From understanding entrance requirements and considering what to major in to exploring what it would be like to live on a college campus and navigating financial aid options, the idea of college is both exciting and intimidating for many high school juniors and seniors.
For the first time, CPS hosted a College Night at Woodward Career Technical High School to help students and parents across the district educate themselves and start to prepare for postsecondary opportunities.
“When a student goes to college, the whole family goes to college,” said Kayla Ritter Rickels, curriculum college manager for CPS. “It’s really important that we offer the opportunity for families to work with their students in this process.”
Representatives from more than 30 colleges and universities were present, including Cincinnati State, Cleveland State University, Miami University, Ohio State University, Central State University, University of Cincinnati (UC), UC Blue Ash, Wright State University and Xavier University.
In addition to talking with school representatives, students and parents could attend breakout sessions, such as a lab to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), discussions about accessibility services or NCAA athletics eligibility, or a panel discussion of CPS alumni currently enrolled in college.
CPS alumni panelists openly shared the many challenges they face, from living on a college campus with lots of social events and distractions, to the joy of meeting and making friends with people of all different backgrounds and experiences.
“The biggest change from high school to college, for me, is that tests or assignments are no longer about memorizing a set of facts,” said Kyesha, a Clark Montessori alum majoring in social work at UC. “You’re learning by applying what you’ve read or discussed in class to a project, case study or exam.”
Some panelists were the first in their families to attend college, and addressed how that felt.
“It’s a lot of pressure, because you have all these eyes on you to succeed,” said Demarco, a Woodward alum majoring in business entrepreneurship at UC. “I have two little sisters, so I hope I can be a role model to them and inspire them to go to college.”
Almost all the panelists touched on the importance of finding a passion and working hard to make that happen.
“Don’t go into a major where you only see the money,” advised Ramon, a Taft alum majoring in athletic training at UC.
CPS is working to ensure that all students are positioned to pursue a chosen career pathway after high school, be it through enrollment in higher education, enlistment in the military or employment in the workforce. Learn more on the CPS website.