Never Too Cool for School: College Representatives Make Visits to Chaminade High School

Artwork by Brendan Hines ’16.

FBy Sean Maleady ’17

Following afternoon announcements, Chaminade offers a wide range of extracurricular activities and events.  These activities shape character and complete the high school experience, and, along with Chaminade’s academic curriculum, they prepare a student for the challenges of post-secondary learning.  One challenge left unaddressed by these activities, however, is the difficulty of deciding a college.  

Many questions arise with the thought of selecting the perfect college; “Small, medium or large campus?  Sports?  Academic rigor?  Cost?”  These factors can be daunting to think about, but they can be alleviated with the informative college representative visits organized by Chaminade after school during the early part of the school year.

From mid-September to mid-November, every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Chaminade High School welcomes college representatives who may evaluate an aspiring student’s application.  At these meetings, the representatives advertise the benefits of the college they represent, and allow students to learn more about a potential home for themselves to grow in knowledge.

Anthony Hubner ’17 stands in front of the various pennants in the College Placement Office.
Anthony Hubner ’17 stands in front of the various pennants in the College Placement Office.

About 30 years ago, college representatives began visiting high schools to make higher education more accessible to all people and groups.  Around this time, Chaminade became a prime destination for institutions to visit and promote their school.  Over 250 different schools have visited since then, and 133 have visited this year thus far.  Most of the presentations occur in the afternoon, but some of the more popular universities, including Notre Dame, Fordham, Villanova, and Fairfield, give longer presentations in Hearst Auditorium in the Athletic-Activity Center in the evening. 

Through representative visits, students can discover unfamiliar colleges and learn about all they have to offer.  Others can demonstrate interest in a school that is the right fit for them.  Chaminade’s Guidance Department recommends that seniors and juniors attend these informational visits in order to begin selecting a college.

“I realize that I will have to leave high school and continue on in life,” said Michael O’Grady ’16.  “Through college visits at Chaminade I have learned how welcoming and beneficial college experience will be to my life.”

Mrs. Donna Bekisz works hard in the College Placement Office to ensure the success of all of Chaminade's applicants.
Mrs. Donna Bekisz works hard in the College Placement Office to ensure the success of all of Chaminade’s applicants.

During a typical college visit to Chaminade, a student joins fellow classmates to listen to a presentation on a certain institution.  The visits are designed to make students more informed and confident about applying to the school of their choice.  A college representative from a particular school will give out information usually distributed at open houses and will talk about the following: What makes my college enticing to attend?  What majors do we offer? and How is campus life? 

After the lecture, students can ask their own questions about the school, and, at the end of the visit, students can lend their email and personal information to the representative to stay in touch.

Junior Ryan Smith has attended several visits and has found them very educational, saying, “The colleges that visit Chaminade every week offer upperclassman tremendous insight on the admissions process, student life, and the academics of the great colleges that Chaminade places students in.” 

Students should continue to check the announcements and listings in their homerooms to learn which colleges are visiting during the month of November.