Normally when Bulkeley High School senior Alyssia Rosa attends college fairs, she runs into the same routine: two college representatives from each of hundreds of schools sit at a table and talk about SAT scores and admissions requirements.
At a college fair hosted by University of Connecticut graduate education students at Bulkeley Monday, the same poster board displays and booths were set up, but the information had a twist. Instead of test scores and entrance exams, students from UConn talked to more than 100 Bulkeley students about campus life, athletics and cultural clubs. For example, UConn athletes spoke about their in-season schedule.
"It was kind of like a college tour — at your school," said Rosa, who has already applied to several schools in the state. "A lot of times someone like me who is always busy doesn't have time to make it to open houses."
The event was a way to break the mold of traditional college fairs, while still trying to get college on the minds of high school students. The UConn students are interns with Bulkeley's branch of College For Every Student, a national organization that tries to raise awareness about college with underserved populations. CFES is also housed in three other Hartford high schools, with students from different colleges volunteering at each one.
"When we thought of the idea, it was 'How can we get our kids more excited about college?'" said UConn student Lindsey Pascarelli, one of five graduate students who arranged the event. The fair kicked off CFES' programs at Bulkeley this year, Pascarelli said.
Bulkeley math teacher Diana Lariviere said the college life focus seemed to be more helpful, especially for the freshmen and sophomores.
"I don't think they know what questions to ask yet at a college fair because they don't know what they want to do yet," Lariviere said.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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