PTC opens doors for many
More than 100 prospective students attended Saturday’s Open House, many with several family members in tow. Most were on campus for the first time, anxious to walk around, visit classrooms and labs, tour housing, talk to faculty and students, and learn more about Pittsburgh Technical College.
For some it was a long-awaited realization.
“He’s been thinking about this school for two years,” explained Mary Ann Rosa, who brought her son Jonathon Rosa to Open House from their home in Canfield, OH. “We had to come see it.”
She continued, “His teacher recommended PTC’s Graphic Design program. We’ve toured several colleges, but this is his favorite.”
It was a day of exploration and discovery for all.
The day started in the Gallery with a welcome and a short presentation by Vice President of Education Eileen Steffan.
Speaking to an audience comprised of rising and 2017 graduates, recent high school graduates and adults ready for a new direction, Steffan said, “This morning is a time to focus on your career and consider an education that will lead to industry skills.
“At PTC you will learn through experiences, in the classroom, on field trips, during your internship, but it is our faculty that truly make a difference.”
You could feel the palpable energy as students moved from the Gallery through the building and across campus to talk to faculty, meet PTC students, watch demonstrations in the various labs, and visit with college staff.
On hand to explain their services to students were Career Services, Student Activities, Financial Aid Planning, Community Service, DECA and Admissions staff.
Miranda Thornley, of Ellwood City, said she was here to take a look at one of the School of Healthcare programs. “Today I learned a lot about the Medical Assisting program. I am interested in this field because I want to help people.”
While Miranda was thinking about her education and what was important in her career decision, her father, Shawn Thornley, had a list of questions.
“My wife is on call and couldn’t come with us today, but she had a list for me,” he said. “I came to get information on housing, financial aid, program length, the type of degree my daughter would receive, how much it would cost, and whether books were included.”
He accomplished their list and agreed with his daughter that the visit was worthwhile.
Alec Keough attended with his mom and stepfather, Kelli and Darren Hood of Monroeville.
“Someone came to his school, Serra Catholic, and got his attention. He came home and announced, ‘That’s where I’m going.’ so we wanted to come out and see the campus,” said Kelli.
“We wanted to see where he would be living and meet his teachers.”
Darren echoed Kelli’s interest in the college their son was interested in attending. “I wanted to see where the campus was located, if it was easy to get here. It is.”
He learned more than that. “I learned about the HVAC program and the environmental aspects of the program,” he said. “There are large units outside that the students learn about. That’s important in this field.
“And I had the chance to talk to both a student and an alum from the program.”
Darren and Kelli agreed that these perspectives were important. “I asked the graduate what salary he made,” Darren said. “He laughed and said a mom had just asked the same thing. He told me what he makes and said that he was looking to buy a house.”
While Darren and Kelli focused on the program and its outcomes, Alec was impressed with what he saw during his visit to the Energy Tech Building.
“This is pretty good. I learned that there is high demand for HVAC, and I like the hands-on work,” he said.
While some students explored programs and discovered more about PTC, others found it was time for decisions. With classes starting in July, some students were anxious to move forward with an application for admission.
Those students graduating in 2018 learned about PTC’s Early Application program and its benefits including the $500 Early Application grant, the opportunity to earn a $5,000 Early Application scholarship, and first choice housing location selection.
As families were wrapping up their Open House visit many stopped by the Campus Store. It was not uncommon to see families leaving with new t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and mugs, all emblazoned with the PTC logo. Bags of merchandise in one hand, bags of popcorn in the other, families walked to their cars in the sunshine that finally broke through the overcast skies.