By Raylyn Rollins
By Raylyn Rollins
Riverside City College’s outreach program encompasses what seems to be all things college. From campus tours, to presentations to putting together school functions, those working in outreach can help answer questions regarding college.
The Outreach center is located behind Admissions in a little portable. There, along with pamphlets and other literature, one can find employees able to help with questions or concerns. Or, there is always the phone.
According to Cindy Taylor, coordinator of Outreach, spring is the busiest time of the year for the center.
The employees can field questions dealing with WebAdvisor, on-campus events, campus tours and much more. For any question they are not qualified to answer, they know the people who are.
With on-campus events like transfer fairs, career fairs or the like, Outreach is usually involved. They usually have a table or booth set up for information, but if not, they are at least involved in setup and take-down. This includes setting up the tables and making sure everything runs smoothly.
Outreach can also be seen around campus giving tours to prospective students. However, a lot of the work happens off-campus in high schools and even in elementary schools.
The student ambassadors go from one to four high schools a week, helping teenagers get to college and providing information about RCC.
Ambassador Jackie Gray sees the impact she makes on teenagers.
“I just love when you get the student who doesn’t think they can get into college and you show them how they can,” Gray said. “It’s nice to be able to change people’s minds.”
Beyond providing a door for high school students, the Outreach program reaches out to students as young as fifth grade.
Fifth grade presentations are Gray’s favorite part of the job. She said that the younger children are receptive to the idea and interested to learn.
The elementary students tend to get excited when they find out that they can go to school only two days a week, but, according to Gray, “they can’t get over the fact that there is no recess.”
When it comes to the younger students, the Outreach program does not necessarily urge the students to go to RCC, but talk to them about college in a much more general sense.
Second grade is the ideal age to start talking about college, but fifth grade works, too, according to Taylor. By introducing college to children early, they are more likely to go in the future.
Because the people at Outreach are trained to handle so many areas, their influence can be not only be seen through the number of new students coming to RCC, but in and around the campus as well.