Despite the heavy rain, high school seniors and parents made their way to the 2013 Ontario College Information Fair (OCIF),which opened Monday night and ran all day Tuesday at Toronto’s Exhibition Place.
With 30 schools participating this year, most students who have attended the fair, or who are about to, already have an idea of what they expect out of a college. Meeting with the schools’ professors and program coordinators can help students to determine whether or not a student will want to proceed in applying to their institution next year.
Priea Kant, who is currently taking the Accelerated Program for Child and Youth Work at Humber College, says that what attracted her most to certain colleges over others, when she went to the fair was how well they provided information and showed their knowledge to her.
“I remember asking some questions at the fair and some people didn’t know too much about what kind of placements there were, where you are going to be after and are you going to be guaranteed a job,” says Kant. “Some didn’t tell me anything. They were just like, ‘OK, well, here’s a pamphlet, read through this, or go on our site.’”
Other than knowledge about the specific programs and the job placements, another element that students are interested in when scouting for colleges is their accessibility.
“Just accessibility, diversity, and how user friendly they are,” says Humber Community Justice student Laressa Purra. “I think schools should not be intimidating and not have many loopholes to get through to talk to somebody. So how open they are and transparent they are in their methods.”
Colleen Marquad, host representative for Centennial College, explains what she expects students to ask her at the fair and why the fair is beneficial to all students wanting to go to college.
“I think its important at a fair like this is to talk to faculty members about programs so prospective students can have an insight on what schools like Centennial have to offer, as well as find out what admission requirements they will need to get into the program that they are interested in,” Marquad said.
Every year Ontario Colleges organizes fairs all over the province to help high school students plan their post-secondary education. Among the 30 colleges, six of the city’s college institutions are hosting the event along with the event’s sponsor, Certified General Accountants (CGA). These colleges are George Brown, Centennial, Michener Institute, Seneca, Sheridan, and Humber College.
“All the colleges participating this year have all met the criteria and approval of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to provide the degrees and diplomas their programs offer,” says OCIF event manager Barrileigh Price.
Price, who has worked for OCIF for 10 years, also said that the turnout for most of the fairs this year has been “unprecedented” compared to the 8,000 people it attracted in 2012.