WILKES-BARRE — Choosing a career path or what college or university to attend can be a vexing problem for junior high and high school students.
Add in the maze of financial aid, and the task might just be enough to make a student put his or her head down and scream.
With an eye on making those decisions easier, King’s College will host the third annual Looking Forward program on Saturday. It is a career and academic planning program for eighth- through 12th-grade students.
The free program, held through Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18, is designed to help students find a career by talking to professionals within that field and to guide families through college preparation and financial aid.
Students and their parents are required to attend together, said Marie Warren, professional development consultant with LIU18.
Registration will begin at 8 a.m. in the college’s Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center. Work sessions will run 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., offering many areas of interest, including medicine, communication and media, education, culinary arts, engineering, business, finance, law and many more.
Lunch, sponsored by area businesses and organizations, will be offered noon to 1:15 p.m. During this time families and students have an opportunity to take a guided tour of the King’s campus or browse through informational booths pertaining to career offerings from area universities, colleges and career technical training schools.
Billy Kelly, of WVIA, will be the keynote speaker, Warren said. He will host a panel discussion with current college students to “paint a clear picture” of college life.
A panel discussion titled “Things I Wish I Knew Before I Went To College” will also be held.
The goal of the program is to inspire eighth- and ninth-graders to start thinking of a career path, Warren said. It gives them an opportunity to find out what required classes should be included in their future course selections, she added.
“Some professions require you to have had certain courses before high school,” she said. “Once you’re in high school you may not be able to get the required courses to pursue a specific area of study.”
Students in 10th through 12th grades will be given exposure to fields of interest through local professionals and college students.
“This can help to minimize the frequency of changing majors within the first two years of college,” Warren said.
The program has been gaining in popularity. Warren said that last year it was held at Misericordia University and that the turn out was very good.
“This year, it is even larger,” she said.