Much of a student’s college search process occurs during their junior year of high school. With this in mind, OLSH School Counselors Jared Smith and Regina Woynar have added a new opportunity for students to explore their options. This year, they have scheduled two college visit field trips, designed to get students on a college campus and thinking about what they want their college experience to be like.
The first of these college visits took place on April 13th at La Roche College. Students were invited to participate based on their GPA and career interest surveys, since one of the areas of focus was careers in science. Students attended an information session about admissions, took a tour of the campus, and ate lunch in the dining hall.
“For many of them, this was their first time on a college campus,” said Mrs. Woynar. “The only way a student knows if a college is right for them is to go and visit. Once they’re on campus, they can decide if they can see themselves going to school there or not.”
Students also had the opportunity to hear from a panel of current La Roche students, some of whom are also OLSH alumni. Sarah Habazin ’15 and Sarah Macchione ‘17 were available to answer the students’ questions and give them some insight about making the transition from OLSH to a college campus. Dr. Rebecca Bozym, Ph.D. ’97, Associate Professor of Chemistry at La Roche, also spoke to the students, describing her own educational and professional journey.
On April 19th, the OLSH School Counselors took another small group of students to Gannon University, which included a visit to a forensic science lab, information about studying abroad, a tour, and other activities designed to inform students about the college selection process. A highlight of the visit was a session with former FBI agent and current Gannon professor, Dr. Gerald Clark. Dr. Clark took the students through Gannon’s forensic science lab, mock crime scene and court room, and showed them how to lift fingerprints and take footprint castings. The students enjoyed the opportunity to participate in these hands-on activities.
“I have found in my experience that the best way for a student to find the right "fit" for college is to get out there and visit,” said Mr. Smith. “There is no better way to get a feel for a school than walking the campus, talking to students and staff, eating in the campus eatery, and sitting in on an activity/class in one of their facilities.” The Counselors plan to expand the program next year to include one or two college campus visits per quarter.