Campus tour gives first-hand experience

By De'jon Sylvain, Advocate Staff

West Contra Costa Unified School District high school seniors interested in furthering their education were invited to see what Contra Costa College offers during its annual Comet Day on April 18.

Outreach Coordinator Joel Nickelson-Shanks organized the event, which targets high school seniors interested in attending CCC.

“The event gives WCCUSD seniors a first-hand experience of the college and the programs and resources we offer,” Nickelson-Shanks said.

Comet Day’s predecessor, Super Saturday, was scheduled on a spring Saturday, a day that struggled to attract area high school seniors.

Former outreach coordinator Maryam Attai made a decision to address this issue by moving the event to a week day last spring.

“Last year, Maryam (Attai) decided to hold the event during the week and to bus students (from their high schools) to the campus,” Nickelson-Shanks said.

CCC students and faculty introduced roughly 176 seniors from local high schools to the college for this year’s Comet Day.

De Anza, El Cerrito, Hercules, Kennedy, Pinole Valley, and Richmond high schools were among the schools whose students attended the event.

Upon arrival, the seniors were accompanied by CCC students and staff and escorted to GE-225 and Fireside Hall for a welcoming session.

The session was presented by members of the Associated Student Union (ASU), and included a student panel.

The presentation also included an address presented by college President Katrina VanderWoude.

Students were given tours of the auto shop, financial aid, Gymnasium, Library and other campus departments.

Attendees were also provided a buffet-style meal in Campus Center Plaza during lunch hour.

The students were also given the opportunity to attend an educational program during the lunch hour to highlight programs and opportunities CCC offers its students.

“I think it lets incoming students see the best of CCC,” librarian Amanda Choi said.

She believes the event shows CCC is an accessible place.

“The event provides an opportunity for the Library to show off resources and that we librarians are friendly people.”