Encouraging Students to Choose Their Future 

Annual College Fair presents exciting options for soon-to-be grads

May 28, 2015

This month, more than 4,500 students visited Navy Pier to explore what college has to offer.

During the College Fair & STEM Expo, CPS juniors and seniors met with representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities located in Chicago and across the country.

“This was an event meant to inspire our students,” said Barbara Karpouzian, Executive Director of School Counseling and Post-Secondary Advising for CPS. “In the past, we’ve hosted ‘Last Chance Fairs’ for seniors who were still undecided, but this year, we wanted to make an investment in our students on a larger scale.”

The event included workshops on writing the college essay, choosing the right school, and managing college finances.

“I’m here to figure out what I want to do after high school,” said Ciara D., a junior at Chicago Vocational Career Academy who hopes to study the arts and business. “The fair is very interesting - I’ve discovered colleges I didn’t know about before.”

Javier M., a junior at Goode STEM Academy, found the event informative as well.

“I’m trying to find different opportunities for college,” he said. “I want to major in architectural construction so that I can not only build, but determine how things will look.”

In addition to college-focused workshops, the fair also included presentations geared toward everyday uses of science, technology, engineering and math and possible careers in the STEM fields.

“The first step toward making students aware of STEM careers is exposure,” said Troy Williams of the District’s Office of Early College and Career Education. “STEM is huge, but there’s a big gap between the amount of people who are trained for these careers and the number of jobs available. Exposure to free opportunities like this expo is helping to close that gap.”

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