TAF@Saghalie Students Journey Through Their Annual College and Career Fair
At TAF@Saghalie’s College and Career Fair last Thursday, students from 6th to 12th grade learned about some of the many paths they can take after graduation. The day started in the gym as, grade by grade, students poured in to explore the 17 colleges and potential future employers set up with informational handouts, swag, and representatives eager to talk with them about their interests and futures.
To guide their trip through the fair, students received a passport with three key prompts: 1) Name your top college or organization you spoke to today and three reasons why you liked them 2) What is something you learned during the fair? 3) Are there any colleges, universities, or organizations you’d like to have visit the school in the future?
Students got to indulge their curiosity about organizations that might one day employ them. 6th grader Gracie’s passport reveals that she learned “Google makes digital and physical things” from their representative while many students used 911’s information table to sort out fact from myth about what happens when you call (they will not, in fact, help if you call and ask to order a pizza). For those looking to explore alternatives to college, there were options like Alaska Airlines. Their reps explained to students that pilots need a lot of flight training, which could be costly up front, but doesn’t require a college degree.
At the same time, college representatives talked with students about how their interests could translate into a degree. Audrina, a 10th grader, learned that she could get started as soon as next year, reporting on her passport that “running start is free.” While some learned that they had a lot of college options close by, others had questions about how to fund their college aspirations. That was something institutions like Pacific Lutheran University and University of Washington Tacoma were eager to walk students through. From her conversations, senior Valeria wrote on her passport the optimistic lesson: “I can attend college without being scared of debt.”
By far, the most popular table was the University of Washington’s School of Radiology. The table had a huge bin of candy, a puzzle students could assemble, and a handheld ultrasound machine! Students lined up to examine a fake liver and kidney inside the bricks on the table using sound waves. Radiology reps were happy to explain how the machines worked and how doctors use ultrasounds to care for people.
Another popular visitor was Cornish School of the Arts. That was 7th grader Zoey‘s top college of the fair. According to her passport, they taught her that “not all colleges just have math or just ELA, they have all kind of choices”, and she wants them to visit her school again. Students who did not quite consider themselves serious enough to claim the title of artist learned that arts could be a serious option for college and a future career.
7th grader Zoey’s passport
Cornish continued to be popular as students turned in their passports and left the fair. The afternoon was spent in class-length sessions with some of the colleges and organizations they met at the fair in the morning. Cornish had a full room as students learned about crafting a portfolio and the career possibilities that come with an art degree.
After a full day of thinking about how vast their options after high school are, our TAF@Saghalie students can anticipate more forward-looking encounters like these both at next year’s fair and throughout the school year.