Potential students take a look at NTCC

Published 6:17 am Saturday, May 28, 2016

Northshore Technical Community College held its preview night on Thursday evening.

The event was a chance for prospective students and their parents to check out the college campus, meeting with admissions personnel and get a look at some of the facilities offered at the school.

Lisa Harrison said she liked what she saw.

“It’s a pretty good program,” she said, of NTCC’s diesel mechanics program. Harrison’s son, Erik, a graduate of Pearl River High School, will be attending NTCC in the fall. Harrison said she appreciates that NTCC is close and the college’s well-regarded vocation and technical programs are a plus.

As good as those programs are, however, school administrators are trying to spread the word that the school is more than a technical college.

“A lot of people think we’re the old vo-tech,” said Stephanie Warren, the assistant director of student affairs. “But we’re a community college. We still offer vo-tech courses but we also offer general courses you need to get into a four-year college.”

In Louisiana, high school students who are not Core Four track students must first go to a community college to take certain prerequisites in order to be admitted to a university.

“If students are not following a Core Four track, then they can’t go to a four-year university right away, so they have to start off at a two-year college,” Warren said. “So why not stay home?”

Shelia Singletary, the dean of campus administration, said that for Washington Parish residents, NTCC is the best deal in town.

“We’re still the most economic path to an education,” she said. “Whether that’s to get into the workforce or a university.”

Singletary said it’s not uncommon for students who were not on Core Four to realize, after graduation, that they need extra education.

“When those students come out of high school and they want to change the direction they’re going and want to go to a university, we’ll be here,” she said.

However, if Thursday evening is any indication, the school’s technical programs are still quite popular.

“So far, most of the interest has been in our shop classes or our welding and diesel classes,” Jerri Yarbrough said. Yarbrough works in admissions and student affairs, and she was manning the sign-in table Thursday.

She said the turnout was fair, but it seems like most students will be sitting the summer out.

“Most are taking a break for the summer,” she said.

However, students interested in summer classes should sign up now. Those classes start May 31. The fall semester begins Aug. 17.

For more information, call the school at 985-732-6640.