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Lynn high schoolers live the college life for one day

Lynn Classical senior Chantal Sanchez and Lynn Classical junior Andrew Flaherty pose in front of a NSCC banner during their break from touring the university's campus on Friday. (Bella DiGrazia)

LYNN — Juniors and seniors from several Lynn high schools spent Friday experiencing life as a North Shore Community College (NSCC) student.

Students from Lynn Classical, Lynn English, Lynn Vocational Technical Institute, and Fecteau-Leary toured the college. It’s the third year the school has brought Lynn high school students in for a visit.

The event allowed aspiring college students to participate in various college courses; attend a resource fair where they could ask questions about financial services, testing, engagement and clubs, health services, admissions, and tutoring; and dine on pizza.

“With a lot of our kids they’re not sure if they want the college experience and then they come to this event and get the experience of a day in the college life and that’s when they decide they want to go further and that’s fabulous,” said Claire Pappas, Special Education Department Head at English.

Lynn administrators said the goal was to ease the fear high school kids sometimes feel when thinking about college. The NSCC visit gives students a chance to experience a real-life college course and ease any concerns they have about the next chapter in their lives.

“They imagine it as being big and scary and then once they get here they realize that it’s a comfortable place, they can do it, they have lots of different programs they can take part in and they know that they can just try it out and not have to make a big decision right away,” said Christine Lyman, Special Education Department Head at Classical.

CLassical junior Andrew Flaherty said the visit gave him the opportunity to think about the college decisions he’ll be making one year from now. The young Lynner, who has aspirations in studying graphic design or becoming a surgeon, felt the event was a helpful experience.

“My favorite part about today was definitely the Sociology class because it was very eye opening to the kinds of things today offers,” he said. “They talked about how more women graduate from college than men for good reason because half the time men don’t try to get stuff done and I think that’s a pretty fair statistic.”

Even though there is a history behind students and teachers not agreeing on much, Friday’s visitation allowed them to come together and agree on the benefits of attending a local college.

“I think definitely one benefit is the financial part of it and how they’re able to take a lot of their liberal arts courses for a lot cheaper than a state college or university,” said Suzanne Bell, an English Language Arts Special Education teacher at Lynn English. “It’s also great that it is a smaller school that can kind of wean them into the possibility of going to a larger school.”

Dianna Palter Gill, Dean of Corporate and Professional Education at NSCC, devised the day-in-the-life event three years ago in collaboration with the Lynn public schools. They wanted local students to get a feel for what it means to be a college student and the accessibility that the campus offers for anyone with an interest in attending.

“One of the students put it best when he said to me that until this morning he never thought he would want to come, should come, or could come to North Shore so this has really changed their perspective on what the school can offer and how accessible we make it for them,” said Palter Gill.

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