Career Center Students Get a Taste of Reality
By Sandra Raub
Lorraine Rosenbury from the P&G Mehoopany Employees Federal Credit Union was on hand for the regular December board meeting of the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center (SCCTC) to give a brief presentation on the six SCCTC business education students who recently participated in a Reality Fair. The students had been invited by the credit union, which has a student branch on the SCCTC campus, to attend the fair held Nov. 16 in the Capitol Building Harrisburg. During their visit to the capital, they were also able to tour the building itself, and view some of the chambers where the state government operates.
As part of the Reality Fair experience, the students had to select a career path, then research the education needed and beginning salary expectations, and using this information, plan a budget. The students were given an initial amount in checking and savings, in play money, said SCCTC director, Dr. Alice Davis, and with the help of financial counselors, decided how much they could spend on all aspects of real life, from housing and utilities to recreation and savings for retirement.
Teacher Lisa Smith expressed thanks to the board for giving the students this great opportunity, which she said was a real eye-opener for some. Comments she received from students included the rueful admission that they had to trade the sports car they preferred for something more economical, that they may not have everything they want when they graduate, with some even recognizing that they might have to share housing expenses with a roommate after graduation, as well as how limited their entertainment budget might be.
One student, Zachary Moon, spoke briefly to the board on his own experience at the fair. He said that he thought he and two other students made a good financial team, pooling their ideas and fictitious resources in order to live as CPAs in the Washington, DC, area, but was humbled to realize that they might have to forego owning automobiles and opt for public transportation. Moon gave glowing reviews of the very helpful staff and the real-life applications of the learning exercise.
In other business, Davis was also pleased to announce that the SCCTC is one of nine facilities recently approved to become a Marcellus ShaleNET Training Provider. In that capacity, they will operate one session of a ShaleNET program, which is designed to reach the unemployed, dislocated and incumbent workers, low-income workers, youth, and veterans. Institutions selected as training sites had to meet various criteria, including the ability to accommodate the curriculum in their existing facilities as well as utilize instructors nationally-recognized credentials, and demonstrate a willingness to work with the industry and assist in student placement in the job field
A final bit of news on the SCCTC concerned “Red and Green Out Days” for the United Way, presented by the cosmetology department, during which students can purchase special holiday goods and services from the department with all proceeds going to United Way. This event takes place Dec. 12 to 16.