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College of Technology host spring 2021 open house and career expo

The Pittsburg State University College of Technology (COT) has invited all high school students and educators to the College of Technology 2021 Open House and Career Expo. The Pittsburg State University College of Technology will host the virtual event February 23-March 24. The event is designed to allow high school students the opportunity to explore and investigate technology programs at Pittsburg State University and career opportunities in a technological world. 

John Iley, event organizer and university professor emeritus, said the Spring 2021 College of Technology Open House and Career Expo for high school and technical school students is available for viewing February 23-March 24, 2021. 

“This very unique, virtual career investigation event allows students to view dozens of demos and information sessions in 14 different technology venues and qualify for prizes,” Iley said. “Award-winning schools used this virtual event as a scheduled classroom activity, as well as a planned activity for home-bound students.”    

This virtual multi-activity event provides opportunity for students (Grades 10-12, especially juniors and seniors) to see a wide variety of demonstrations, information sessions, and interact with students and faculty in different areas of technological studies, ranging from communications to plastic. 

“In Spring 2021, your school can also qualify for participations awards, school awards—recognizing teachers, counselors, and administrators; and teacher awards, and rewards, i.e., scholarships and door prizes for students, based on student participation,” Iley said. “We hope you will participate and encourage your students, Grade 10-12, especially juniors and seniors, to register and participate in this event. We are awarding 20-$500 scholarship vouchers, $10,000 total, plus 40 additional door prizes.” 

Students need to register early to have the maximum amount of time to investigate careers and qualify for prizes. Registration is open February 23-March 21 for the Virtual Kansas Technology Center (KTC) Open House.  

“We just launched Registration yesterday (Tuesday, February 23rd) and we don’t anticipate many registrations till next week,” Iley said. “However, we are already ahead of last fall’s first day of registration. We already have 10 schools registered with 134 anticipated registrants from these schools. Not bad for the first day. Schools registering include schools in Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas, so far.”  

Iley said the most popular components for the virtual open house are in Activity 2—Investigate. 

“Students investigate one or more of the 14 programs,” Iley said. “I cannot tell you which technology program was the most popular because it was a matter of individual student’s taste. However, after reading comments, many commented that they liked ‘hearing students talk about the program and their experiences, including internships,’ ‘seeing how products are made or how we use different processes to make something,’ ‘students doing demonstrations,’ and “recent graduates talking about their jobs and seeing their excitement.” 

Iley said the teachers were pleased that students were able to hear from Pitt State students, investigate the programs thoroughly, and make more informed decisions regarding future careers.  

“Students discovered what they really liked, as well as what they didn’t like in terms of possible careers,” Iley said. “We had some students that expressed interest in several programs and wanted more information.” 

Iley said there are stark differences between the pre-pandemic events and the virtual events they have today.  

“Students got to see live demonstrations, do hand-on activities and make items to take home, operate equipment, and interact with college students and faculty and gain first-hand knowledge about the programs,” Iley said. “Student-to-student discussions are so valuable. Students in the live event were able to use all their senses and really experience the sights, sounds, and smells that go along with some of the technology processes. They get to touch and feel materials and equipment controls.” 

Iley said with the virtual event they do their best to parallel the face-to-face experience with the Activities. 

“It’s not ideal, but it still provides a rich career investigation experience,” Iley said. “It parallels what we do in the live event. In the future, we plan to have a hybrid open house and career expo. For students that can come, they will attend the live event. For those that cannot come, we will provide a virtual event.” 

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