Elgin Community College hosts its annual College Night

Indie Wilson , Staff Writer

Elgin Community College hosted their annual College Night On Wednesday, Oct. 12. The event was for both transfer and high school students who are looking to discover what college is right for them.

 From 6-8 pm, hundreds of colleges and students gathered in building J so students could learn about the schools that were there.

Katie Wiles, Assistant Director of Transfer Recruitments at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, voiced why she thinks it’s important for students to take advantage of college fairs. 

“Being able to talk face to face and get some questions answered, putting a face to an institution, talking about campus life and what it’s really like to be on a college campus instead of just the logistics could be very helpful,” Wiles said. 

Wiles said that students often forget to look at the requirements before transferring. 

“Our transfer process could look very different from those of other institutions, so think about your major ahead of time,” Wiles said. “Take the right courses while you’re here at ECC, work with your advisor and work with us… It’s all about meeting requirements.”

Not all colleges that came were in-state schools. Amanda Johnson, the associate director of first year recruitment at University of Colorado-Boulder, spoke on why she thinks college fairs are important for underclassmen and transferring students. 

“[College fairs] are actually great for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors so they can start evaluating what they are looking for in an academic university,” Johnson said. “For seniors, ask the specifics, ask about application fees, deadlines, if the school has the major you’re looking for and ask yourself if you should visit and when.”

Johnson recommends connecting with your university early. 

“Even if you have an inkling that you would possibly transfer, it’s better to connect with any university you’re possibly interested in to make sure you don’t miss any deadlines and to see the amount of credits that will transfer,” Johnson said. 

Illinois is one of Boulder’s top 3 feeder states, which influenced Johnson to come and speak about the university. 

Elgin’s College Night also hosted other untraditional colleges. Whitney Evans, program manager and recruiter for the aviation department at Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois, talked about the two year programs her school offers. 

“We have two year pilot training programs which makes us a little bit unique,” Evans said. “There are very few community colleges that actually have flight training programs. Because of the booming industry of aviation and the pilot and mechanic shortage, we get more students who have finished two year or four year degrees and decided they wanted to do something with aviation.”

Marissa Hauserman, a first-year student at Elgin Community College student was among the hundreds of students who participated in College Night. 

“College Night was actually really nice because if you have no idea where you want to go you can just go to a bunch of different tables and talk to the representatives about the school they are representing and see if you would like it,” Hauserman said.  

Hauserman explained that she felt that it’s more beneficial to talk face to face with college representatives rather than relying on the internet because it can offer other information that the internet might not provide.

“I’m still in the air about what major I plan to do but I’m interested in something in the area of entertainment design,” Hauserman said. “When I talked to the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign, I thought there weren’t many art majors, but when I looked there were plenty of options.”

Third-semester student, Maggie Garcia, knows the prerequisites required for her interest in business marketing and communications. Interested in Illinois and Florida schools, Garcia’s questions were all answered. 

“College night was amazing,” Garcia said. “It helped me get all of my questions answered. It was very informative and great for any first gen students like myself.” 

Garcia said that she has learned some great tips while talking to colleges and shared this help, too.

“I would definitely keep in mind that if they come from out of state, ask them everything right away,” Garcia said. “Don’t hold back because they’re there to answer and help guide you. I learned so much and it was the help that I needed to apply for colleges asap.”