How do students make informed decisions about where to apply for college? Most students need more information than what is shown on a website. No guidebook, testimonial or website will give them a better feel for a school than they will get by seeing it for themselves. Many students change their minds after a college visit. This is obviously preferable to changing their minds after they enroll. When it comes to research on which college to attend, there is no substitute for a visit to a campus to help figure out if that college is the right fit. TIA staff and parents take a group of interested students every year on college visit tours. The students envision life beyond high school and can imagine themselves on campus. They meet with current college students, faculty and admissions staff, and explore the local surroundings. They also get the chance to see or do something fun along the way too.
This year’s Career and College Fair was a huge success, with over 250 students in attendance. The keynote speech was given by Martha McSally, a retired Air Force colonel and the first woman to fly a combat mission (she is now running for the US Congress). Then the students had the opportunity to choose among the booths of 27 different local businesses and organizations, and listen to their 20 minute demonstrations on what such a career would be like. After lunch, the final part of the day was to visit the college booths; close to a dozen colleges participated. Their representatives talked to the students about their college options in light of the students’ interests and future career plans.