The second of Vaughn College's two fall admissions open houses Saturday (Nov. 20) lacked the summer-like temperatures of a week earlier. This time, the thermometer peaked at 50-plus degrees as the sun skirted through the clouds in a more representative autumn day.
But if temperatures were down, enthusiasm remained high as the College opened its doors to a second wave of interested students and parents, some such as Sean Tyrrell, from as far away as Maryland.
"I love engines; I love designing them. It's been a passion of mine since I was a young child," said Tyrrell, a native of Guyana, who made the five-hour trip from Temple Hills, Md. with father Paul and mother Wynette. "I looked at a lot of places and noticed that Vaughn could offer me the tools I need for the industry."
Tyrrell was impressed enough to apply Saturday and said he intended to study mechanical engineering technology. That prompted Wynette Tyrrell to say, "if he's accepted, we might have to move back to New York," where the family lived before moving to Maryland.
At 227 students, the Nov. 13 open house was the College's most popular ever. The Nov. 20 numbers meant that nearly 400 potential students and another 600 family members visited the campus over those two Saturdays.
Saturday's event began with breakfast and a welcome from president Dr. John Fitzpatrick. Information sessions in five undergraduate concentrations followed, including engineering, which drew the attention of 16-year-old Armond St. Just, who is on target for accelerated graduation from West Hempstead High School.
St. Just imagines himself designing video games one day, and seemed interested in the College's animation and digital technologies program. "Maybe one day I'll play a video game that I designed," he said. "The animation and technology you study here are the same programs as Sony and Microsoft."
A series of "Open House Experiences" enabled potential students to get behind-the-scenes looks at career possibilities. Vaughn faculty member Tom Sargent gave his group a peek into life as an air traffic controller, where he has spent nearly three decades.
"There's a lot of information you need to know," Sargent said. "And 29 years ago I didn't know it. But if I could do it, you can do it. If ever there's a job where things aren't handed to you, this is it. You have to earn it, but once you do it's a great career."
Kevin Cooke, 17, from Ronkonkoma, on Long Island, seemed impressed.
"You see possibilities of a job after college," Cooke, a potential airport management student, said. "That's one of the main reasons to come here."
Interested potential students and their parents attended Vaughn College's second fall admissions open house Saturday, Nov. 20.