“I found out that it’s easier to get into college than I thought!” said one of the 48 IDEAS Academy students who visited the Wisconsin Education Fair (WEF) September 23 at Lakeland College. The trip is part of the IDEAS College Readiness Program which encourages students to explore many options before making a final decision about post-secondary plans.
Over 100 universities, colleges, technical schools, art schools, beauty schools and military branches participate in WEF (Visit www.wefs.org) The juniors and seniors picked up brochures from booths and talked with representatives to find out more about colleges of interest and new possibilities. They were encouraged to ask the kinds of questions a Web site might not answer.
After the fieldtrip, students reflected as a group using a Click-Extend-Challenge Thinking Routine:
CLICK: What clicked for you at the Fair?
- “Many schools offer free applications!”
- “I found out I better figure out what to do!”
- “A scholarship I qualify for is due October 15!”
- “I can take different courses together because they meet at different times and dates.”
- “Private colleges like to give money.”
EXTEND: What extended your thinking?
Back-up plan; renewable scholarships; make-your-own majors; many schools with film majors; be specific enough about what you want to do—but not too specific.
CHALLENGE: What challenges do you now face?
Deadlines. Money. Housing. The ACT. Distance. Sensible decision-making.
The next College Readiness event will be a Senior Institute, tentatively set for Wednesday 8 October. During Guided Work Time, seniors will gather to begin or continue completing college applications. Staff will be on hand to assist them.
—Tad Phippen Wente, College Readiness Coordinator9.23.14