The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

ECC’s first Virtual Student expo receives overwhelming amount of interest

The first Virtual Student Expo, hosted by El Camino College, allowed students to visit 20 different interactive resource tables using Canvas and Zoom, on Sept. 14.

“The intention of the expo really is to connect students to the resources and the individuals who are here to help them succeed,” Expo co-coordinator and Formerly Incarcerated Re-Entry Students Thriving (FIRST) program coordinator, Ricardo Gonzalez said.

During the live table hours, students were able to connect directly with faculty and staff from all seven meta majors, along with representatives from clubs, tutoring services and student support services.

Although the active number of participants was low, only 80 students, both Gonzalez and Karen Preciado, the second Expo co-coordinator and enrollment services supervisor, said they were surprised by the number of students who showed interest in the event.

“In terms of page views, [that] specific day we got 3,957,” Preciado said.

The level of participants surpassed turnouts for previous in-person expos, with last year’s hosting 650 students.

Automotive instructor, Edward Matykiewicz, recalls a total of three students attended the Industry and Technology (I&T) table during the live hour, where he was participating as a presenter.

“I really feel like as an instructor I need [to] really make myself visible to students,” Matykiewicz said.

Matykiewicz has been an instructor at ECC for five years and says that his participation in events like the Virtual Student Expo is “crucial” for programs like automotive.

He recalls that initial knowledge of the program was sporadic and relied heavily on word-of-mouth. Now, he works with Guided Pathways doing outreach to help improve the level of students in I&T programs.

“Our automotive program has grown quite substantially [just] from outreach events and marketing and making ourselves known,” Matykiewicz said.

He believes that attending events like the expo encourages students to reach out and makes the process of attending college less stressful.

“It makes it seem more welcoming and inviting, and that’s what we’re all about,” Matykiewicz said.

He also believes that the virtual expo gave students a good opportunity to gather information on several topics as each presenter was able to give them additional information they might not have known.

“You go to El Camino because you’ve got a lot of responsibilities outside of here and you just don’t have time to really do a deep dive so to really put [that] opportunity out there for students is critical, and I recognize that,” Matykiewicz said.

Preciado added that the expo continued to pull in views days after the live event, since all the information remained available to students on Canvas until Sept. 21.

“A lot of the content is being shifted over to what’s going to be called ‘the Student Support Hub,‘ so the expo was really like the launching pad for what the Student Support Hub is going to be,” Gonzalez said.

The Expo will keep adapting to student needs as survey results continue to roll in. Gonzalez wants to make sure future Expos are more interactive; potentially by hosting how-to videos opposed to live table hours.

With all the engagement, Gonzalez says this has been the most successful expo yet despite relatively low turnout.

“This year’s expo for sure is eye opening, and typically we only have the Expo once a year but this time, I think for the first time ever, it’s going to be every major semester,” he said

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