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UNG hosts middle schools at the Oconee Campus

About 350 students from Malcolm Bridge Middle School in Bogart, Georgia, listened to presentations by faculty and community members and participated in hands-on activity at the University of North Georgia's Oconee Campus. The experience was designed to give students a realistic look at career available in Oconee County and beyond.

Following the success of the Career Path Fair at the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Gainesville Campus in March, 350 students from Malcolm Bridge Middle School in Bogart, Georgia, were invited to the Oconee Campus for a similar experience.

"The students attended two career presentations of their choice," said Cyndee Perdue Moore, executive director of the Oconee Campus. "And UNG offered them several careers from which to choose."

Career options included scientists, teachers, health and human service professionals, mathematicians, engineers, psychologists, bankers and financiers. From these selections, students picked two career paths to investigate further during the May 10 visit.

Presentations were delivered by faculty and community members and featured a hands-on activity such as see-and-tell or a game, Moore said.

"It was not a lecture by an adult," she said. "The students participated, asked questions and had hopefully some fun."

It also gave students a realistic look at careers available in Oconee County and beyond.

"If they got an idea of what they were interested in, then they can select the tracks they need to take in high school and get a better picture of what they can look forward to in college," Moore said.

Georgia middle school students usually select a career pathway to follow in order to select their classes in high school and beyond. Moore said it also helps them determine their future career paths in college.

"If they like banking or finance but are not interested in math, then they need to know to brush up on their math skills or sign up for more math classes," she said. "Or if they are interested in biology but are squeamish around bugs, they may need to rethink that pathway."

The event included a lunch on the campus quad and an introduction to UNG and its educational opportunities.

"They learned about UNG and its admissions options," Moore said.

In fall 2018, the Oconee Campus anticipates to enroll about 2,400 students, who are looking for a college home to build a strong foundation in their first two years before transferring to another UNG campus or another institution to complete their Bachelor’s degree. It offers students the opportunity to take classes in business and art courses as well as core curriculum classes related to English, general studies, geology, journalism, marketing, media studies, psychology, sociology, and teacher education.

The Oconee Campus is also unique because its smaller class size allows students more one-on-one interaction with the faculty.

"Our smaller size also allows students more opportunities to lead in meaningful ways, both academically and socially," Moore said, adding the campus is becoming more deeply engaged in the community and bringing more people to campus.

"For example, our art classes take place at the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF) facilities as a result of a longstanding and mutually beneficial relation between UNG and OCAF," Moore said.

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