Bringing higher ed opportunities to Sequim

After a several-year hiatus, Sequim, Forks, Port Angeles and Port Townsend schools are bringing back a College Fair to the Olympic Peninsula next week.

Living in a remote part of Washington has its advantages … and disadvantages.

“It’s been harder as the years go by to get college reps to come out here on the peninsula,” Mitzi Sanders, a counselor at Sequim High School, says. “We’re kind of off the beaten path.”

After a several-year hiatus, Sanders, SHS staff and staff from Forks, Port Angeles and Port Townsend schools are bringing back a College Fair to the Olympic Peninsula next week. Representatives from more than 40 four-year colleges and universities, two-year community and vocational/technical schools and military branches will fill the Sequim High School gymnasium (601 N. Sequim Ave.) from 12:45-4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23.

Juniors and seniors attend the fair from 12:45-2:45 p.m. while interested freshmen, sophomores and parents are encouraged to attend from 2:45-4 p.m.

Information on topics such as Job Corps, AmeriCorps and FAFSA also will be available.

But the event isn’t just for students, Sanders says; the community is invited as well.

“There’s a variety — that’s what I’m striving for, Sanders says. “Every single student who attends should be able to find something that interests them.”

Sanders says she’s put on college fairs in the past but with the proliferation of similar fairs across the region, state and nationwide, schools simply are not sending as many representatives, particularly to rural areas like the Olympic Peninsula.

When she asked college officials what would entice them to make the trek to the Sequim area, she says they asked if nearby schools could get together so representatives could visit several districts on the same trip. So Sanders and fellow advisors at nearby districts are making it happen. Many of the representatives at Sequim’s fair will be in Forks on Sept. 22, in Port Angeles the morning of Sept. 23 and in Port Townsend and Chimacum on Sept. 24.

“We’re all working together (to form the three-day circuit),” Sanders says. “Our rural kids here need this exposure — more so than those on the I-5 corridor. They get (the exposure to big schools) all the time. I tell them, ‘We send you some pretty darn good kids.’ I want these college reps to see the awesome kids we have.”

Sanders says she’d like to see this become an annual event.

For more information, contact Sanders at mitzi@sequim.k12.wa.us.