Melissa High School welcomed more than 90 different institutions of higher learning to participate in the seventh annual Melissa High School College Day. Approximately 1,000 students from seven different area high schools attended the event. MHS counselor Ryan Kiefer coordinated the event, which ran without a hitch, and elaborated on the importance of college day in the modern day.
"I think colleges are more competitive now. Especially as schools grow, they get more selective as far as the students they want attending their university but at the same time students have more access to information so they know how to better prepare themselves to be a strong candidate for schools," he said.
The world is currently adapting to a digital age that walks hand in hand with economic hardship. Continuing education can seem daunting when viewed through the periscope of the World Wide Web. College day and similar events show that higher education is still very possible and a wide arrays of schools are available to choose from regardless of interest. Military academies, technical institutes, computer engineering and graphic design schools as well as traditional colleges were all represented.
While individuals now have unprecedented access to virtually any and all information on the planet, the process of choosing an institution of higher learning that would be an excellent fit is not as simple as point-and-click. In an era where one could enroll in a university and complete an entire four year program online, the human factor has not yet faded from the collegiate image but is possibly more important than ever. With roughly 70 percent of all human communication being non-verbal, one could imagine how much detail could be lost by making a decision based solely on internet-based information.
"If you’re texting or e-mailing someone, it could take you an hour to have a short conversation and you can get more information in five minutes from a live human. They can get a lot of information from someone who is a representative of the school to give them an idea of student life and other things you couldn’t gleam from an internet search," Kiefer said.
Kalenn Price, a junior at Melissa High School with an interest in computer science, said this was the first time he attended an event like this, and after talking to many different schools, felt like there were many options to consider.
"Baylor was one I was really looking at; I enjoyed talking to their representative who told me about their college visits. It helped a lot getting to talk to everyone personally instead of looking at a computer screen," he said.
Price is among many college and university-bound students who are sure of success but also unsure of how to attain such achievement.
"The last couple years I thought I wasn’t going to be able to get into college because I wasn’t smart or athletic enough," he stated, "but after being able to talk to all of these colleges personally I learned there are so many different ways you can get into a college. You don’t have to necessarily be number one in your class or even in the top 10, there are so many different scholarships that you can get into the college you want."
The College Day was a success because, in part, it showcased how the high school strives to create success stories. The next Steve Jobs could very well have been visiting the college booths during the day and knowing that their dreams, no matter how seemingly wild or unrealistic, were in reality quite attainable.