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When making a big decision, hands-on exploration is crucial. Asking questions and talking to others who’ve been in your shoes are hugely important when choosing a next step. At South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC), they host Professional and Technical Program Spotlights where prospective students can test drive programs with tremendous growth opportunities and have their questions answered by teachers and graduates with real-world experience.

South Puget Sound Community College Students working under the hood of a car
At their Professional Technical programs Spotlights, SPSCC showcases hands on classes like those focusing on automotive technology. Photo courtesy: South Puget Sound Community College

“At the Spotlight events we will be featuring faculty from the programs so students can learn from the source and ask direct questions,” Admissions Specialist Erin Rust explains. “Spaces students would utilize like labs and classrooms, and tools they might use like machines, tools specific to the trade and specialized spaces are all things they will experience.” SPSCC currently offers 20 such programs ranging from accounting and the culinary arts to software development to machining and welding, and everything in between.

And I mean nearly everything! Prof Tech classes cover cybersecurity and network administration, baking and the pastry arts, medical assisting or medical coding and billing, and paralegal degrees. You can learn architecture-engineering-construction, automotive technology, business administration, craft brewing and distilling or early childhood education. And don’t forget that dental assisting and nursing are always in high demand.

Know a student who’s still nervous about taking the plunge? “If someone wasn’t sure about applying to one of the Prof Tech programs,” says Rust, “I would encourage them to attend a spotlight event because it will be a very engaging and exciting event with lots of information and in-person experiences to help them decided if the program is right for them.”

SPSCC students working on a machine
There is tremendous need for career and technical education like machining and a Spotlight lets students experience the workspace and technology or have questions answered. Photo courtesy: South Puget Sound Community College

A Spotlight’s in-depth exploration may just tip the scales for enrollees. “We aim for prospective students to be able to picture themselves in that space doing what they are passionate about and for them to leave with their questions answered and confident in if they want to pursue a particular trade through their education at SPSCC,” says Rust. “Exploring our Prof Tech programs in this way is an excellent way to see, before a student registers for classes—or even applies to the college—if they click with the professors, like the working and learning space or ask any questions they might have about the program, space, or tools.”

“Attending a Spotlight would be an ideal experience for anyone who is considering going into a trade but are hesitant because they feel like they need more information, have questions, or would like to try it out,” says Rust. “Students will learn about the program and any certificates related to the program; who the faculty are; what the classroom, workspaces and labs look like; what kind of tools they will be using; how they will be prepared for working in today’s climate in the fields related to the program they’d be in and will have opportunities to ask questions.”

SPSCC hopes to have several such Spotlights each year, ideally a few each quarter. Erin Rust explains that they also hope to host a Prof Tech open house that will showcase all the options in a large, fun, fair-style event.

A South Puget Sound Community College student welding
From welding to medical or dental assisting, culinary and pastry arts to accounting, SPSCC offers an array of hands-on classes which are in high demand. Photo courtesy: South Puget Sound Community College

For more than 60 years, SPSCC has worked hard to amplify student success. Their Prof Tech programs result in an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree or a program certificate, depending on the focus area, and can be completed in a few months or up to two years. They translate into real-world internships, experienced mentors and the professional connections that give students a smooth transition into the workplace. Details about upcoming Spotlights can be found through the Prof Tech website or SPSCC school calendar. Questions can be sent to outreach@spscc.edu or 360.596.5440. Rust and the Admissions team are always happy to answer questions, arrange a campus visit or walk you through the enrollment process.

Keep an eye out for the upcoming Open House Week which takes place April 18 to 22 online and in-person. RSVP to online and on-site open house sessions through the SPSCC website and learn about all the school has to offer. The event is free and open to anyone ready to push play on their educational goals at any stage of learning.

Whether changing careers or simply adding a new highly marketable skill to your repertoire, all SPSCC’s Prof Tech classes come with the school’s commitment to flexible instruction, financial assistance, and support services that meet the needs of working adults. If you or someone you know is curious about hands on career and technical education, Spotlight’s are a perfect, stress-free chance to experience, learn and grow.

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