College and Career Expo returns to Upper Campus

Various types of post-secondary representatives will promote their institutions to students this Thursday


Allie Everhart

Pamphlets line the walls of the College Career Center at the Upper Campus advertising programs available at McHenry County College. MCC is one of many post-secondary options that students can learn more about during the College Career Fair on April 21.

Vanessa Moreno, News Editor

After a years-long absence, the College and Career Expo returns to Upper Campus this Thursday. Sophomores will attend the event during second period, juniors during third and seniors during AIM.

The College and Career Expo, held at the main gym, will allow students to engage with colleges, trade schools, military recruiters, local employers and labor unions. 

College and Career Counselor Curtis Menke believes having a variety of institutions at the event is crucial, as not every student’s future career involves college.

“In recent years, around 35 to 40 percent of MCHS students begin at a four-year school,” Menke said, “but that leaves the 60 to 65 percent of students not starting at a four-year school or whose career may not involve a Bachelor’s.”

At the event, each institution will have its designated area where students will be able to go up and ask questions to the representatives.

“I cannot stress enough to students that pressure is on the adults in the room, not the students,” Menke said. “Pressure is on colleges to recruit, military to recruit, local employers to recruit and trade unions to recruit.”

Some students have already expressed their interest in attending the expo and its importance.

“Attending the expo is important to get a personal feel on what a college is like,” junior student Claire Guzman said. “You can also ask [representatives] all the questions you want.”

Attending the expo is required for sophomores and juniors since they are approaching their post-secondary journey. Seniors are not required to attend but are encouraged to do so. 

“There are two types of seniors I would like to see attend,” Menke said. “One would be those who have yet to commit to a next step…the other type of seniors would be those who are beginning at MCC with the intent to transfer to a four-year school.”

Despite the benefits of the expo, meeting with representatives is only a first step in the post-secondary process.

“[Meeting with representatives] won’t necessarily help students decide what to do in the future,” says Guzman. “Some students have no idea on what they want until later on in life. Really depends on the student.

Though some might be hesitant about attending the expo, Menke believes it is ultimately for the greater good. 

“The last thing I want is adding unnecessary stress to students,” Menke said. “However, eventually, there is a next step after high school. We want students to be informed and have control over what that next step is and where that next step is.”

Before the event, students can take several steps to facilitate communication with post-secondary representatives on Thursday.

“I hope students use the information I’ve provided for them, [such as] the list of representatives who will be there,” Menke said, “I’ve included a map so [students] can get an idea of where the participants are and don’t have to waste time finding places.”

More information about the event can be found in the “Postsecondary Resources” Schoology course.