Students and staff at ECC give their insight on college visits


The Latino Oral History Project students go on a college visit to NIU

Victoria Crowe, Staff Writer

Dominican University, UIC, University of Iowa, Columbia College in Chicago, NIU… There are endless possibilities for potential transfer schools.

Searching for the right school to transfer to after studying at a community college for a couple years can be nerve-racking and stressful.  Students and staff at Elgin Community College have offered their views on college visits and contribute to the idea that taking the time to visit colleges in person is one decision that can make all the difference.

ECC Academic Advisor, John Popik, gave his opinion on the topic and also talked about his own observations from students he has advised, and experiences they have shared with him in the past.   

“College visits are, of course, a great idea,” Popik said. “Everyone can relate to ordering something on Amazon and being disappointed when you open the box and see what the item looks like in real life.  I have had students tell me the same thing about their planned transfer schools. They had their mind set on one school, never visited until they are ready to transfer, and when they finally do, they realize they don’t like it.  If you visited earlier you could have found that out and saved a lot of time.”

Popik also added that making sure the credits students are acquiring at ECC transfer to the desired four-year institution, is an important reason to be absolutely sure about their transfer choice.

“Different schools often want different classes before transferring,” Popik said. “So, having a good idea of where you want to go early on helps you with course planning, which saves time and money.  I often have students say it just ‘felt right’ or ‘felt wrong’ once they set foot on a college campus. Visiting in real life is way better than a website.  Just do it.”

Isabelle Dimiceli, first-year student at ECC, gave her input on college visits as well.

“I have been on tons of college visits and I think the main thing they helped me with was understanding the campus size and the environment in general, which is something you can’t really grasp if you’re just researching online,” Dimiceli said. “Tours are really great, too, in order to understand how much walking you might be doing from your dorm to different classes.”

Another first-year ECC student, Danielle Saguiped, also shared her own experiences with college visits.

“They gave me an idea of how I wanted my environment to be–in terms of the classroom environment and the student environment,” Saguiped said. “I was able to, sort of determine where I could see myself grow.  Going to visit colleges can give you a different sense of atmosphere that students should indulge in.  It also gives you a chance to meet some people before transferring to the school and, overall, it gives you a perception of how you could potentially fit into that school.”