Students visit southern California colleges
Early in the morning, before many students had even began their day, members of the CSF (California Scholarship Federation) met in the school parking lot to embark on the annual college trip. Students gathered together at 6 a.m. before leaving, Oct. 13.
Andrea Donaghe, the new CSF advisor and English teacher, arranged for eight students in CSF to attend a variety of colleges. Members visited UCLA, USC, Biola University and Cal State Fullerton. Trips to each campus included a tour from a student that attended the school.
Donaghe explained that the students had the choice of which colleges to visit and the opportunity to attending.
“I really want to take into consideration what the students want to see and where they want to go,” Donaghe said. “Where they want to go is really important. The last one (trip) we went on for our fall CSF college trip, the students had voted out of three different groups of colleges and this one received the most votes.
“That’s why we went to USC, UCLA, Biola and then Cal State Fullerton,” Donaghe continued. “I think it’s a really good opportunity. I was in CSF in high school and I benefitted a lot from it. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to get as many visits to colleges as you can. It’s all about providing an experience that’s going to benefit my students.”
Students even immersed themselves in the days of a college student by eating lunch at UCLA the first day and Biola the second. Visiting common locations where ‘college life’ occurred such as one of the libraries at UCLA and the field in front of the dorms added to the experience.
The trip allowed students to get a feel for life after high school, while also getting used to seeing the difference between a variety of public and private colleges.
Cate Vander Kooi, ‘18, feels that public colleges give more opportunities, but also wants to go on another trip in the future in order to decide where she wants to go.
“My favorite part of the college trip was touring all the different campuses,” Vander Kooi said. “Personally, I prefer public colleges better because of all the different opportunities they offer. I do plan on attending another college trip in the future. This experience definitely helped me because it allowed me to see what my student life would be like in those particular schools.”
In addition to touring college campuses, the group also made time for fun activities. On the first night, students and chaperones spent time visited Medieval Times for dinner and a show. The students spent time in Downtown Disney on the second day, shopping and enjoying leisure-time between tours together.
Time away from touring made students such as Clark Zhu, ’17, appreciate the trip even more.
“Apart from looking at the colleges, I think (my favorite part) was Medieval Times,” Zhu said. “That’s a great show and I liked it a lot. USC was my favorite college because it’s the college I want to get in the most. I will be applying to UCLA and USC.”
Looking at colleges provided a way for students to gain exposure to different campuses and other fields of study that the colleges offer. By touring the campuses while classes are in session, students got to understand the way college classes function. This also gives students an inside look into the lives of college students.
For students who missed out on the opportunity to go on the college trip, another opportunity to visit colleges is in the works. CSF leaders are planning on going on a college trip sometime in the second semester possibly up in Northern California. Dates have yet to be determined. If sophomores and juniors are interested in attending the trip, talk to Donaghe or the high school office for more information.
For more information about the 2015 CSF trip, read College trip to SoCal, explore universities.
CSF members visit southern California to view colleges.
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