Gavilan College expands outreach tools to engage area high school studentsby Jan Janes on Jan 8, 2021
A year ago at Gavilan College, Winter Session had just begun, with multiple class offerings across all departments. No one was writing “pre-COVID 19” in their plans and presentations.
Stacey Porteur, Senior Program Specialist focuses on outreach to all the district’s high schools. With 14 years experience working at Gavilan, first in placement and assessment, and since 2019 in outreach, she has built a robust network with high school educators.
“Other than events not in person,” Porteur insists, “nothing has changed.”
But everything about delivering the events had to change, instantly.
Working with Gavilan colleagues – Judy Rodriguez, Hollister Site Director, Jessica Weiler and Adriana Servin in Career Education, Rosalinda Barbosa in Accessible Education Center, and Ryan Shook and student peer mentors at the Virtual Welcome Center – Porteur re-imagined the traditional face-to-face presentations.
San Benito High School counselor Mary Andrade was quick to point out the shift.
“As soon as the pandemic began, Stacey started to think out of the box,” said Andrade. “She immediately invited students to bi-monthly Zoom sessions for her outreach program.
“Plus, she created a very unique and informative slide presentation that immediately answered all of my seniors’questions.”
The size of the audience grew smaller, and in-person campus tours were discontinued, but students and their parents were invited to attend more than double the number of presentations offered the previous year.
Last fall, more than 850 people attended 50-plus presentations about Gavilan College, the Accessibility Education Center, how to apply to college, career pathways, and financial aid workshops. An additional 340 people at 11 presentations attended Cash for College and Financial Aid Parent Nights.
Many high school students want to start attending college early. Porteur presents information on Gavilan’s High Step/Dual Enrollment program, where students take Gavilan courses and begin to earn college credits before graduating from high school.
Beginning in a few weeks, Porteur will offer Gavilan College Application workshops via Zoom for all area high school seniors. In the same session, Financial Aid workshops will be hosted by Shook and peer mentors – college students trained in all the available student services who help new students navigate all the steps. Future workshops will include Gavilan departments showcasing the career possibilities available to students.
"In the workshops and presentations we answer questions about the application and onboarding process," said Porteur. "Students also want to know about financial aid, counseling and choosing majors."
Email Stacey Porteur for the complete list of scheduled workshops and presentations. Gavilan College offers students an affordable, transitional college experience with smaller class sizes, close to home.