Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

February 19, 2013

HCN college fair is back

Bart Doan

DANVILLE — The Hendricks College Network College, Career, and Graduation Fair returns to the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds and Conference Complex here from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 28.

The event will feature more than 80 colleges and training programs, along with an airplane.

Various workshops begin at 5 p.m. with the fair running from 6 to 8 p.m.

Representatives from a variety of continuing education options will be on hand, including undergraduate schools, technical and trade programs, military options, and graduate degree programs.

Joe Lee from Vincennes University will be bringing along a Pulsar plane to help get patrons excited about the ever evolving careers in aviation technology.

But for the first time in the decade-long history of the event, the HCN will be combining the graduate and college career fairs into one event.

“All in one night you will find programs for high school seniors and adults in the same place,” said Brandy Perrill, interim director of the HCN. “We know it’s hard for people to make time for their kids, make time for the fair, and for adults to take the night off to serve their needs.”

Perrill said schools from all over the country will be attending to meet with students, including those from as far away as the University of Alabama. She said almost every school in the state, whether they offer two-year degrees or four will be represented as well.

“I think this is a good place to come where you can see a variety of programs and not feel the one-on-one pressure you feel about walking into a school,” she said. “Here you can be general and explore all of the different options and compare the programs next to each other.”

All manner of educational opportunities will be represented as well, including trade and apprenticeship continuing education, which Perrill says can financially benefit working adults.

“We have some representation from the apprenticeship programs and construction trade programs, and people often don’t understand that you can make money while you’re training,” she said. “And you can make the same amount or more money than right when someone comes out with a bachelor’s degree.”

Also, the fair aims to allow chances for attendees to understand the litany of oft-unknown scholarships and grants that are available. Perrill says research into some of them provide astounding simplicities that can turn into college money.

“One of the most popular parts last year that was kind of new is that I created a scholarship table of scholarships that aren’t always (widely) represented,” she said. “Last year we had about 20 of those and this year we have about 40, and it was cleared off in about 40 minutes. It’s an opportunity for those organizations to have those smaller scholarships displayed.”

Perrill said one of the great misnomers of scholarships that keep people from applying is that they think they have no chance, or that only one is given out. She said that often isn’t the case, and applying is simply the key to getting some college money many students never thought possible.

“There are a lot of agriculture scholarships that might not get the applicants they need,” she said. “I think there’s a little something for everyone on that scholarship table.”

Education regarding military schools will also be available for those interested, and the workshops will be repeated for those who may miss them. Perrill said it is a major focus of the HCN to provide opportunities for community members and employers who are looking to hire local talent, thus allowing those who graduate to stay proximal to where they live.

“We just want to put a little more focus on what the community needs and how we can start bringing those classes for employers and employees to meet their goals as well,” she said. “It’s our job to provide that.”

The Hendricks County Fairgrounds is at 1900 E. Main St., Danville. For more information, call 745-8804 or visit the website at hendrickscollegenetwork.org.

Just the facts

WHAT: Hendricks College and Career Fair

WHEN: 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 28

WHERE: Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds and Conference Complex