
Shelby Stockdale, an electrical student at Gordon Cooper Technology Center in Shawnee, got an over-the-top look at OSUIT when she visited the High Voltage Electricity program.
Stockdale took a ride in the bucket truck, which lifts passengers up to 30 feet in the air. Powerline technicians use the bucket truck when working on electrical lines.
“It was great; it was so much fun,” she said. “I thought I was going to throw up at one point, but it was pretty exciting.”
Stockdale said she wanted to come to Career Encounters in the hopes of learning more about the program and the industry.
“It was first on my list. It’s what I’m working toward,” she said.
Career Encounters gave her a chance to experience firsthand what OSUIT has to offer.
“I’m definitely looking into the program more after today,” Stockdale said. “It gave me a bigger view of high voltage, for sure.”
Academic units offered several one-hour sessions on different aspects of their programs, and attendees chose three sessions to attend during the day.
With close to 60 sessions offered, participants could choose to engineer a boat or car, take a tasty tour of the culinary arts, learn how a power plant turns water into electricity, or see what a day in the life of a nurse is really like.
“It gives them a chance to learn about various programs that are offered here at OSUIT and also learn about the different industries and career opportunities that come from completing one of these programs,” said Sable Wise, special events coordinator with prospective student services. “Some students have an inaccurate perception about technical education, so this event gives them clarification and allows them to see the high-demand, high-paying options for them in these areas.”
Those visiting also got a chance to meet the program’s faculty and staff one-on-one, interact and talk with current students, and in some cases, even meet prospective employers.
Franklin Huff, a student at Northeast Technology Center in Kansas, Okla., said he attended Career Encounters because he wanted to see what kinds of engineering programs OSUIT offered.
“I was thinking electrical engineering, but now I’m thinking about civil engineering,” said Huff after attending two of Civil Engineering Technology’s sessions— one where he designed and built a boat that can float while holding pennies and another where he designed and built a car that could travel while carrying 50 grams.
Huff said he’s always been interested in areas like science and physics.
“I like engineering because it’s more hands-on,” he said. “I’m more of a hands-on person.”
Applied learning with an outcomes-focused approach is the cornerstone of what makes OSUIT distinctive, Wise said, and Career Encounters is a great way to demonstrate our mission.
“This event allows all of our academic divisions to educate visitors on their programs and to showcase what our university has to offer,” she said. “It’s a great way to develop relationships with prospective students and identify those that would be a good fit in our programs.”