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Proviso West Seniors Get a Look at College Life

February 19, 2015 03:25 PM
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One hundred sixteen seniors at Proviso West High School spent last week getting a look at life in college and what it takes to go there when they visited Triton College in River Grove.
 
The students, in groups of about 40, spent a day at Triton College, taking the ACT Compass test for the college to evaluate which courses the students should take, touring several areas of the community college campus, applying for admission to Triton, and learning more about the college and its costs.
 
The day-long visits were part of Proviso West’s school improvement plan to ensure that all graduating seniors have a plan for after high school, whether it is college, a career, or military, said Mr. Oscar Hawthorne, principal at Proviso West. Working with Ms. Kate Foster, the college and career placement counselor at Proviso West, the students learned about a possible post-high school option.
 
"The goal is to not only expose all of our seniors to a college experience, but to walk them through the application process and to give them real, useful information on how to apply for financial aid, what types of courses and careers they can pursue here locally, and where it may be and usually is less expensive for them to attend," Mr. Hawthorne said.
 
On the last day of the trip on February 13, students toured the engineering and nursing areas at Triton, spoke with an admissions representative, took the ACT Compass placement exam, and applied online for admission.
 
"We are making sure that we have removed all barriers for them to attend," Ms. Foster said.
 
The students said that they learned much during the visit to the community college.
 
"It has helped me understand what the school is all about," said Jerardo Quezada, a Proviso West senior who is considering studying finance.
 
Carly Norton, a Proviso West senior, said that many students’ beliefs on what a community college offers were changed during their visit.
 
"At the beginning, we thought that this is a community college and that it’s not as good as a four-year university," said Carly, who is considering the culinary program at Triton. "But a lot of people’s opinions changed. It’s a lot smarter decision, more affordable."
 
Ms. Foster said that students can consider attending community college for the first two years to take their general education courses before transferring to a four-year university for their major courses.
 
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