Running Start gives students edge after high school

PUHI It was a rare sight to witness students more interested in what was being presented than in the food that followed.

But students, primarily high school seniors from around the island, listened intently to the various speakers from the Kaua’i Community College Wednesday evening.

KCC Chancellor Peggy Cha explained that the Running Start program is not just for students, but for their parents as well, and the dining room was filled to capacity with prospective students.

“We’re gearing up for the Fall semester,” Cha said. “Running Start also provides a chance for the community to see that there are so many opportunities for them.” One of the prospective students interrupted Cha to inquire about the possibilities in the art field, and many of the senior students stopped to see how they could pursue a degree in education by starting at KCC.

KCC counselors as well as student services representatives were on hand to man tables offering information on registration as well as field questions from the students and their parents.

The event Wednesday night saw a dramatic increase from previous events, and one instructor noted that this is a good indicator of their upcoming semester if the trend holds.

KCC has had several semesters of declining enrollment, but if the predicted number of students attend the Puhi campus, this trend might see a reversal.

In addition to the protocol of registration, financial aid, and college overview, KCC also had representatives from their various departments on hand.

Skylar Ballantine, a KCC first-year culinary arts student, was presented to the audience as an example of what students can expect in the way of excellence and accomplishments.

Chef Martina Hilldorfer, one of the KCC culinary arts instructor, pointed out that Ballantine had recently won a silver medal in a state competition.

Additionally, Hilldorfer had examples of the culinary students’ work, noting that in a recent classroom competition, one student won top honors after her first attempt.

The evening was capped with refreshments, some of which came from the KCC culinary department and supplemented with offerings from Mark’s Place and Contemporary Flavors.

> Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.

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