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Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Is there ever really a “too early” when it comes to thinking about one’s academic future? Undoubtedly, the answer would be an emphatic "no!"

At the Weedsport Central School District, 140 of our eighth- and ninth-graders had the opportunity recently to visit four colleges in close proximity to where we live.

Those colleges are Le Moyne College, SUNY Oswego, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and The Bill and Sandra Pomeroy College of Nursing at Crouse Hospital.

The visits occurred on Sept. 26 of this year. Guidance counselors Jessica Bradtke and Jeannette Rosenberg-Smith coordinated everything from booking the colleges to the meals, classroom visits, chaperone recruitment and substitute scheduling for district employees who chaperoned. This work began in May, prior to the trip.

Interested students ranked their choices as first through third in regard to where they wanted to visit. Prior to the visits, Rosenberg and Bradtke visited classrooms and discussed college and campus information, including areas of study offered, school size and sports offerings. Students were placed at their first and second choice of campus.

Once on campus at each school, the students were able to take a tour. They also attended sessions that informed them about life on campus and the opportunities afforded to students in regard to academics. A favorite among many was obviously the visits to the dining halls of each college.

Without the following chaperones this year, this trip would not have been possible:

At Hobart William Smith Colleges, Jessica Bradtke, Erik Nicklaw, Jamie Carr and Leslie McDowell accompanied the children.

For the Bill and Sandra Pomeroy College of Nursing at Crouse Hospital trip, Jeanette Rosenberg, Julie Smith and Sara Mullen went with those students.

Traveling along to SUNY Oswego was Brett Fingland, Kathy Holden and Kristen Gunderson.

And lastly, at Le Moyne College, Ann DeFazio, Angelina Sanzotta, Jon Hay and Julie Growney led the way.

The college admission reps our district worked with were as follows. We appreciate the work that these individuals did to make the trips beneficial, and we thank Carol McCormack, assistant director of admissions for visitor relations, and Emily Martin, admission counselor, at Hobart William Smith Colleges; Breanna Smith, admissions counselor at SUNY Oswego; Amy Graham, assistant dean of enrollment with the Pomeroy College of Nursing; and Colette Montgomery, assistant director of multicultural admissions at Le Moyne College.

Both Bradtke and Rosenberg-Smith stated, “This is the second year the counseling office has been able to provide this opportunity to students with the support of administration and the board of education. Each year, students come back informed and enthusiastic about the opportunities that lie ahead when it comes to considering college. As a school, we make an effort to afford the students an opportunity to visit different college campuses each year they participate so they can begin to understand the diverse opportunities that colleges can offer them. For many students, this trip is the first time they have been to a college campus. Being able to see their enthusiasm grow has made the trip a meaningful and worthwhile experience that we hope to continue."

Even if those 140 students choose a different institution than the ones visited, one thing is certain: They most definitely had an experience, long in advance of their own “moving in” days, wherein a tiny seed was planted in hopes of whetting appetites regarding a potential future path.

Trust me kids: It will be here well before you know it, so enjoy the journey in the meantime! It looks like you have already begun to do so!

Lynn Cheche Baker is currently a third-grade teacher within the Weedsport Central School District and is the owner and instructor of the Successful Steps Tutoring Service in Auburn. She can be reached at (315) 253-0750.