By EVAN BEVINS
Special to The News and Sentinel
MARIETTA - Whether it's seniors looking to narrow their post-high school choices or juniors starting the process, hundreds of students are expected at Marietta College tonight for the annual Mid-Ohio Valley College Night.
The event draws between 400 and 500 students and their families from 15 counties in Ohio and West Virginia to the college's Dyson Baudo Recreation Center each year, said Josh Thrash, admissions counselor at MC. And this year more than 80 two- and four-year colleges and universities, military organizations and trade and technical schools will be represented, an increase from years past.
"That's really a compliment to the local region, especially students, parents, teachers and counselors, that so many institutions will invest their time and money to recruit here," Thrash said.
While some of those who attend may become students at Marietta College, the goal isn't about recruiting as much as providing a service to the region, one of the school's core values.
"Marietta College is committed to the higher education mode of thinking," Thrash said. "(Students) can kind of compare institutions to see where they have the best fit."
Among the institutions attending today's event will be Ohio Valley University. Larry Lyons, vice president for enrollment at the Vienna school, agreed it's important for students to explore their options.
"Pick out three (schools) that you think are going to meet your needs," he said, then visit each of them.
OVU has students from 26 states and about a dozen different countries on its campus, Lyons said. Events like Monday's provide a chance to reach out to students in its own backyard.
"It gives us more exposure to ... local students," Lyons said. "We've been accused of being the best-kept secret in education, and we don't want to be a secret anymore."