Bellevue College Hosts Event Showcasing Academic Pathways

Credit: Sean Wu, The Watchdog

Bellevue College held a large public exhibition last Tuesday that gave BC students the opportunity to explore the various academic “pathways” offered by the college.

The event, held from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., included representation from seven of the eight pathways at BC, these being business, social sciences, health sciences, transitional studies, visual & performing arts, technology & data, and humanities & communications. STEM held its own exhibition the following day.

The eight pathways are programs designed to help students focus on a specific area of study to prepare them to transfer to another school, or to prepare them for a career following graduation.

Each pathway was represented by a stand occupied by at least one instructor from the field, as well as various written information about what classes there are and what they teach. Sometimes, the stands had a pathway themed object, such as the health sciences stand having a mannequin in a wheelchair.

According to communications instructor and key planner of the event Katherine Medbury- Olsen, the event was simply designed to help students. “We want students to explore what the college offers,” she said. “This is also an event where students can connect with faculty and with advisors and other resources.”

This is the second time this sort of event has been held at BC, with the first time being a much smaller event in April 2023 where just two Pathways were presented and 30 students attended. 

This first event was, according to Medbury-Olsen, a success. “The feedback we got back from students was that they enjoyed meeting faculty,” she said. “It was a great opportunity for students to follow up with instructors and get connected with interesting sounding classes.”

The exhibition required substantial planning, according to molecular bioscience instructor Jackie Gapinski, who worked alongside Olsen to plan the event. “We started planning this event after we did the first one,” she said. “We had weekly meetings with a planning committee, and collaboration with faculty, advisors, program managers, and event planners.” 

Gapinski also stated that faculty were excited to take part. “They’ve all been more than willing to participate,” she said. “They spread the word to their colleagues, and the more people learned about it the more people we had wanting to get involved.” 

There are plans to continue this kind of event in the future. “We will continue this kind of event moving forward,” Gapinski said. “In addition, we want to do an event every quarter, so that students will have regular opportunities to learn about their different options.”