On September 27th, our college counseling department hosted the second annual College Fair at Cristo Rey St. Martin, welcoming 49 local and national colleges and universities to our campus.
In preparation for the fair, college counselors Sharon Holdvogt, Beth Kainic and Lori Felix worked with our juniors and seniors providing guidance on how to make the most of the event. Students were supplied with a list of the colleges and were coached to the geographic location, size and diversity of the range of schools. Students with specialized interests were encouraged to learn as much as possible about the colleges that offered programs in these fields. They were also coached on the use of Naviance, a college planning and career assessment software to increase their understanding of the available data as it compared to their specific academic profiles.
Building on the techniques gained through the Corporate Work Study Program, students also practiced the soft skills associated with making a good first impression on the college representatives.
CRSM College Counselor, Sharon Holdvogt noted, “Typically, a CRSM junior or senior might be able to visit 1 or 2 schools a year. Unfortunately, neither the students nor the school have the resources – human or financial – to visit more. Again this year, juniors and seniors had the opportunity to speak first-hand with many more schools by bringing the college and university representatives to Waukegan.”
The Genesis of the College Fair
While many public high schools arrange for college visits, most students must miss classes to speak with college representatives. Because CRSM students’ time is so limited, due to the demands of their classes and the Corporate Work Study Program, the counseling department introduced the fair to make it possible for students to meet with multiple college representatives without missing class time.
Response from schools across the country has been overwhelmingly positive. For colleges that could not attend the fair, the counseling team continues to set up visits to the CRSM campus during regular school days. College reps will typically meet with students during lunch to avoid missed classes.
New this year was an invitation for parents to attend – the inclusion of CRSM families in the college admissions process is crucial to the Cristo Rey mission.
“I’ve met many CRSM students, they seem to be a more dynamic type of learner, and more mature – probably because of their work study experience. Their essays stand out.” Meghan Kuhn, Admission Representative, Cornell College
Below is a list of colleges and universities that participated in the Fair:
Arrupe College of Loyola University
Cardinal Stritch University
College of St. Benedictine & St. John’s University
Illinois State University
Illinois Wesleyan University
John Carroll University
Lake Forest College
Mount Mary University
Mount Mercy University
National Louis University
North Park University
Northern Illinois University
Robert Morris University
Saint Louis University
Siena Heights College
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
St Mary’s University of Minnesota
University of Dayton
University of Illinois Chicago
University of Illinois Springfield
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
University of St. Francis
Western Illinois University Macomb
Worcester Polytechnic Institute