FILE — Hartnell College hosts Panther Prep Days in King City on May 3, 2019. (Contributed)

SALINAS VALLEY — Salinas Valley high school seniors who plan to attend Hartnell College are encouraged to sign up by April 11 to attend Panther Prep Days on April 29-30 and receive priority registration.

During Panther Prep Day events — on April 29 at Hartnell’s education centers in King City and Soledad or on April 30 at the Main Campus in Salinas — students will meet individually with counselors to create their first semester education plan, register for classes and attend a college resource fair. Parents are welcome, too.

In order to register for classes, students will need to provide proof of full vaccination for Covid-19 or request a religious or medical exemption.

On April 29, the event at the King City Education Center, 117 N. Second St., will be from 8 to 11 a.m., and the event at the Soledad Education Center, 1505 Metz Road, will be from 12 to 3:30 p.m.

On April 30, on the Main Campus, 411 Central Ave., the morning session will be from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and the afternoon session will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with an overlapping lunch and resource fair.

These are not drop-in events, and tickets are required.

As many as 1,000 students and 200 parents are expected to take part. Students who skip the event may find the classes they want are already full. More information is available on the Hartnell website

“We really take them through the whole experience and take all the guesswork out of it,” said Ariana Rodriguez, Hartnell’s College Pathways Coordinator. “We walk them through the entire process of enrollment, step by step.”

Returning to an in-person format after two years online because of the pandemic, Panther Prep Day culminates outreach that began in October at 19 school sites across the Hartnell Community College District. During a series of face-to-face workshops, Hartnell’s College Pathways Team led students through the Steps to Success, which include applying for admission, placement for English and math, online orientation and setting up a Hartnell email account.

The purpose of the Panther Pledge is to help students continue their education after high school and either go on to complete a four-year degree or prepare to begin an immediate career in a technical field.

“Panther Prep Days and the extensive support they provide are part of our commitment to students that begins well before they enroll in classes,” said Hartnell Governing Board President Erica Padilla-Chavez. “We want them to start strong and finish strong as proud Hartnell graduates.”

Thanks to these outreach efforts, combined with the benefits of the Salinas Valley Promise ― offering two years of free tuition, mentoring and leadership training for first-time, full-time students ― Hartnell has consistently enrolled more than 40% of graduating seniors at its feeder high schools.

High school counselors are essential and valued partners for the Panther Pledge program, Rodriguez said, because they coordinate with teachers to make sure all students can take part in the workshops during their regular school day and provide ongoing support and follow-up with their students participating in the program.

Article submitted by Scott Faust, Communications Director for Hartnell College.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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