Bo Swanson wants to go into the construction business, just like his dad.
That’s why he came to “A Day in the Life” of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Saturday, Nov. 12.
A senior at Grace Baptist Academy whose father owns Bobby Swanson Construction in Ringgold, Georgia, the younger Swanson was gathering information about the College’s construction management program. He said he knows how to “sort-of read blueprints,” can operate some heavy machinery and understands a few other details about the industry, but he wants to have a solid grasp.
“I’m not a professional who knows it all,” he said.
“A Day in the Life” 2022 drew about 25 students from area high schools such as Signal Mountain, Ringgold, Ooltewah and East Brainerd to tour CECS. They watched 30-minute-presentations from each engineering and computer science program. Faculty and CECS students demonstrated equipment, explained each department’s focus, what prospective students would learn and how that knowledge could help pilot their careers.
“A lot of students might say, ‘I want to be an engineer, but they don’t know the differences between civil and chemical engineering. It helps them differentiate specialties,” said Mary Margaret Sullivan, outreach coordinator in the CECS Center for Student Success and organizer of “A Day in the Life.”
“A Day in the Life” is one of many events that bring high school students to campus, where faculty and students explain what the University has to offer in its colleges and academic departments.
The Tennessee High School Press Association brought more than 60 students to its Friday, Nov. 11 workshop in Lupton Hall. Potential journalists-to-be found sessions on everything from podcasting to feature writing, broadcast journalism to social media, interviewing to photography.
Participating students came from nearby high schools including McCallie, Boyd Buchanan, Soddy Daisy and Collegedale Academy, and from others as far away as Tullahoma, about 90 minutes northwest of Chattanooga.
“Hosting events such as the Tennessee High School Press Association workshop benefits the Communication department and UTC by allowing us to partner with area high schools and students interested in studying communication,” said Jim Tanner, lecturer in the Department of Communication and organizer of the workshop.
Being part of the Tennessee High School Press Association workshop helps get the word out statewide about the UTC Department of Communication, he said.
“Partnering with THSPA allows us to work with other Communication departments throughout the state and help raise awareness of the strong programs available for communication studies at UTC.
Some of those partners include three other universities statewide that UTC joined in hosting THSPA’s fall 2022 workshops: Lipscomb University in Nashville, the University of Memphis and UT Knoxville.
Some programs held at UTC for prospective students have taken place for decades:
- Each summer for the past 31 years, UTC has hosted the Governor’s School for Prospective Teachers, which encourages Tennessee’s brightest 11th– and 12th-grade students to consider teaching as a profession.
- Since 2010, hundreds of middle and high school students and their parents have attended the Boys Leadership Summit, a line-up of workshops focused on topics ranging from the value of education to navigating social media to healthy relationships.
- Launching in 1999, the GEAR UP program has helped middle school students through high schoolers get ready for college or consider going to college if weren’t already interested. An initiative from the U.S. Department of Education, GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.
- The week-long Business Empowerment Academy brings local high school students who may have obstacles in their way of attending college. Students participate in the program at no cost, thanks to a grant from First Tennessee Foundation.