Raising Students – Sierra Style
By Louise Biggs
Upward Bound Coordinator
Feather River College

Did you know your local college offers much more than an education? College campuses have teams to cheer for, science exhibits to contemplate, and art to appreciate. Families may attend these activities together for little or even no cost. It is also a great way to introduce your future college student to the beautiful college campuses in the Sierra’s mountains and valleys.

What could be more fun than learning about how great college is than from the bleachers of a college team? Many colleges sponsor athletic teams. Softball and baseball teams, as well as athletes from track and field, will be competing on green fields across campuses this spring. Compared to the cost of professional games, these local college games are a real bargain. A family can spend an afternoon cheering a team in the sunny stands of their favorite college for the nominal cost of admission tickets. Some games are even hosted for free. Sierra families have numerous teams to choose from: the Wolf Pack of UNR, the Jacks of CSU Humboldt, the Corsairs of the College of the Redwoods, the Golden Eagles of Feather River College, and the Aggies of UC Davis are just a few. College apparel is usually available at the college bookstore, another great place to check out while on campus. If it is closed, similar items are sometimes available for discount prices at supermarkets near the college. But remember, there are more than athletics to keep a family busy at a college campus. Science exhibits are extraordinary on college campuses. Just strolling down the halls of the science classrooms will entrance and amaze. Many colleges have modern new facilities dedicated to science. The University of California, Davis partnered with Sierra-Nevada College, University of Nevada, Reno and Desert Research Institute to build The Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences; a beautiful atrium is housed in the building providing information about why Lake Tahoe is unique and how science and research have been used, and continue to be used, to restore and protect Lake Tahoe for future generations. CSU Humboldt has the Schatz Energy Research Center and the Northern California Institute of Marine Sciences while Butte College sits on a 928 acre wildlife refuge. Just imagine the sights you will see.

Many colleges have a Center for the Visual and Performing Arts. Mendocino College offers a full array of theater, art, dance, symphony as well as children’s programs. The Schneider Museum of Art and the Rouge Valley Symphony sit on Southern Oregon University’s campus; SOU also offers a range of classes and programs for all ages. College of the Siskiyous, CSU Chico, and Lake Tahoe Community College offer student art exhibitions as well as public events. These venues’ tickets are often far less than similar commercial offerings. Some may even be free. Have you checked to see what your local college offers?

For more information on all of these topics; team schedules, events, tickets, as well as prices, you will need to log on to the website of the college or you can call for schedules. If you have seniors heading off to a community college in the fall many of these campuses may be hosting early registration days in the Spring. While visiting websites be sure to mark these special days on your calendar as well. Feather River College hosts an Open House April 27th for Equine & Agriculture majors, and the fun filled Day in the Mountains is May 1st in beautiful Quincy, California. Maybe I will see you there.