Kicking off spring with a bang, the first annual Pierce Day gave middle school and high school students a chance to explore what it would be like to be enrolled in a community college on Thursday.
Welcoming more 600 new faces, Pierce also invited community members and current Brahmas to learn about the opportunities that are across the 426-acre campus.
Outreach and onboarding coordinator Julia Mendoza spoke about the significance of Pierce Day, where young students got comfortable with the campus and explored different career pathways for their future.
“We invited high school and middle school students to do career and campus exploration,” Mendoza said. “It really is focused on ninth through eleventh graders because we really want them to start thinking about it earlier rather than later.”
Dean of Student Engagement Juan Carlos Astorga was adamant about students getting to know the Pierce campus and the supportive community built around it.
“We’re expecting about 650 students from multiple schools,” Astorga said. “Part of what we wanted to do is really highlight and showcase our campus, our Guided Pathways CAP communities, and introduce to middle school students, high school students, and community members what Pierce College offers.”
As it was the first annual event welcoming students to tour the campus and learn about the programs and services Pierce offers, Astorga acknowledged the importance of creating traditions.
“As we create annual events, it’s an opportunity to really create traditions,” Astorga said. “I want us to talk about events that are traditions so that we look forward to it. Those of us that work here can then really put our efforts in and recharge our batteries when we see new students.”
Over 20 different booths were set up for students to ask questions, earn prizes, and get free Pierce merchandise. Faculty and staff were on hand to talk about the various classes, services, and departments Pierce brings to the table.
Senior Office Assistant Chris Lauterdale ran the honors transfer booth in hopes of educating students on the benefits of the program.
“We’re hoping to encourage high school students to come to Pierce,” Lauterdale said. “We want to show them what we have to offer and of course, the Honors Program is a good way to transfer and get ready for upper division coursework.”
Vice President for Student Services Jason Cifra wished for younger students to explore different programs, meet instructors, and learn about different majors.
“The goal is to really connect with our younger students to help them be career-ready,” Cifra said. “When they know their career early on, they know what they want to major in, but if we can get them onto that track, it’s going to be easier for them. If they are undecided, this is the best time to be undecided and explore.”
Mendoza shared insight into the future events that will be held at Pierce for new and incoming students.
“This is kind of the kickoff to our spring events,” Mendoza said. “We have our Brahma days coming up, and that is focused on our seniors and getting them onboarded. We’ll have our Brahma Fest in May, which is a huge event to welcome them onto our campus and get them ready for the fall semester.”
With future Annual Pierce College Days, the goal is to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable on campus.