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October 14, 2015
by: Tad Phippen Wente and Sarah Williams

The Wisconsin Education Fair: Two Perspectives

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College Season Opens at IDEAS
By Tad Phippen Wente

College Readiness Coordinator, IDEAS Academy

The college touring season kicked off to a broad start September 28 with the juniors tackling the Wisconsin Education Fair. They circled the fieldhouse in the Todd Wehr Center at Lakeland College to meet representatives from universities, colleges, technical schools, military branches and more. Students registered online and received scannable barcodes that enabled schools to send them additional information if requested. All the juniors participated in a “pre-brief” meeting to prepare them for what to expect and how to set goals of their own. Productive? Yes. What makes us say that?

  • No one lacked a WEF bag filled with informational materials.
  • Two girls’ arms were so loaded brochures, they almost had to take two trips to the bus.
  • Before leaving, we had to go back in to find a student still conversing with a rep.
  • Talk on the way home was all college.

Back at school that afternoon, students shared their discoveries and compared notes with the seniors in their Advisories. The next day the juniors visited freshmen/sophomore Advisories to pass along knowledge and answer the “youngers’” questions. As always, Field Reports were completed after the fieldtrip as a way to personally reflect and plan for the future.

Exploring Future Options at WEF
By Sarah Williams

Writing Intern, The Étude Studios

I’ve been worrying about college for longer than any person should. I entered my freshman year of high school, I started worry about how everyone had a dream school and I didn’t. I had an “idea” of who I wanted to be in college, but no idea where I wanted to be that person, or what I wanted to study in college.

I’m really lucky to go to IDEAS, because I get a chance to explore things that I wouldn’t necessarily get to in other schools. I’ve been touring colleges since I was an 8th grader at Mosaic, and the opportunities to see potential schools I could go to are really helpful in making sense of this whole college business. The seminars and internship opportunities I’ve gotten help too, without them I wouldn’t have really understood that journalism is something that I like to do, and something that I could potentially do in my life after high school.

In addition to the colleges I’ve visited through school, I got the opportunity to go to the Wisconsin Education Fair on September 28. Going into the fair, I didn’t have the highest of hopes. I haven’t ever really wanted to go to a school in the Midwest, but I think what I was forgetting is that Sheboygan isn’t the entire Midwest. Going to the fair really opened my eyes to all the places I could go, and how big a generalization I was making about colleges in the Midwest.

I talked to a lot of schools, and I was pretty easily sold on them if their representative was super into the school they were representing. There were some where we didn’t get to hear much about the school, where you could tell their representative was getting kind of burnt out, but there were others that were excited about the college they were talking about and all the things they offered. Those are the schools that made me want to learn more, and the ones I’m glad I talked to.

All in all, the fair was really helpful to me in finding places that I could go to in my life after high school, even though it seemed really intimidating at first. The WEF, paired with all the future planning we do in advisory, has helped me change from a confused freshman to a slightly less confused but definitely excited junior, and I’m really lucky to be having this experience.

Photo Credits: Madison O'Brien, Photography Intern, The Étude Studios

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