On March 25 and 26, 2015, during the spring semester, Estrella Mountain Community College held its third annual Student Success Fair, an open house fair that is free to students and the public. The fair was conceived in the hopes that it would promote student success here on campus and beyond, such as at a university or on the student’s career path. This was the third year that EMCC hosted the fair, and students raved that this was the best one yet. Not only was it entertaining and helpful to those students who needed it, but it also had a large impact on them as well.
“There were a lot of people! There was music playing and all of the people at the booths really pushed to get people involved,” sophomore student Kaitlin Neises recalls the event. “They even stopped us to talk, and showed us all about the little stamp booklet-the ‘graduation passport’—and where you can go around to get stamps. They also showed us how to snag free popcorn and even possibly a free tee-shirt. All of the booths had a lot of information and the people running them were all very friendly.” However, the fair’s “bells and whistles” could not compare to what some students took from it.
Robert Jenkins, also a sophomore at EMCC, says that he happened upon the fair by accident. He and his friends were just getting some coffee at the café when they bumped into the fair and had to stop to check it out: “One of the fire science professors came up to me and asked if I could demonstrate how to do CPR on an adult, because he knew I was CPR certified. I learned different ways on how to see if a patient is conscious or not breathing. I also learned a new way to check a patient’s pulse, which I thought was really cool.” But that was not what really set the fair apart for Jenkins. What really made the Student Success Fair stand out to him was the help they gave to him shortly after: “They told me that I had to take the EMT and fire-science course to get started with my career. They also mentioned that once I finished the EMT course, a faster way to becoming a firefighter would be to join the Goodyear Firefighter Cadet Program. They explained that if I did that, I should be able to be employed and pay for my schooling to becoming a paramedic firefighter. After talking to the fire science professors, I felt a lot more comfortable on what I want to do as a career, and I am very grateful that they were there to give me all of that advice.”
This was not the only successful student encounter at the fair. EMCC Student Morgan Grant raved about the benefits of attending the Student Success Fair, and how it certainly fulfilled its mission to help students: “My experience at the Student Success Fair was great. I was pleasantly surprised that the fair had so much to offer to any passing student. I learned about things that were available that I previously didn’t even know existed. I felt like my success was cared about on a personal level from the minute I started talking with the people at the welcome table. It was more than just a fair. It was all about offering opportunities and help to many students that may not have been brave enough to ask.” All in all, the student success fair was-indeed-a success.