Any learning experience is better with cotton candy stuffed in your mouth.
Purdue College of Technology, Ivy Tech Community College and IUPUC will test that theory 5:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 25 during Community Ed Fest, a festive showcase of the Columbus academic institutions’ offerings to help students land great careers.
“This is all about awareness,” Randy Proffitt, executive director of marketing and communications for Ivy Tech, said about the free event behind the Columbus Learning Center.
“A lot of people don’t know they can get their education in Columbus, from kindergarten through college, without leaving the area.”
Organizers hope the Community Ed Fest will go a long way toward giving people a complete picture of how all levels of education flow naturally into helping acquire in-demand career skills.
Everyone from high school students to parents and their children to working adults are invited to enjoy the festivities, which includes free parking, food, games, music and T-shirts. Door prizes include a computer tablet, an e-reader and tickets to the Indianapolis Zoo.
Representatives from the public school and private school systems will be there. Financial aid workshops will show people with limited incomes how they can afford college. Representatives from Purdue College of Technology, Ivy Tech and IUPUC will man booths to showcase how their associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs translate to the working world.
“I’m really excited about this event,” said Anji McKinney, lead coordinator of student services at Purdue College of Technology. “A lot of people aren’t even aware that Purdue exists here.”
People are being encouraged to enter 500-word essays or three-minute YouTube videos by Oct. 5 to land any of six $1,000 scholarships. Each of the three colleges is offering two scholarships, which can be used at their respective institutions.
John Burnett, president of the Community Education Coalition, an event partner, credited Mark Gerstle, vice president and chief administrative officer at Cummins Inc., with coming up with the idea for the event.
Join the fun
When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 25.
Where: A large tent on the Campus Quad, directly behind the Columbus Learning Center. Free parking available on campus lots.
Scholarships: Submit 500-word essay or three-minute YouTube video about why you want to attend college in Columbus. Contest rules and applications at communityedfest.com. Entries are due by 5 p.m. Oct. 5 and will be announced at the start of the Community Ed Fest.
5:30 to 6 p.m. — Free festival food including hotdogs, nachos, popcorn, chips and salsa, cotton candy, hot apple cider and hot chocolate will be served.
6 to 6:20 p.m. — Mark Gerstle, vice president and chief administrative officer at Cummins Inc., discusses how local higher education options prepare job seekers for careers with top employers. Scholarship winners announced.
6:20 to 8 p.m. — Self-guided campus tours and free public entertainment, including bounce houses and face painting.
6:30 to 7:30 p.m. — Project Dubru, the 2011 Columbus Battle of the Bands winner, will perform rock songs from artists like Guns N’ Roses, Bon Jovi and Fall Out Boy.
7 to 7:15 p.m., 7:30 to 7:45 p.m. — Two short presentations about financial aid opportunities. Question and answer session included.
7:50 p.m. — Door prize winners announced. Winners must be present.
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