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Tucked away off West Sunshine Street is a place where students come to start a new path in life. As KSMU’s Samuel Crowe reports, thousands of people drive past Everest College every day, yet not many know what goes on behind the doors at this technical school.
Everest College offers degrees in programs like Accounting, Computer Information Science, Paralegal Studies, as well as medical and dental assisting. But college President Gary Meyers said the college is doing more than just teaching students the basics of their degree program.
“We have a tremendous effort, ongoing effort, here at the school in trying to show students their responsibility to their community and to their fellow students, and to the world in general,” he said.
Meyer said the college has an ambassador program where students organize and take part in volunteer programs, like operating a food pantry for their peers who can’t afford to buy groceries. They also delivered food to victims of the Joplin tornado.
This school is also different because of the age of its students: the average age of a student here is 30 years old. Many of them are starting over on a new career path.
Meyers said the technical skills students learned here enable them to hit the ground running when they land their first jobs after graduation.
“The economic impact that they make on their companies is that they are trained on how to do things. And so they can walk in and make an immediate impact on a company rather than waiting a year or a year and a half to be trained by the organization what to do,” he said.
Congressman Billy Long stopped by the college this week for a tour, and stressed the importance of colleges like Everest and what they mean to the community.
“I think that they’ll have a good impact. I think that they come out of here ready to go to work. They’re training for specific jobs for specific people, and I think that it will really have a good impact on local employers,” Long said.
The student body is about 85 percent female. And according to Meyer, about 95 percent of the graduates stay in the Springfield area.
Everest College has been in Springfield since 1976. Originally named Phillips Junior College, it then went by the name Springfield College before landing its current name.
For KSMU News, I’m Samuel Crowe.