They came from Mexico.  They came from Pittsburgh.  They came from Sandusky, Seneca, Ottawa, Erie and Wood Counties.  “They” are the 186 kids that came to Terra State Community College for the 2017 KidsCollege held the last week of July.  The students of the college participated in an expansive variety of courses in robotics, cooking, special effects makeup, crafts, sports, photography and more.  “We have basically anything that you can think of,” says Katie Mock, Coordinator of Lifelong Learning and Life Scholars who is in her second year of organizing and running the initiative.

According to Mock, KidsCollege is a yearlong planning process.  “We will begin planning for 2018 the week after this year’s college ends.  We will start contacting instructors in September and October and get them locked in.  The catalog is published in April and registration will begin again on May 1st.”

Mock, along with Liz Sabel, Associate Dean of Students and a committee are in charge of putting together KidsCollege.  To assist in the annual planning, each student and instructor complete a survey on their experience and make suggestions on how to improve the event.  “We took a lot of suggestions from last year’s survey and implemented them this year.  That is why we now have four class sessions that are an hour and fifteen minutes long, as opposed to the three class sessions that were two hours long last year.”

KidsCollege is a proven success.  Many of this year’s attendees are returning for their third or fourth year.  In fact, some keep coming back after they have become too old for classes.  “We actually have some volunteers this year that started in KidsCollege when they were in first grade,” Mock says.  “We now have second generation students.  Their parents attended KidsCollege and now they are too.”

The true testament on KidsCollege comes from the kids themselves.  8-year-old Olivia Reed of Gibsonburg is attending for her third year.  When asked what to tell someone who has never been to KidsCollege, she says, “It’s really fun and you get to do really fun stuff.”  10-year-old Mason Short, a first timer from Port Clinton, adds, “It’s very well organized and you don’t have to pay a babysitter!”

2018 KidsCollege is scheduled for July 23 – 26.  If you want to get involved in the planning, just contact Katie Mock at kmock01@terra.edu.

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