College visits should be implemented as field trips


Myles Romm

Every morning on the announcements students hear about the colleges visiting the school. Seniors are the only students who can attend. Every time, there is the typical sales pitch of “Why my college is right for you,” followed by the fielding of various questions from the attending students. There needs to be a way for students to see the school with their own eyes, and the school can help.
The administration should establish school sponsored college visits to nearby colleges like the University of Maryland, Towson and other schools. For those of us that have not been fortunate enough to take advantage of our standard excused absences and for those of us who have but want another visit, the school could have designated days where seniors and a portion of juniors could visit nearby colleges.
Just like a college visit to our school, students would sign up on Naviance. In this case, however, the students would also need a parental confirmation via electronic signature or other means. An MCPS bus would take students to the college with a chaperone like Lynda Hitchock or another staff member for a standard open house visit. This way, students could see the college in more than just pictures and get the true feel for the campus.
The issue is that a field trip of this caliber would take up an entire class day for students, potentially disrupting lesson plans for teachers. Last year, 331 Patriots applied to the University of Maryland alone. The school could never sponsor a trip that would allow 331 seniors to see a single school. So the question is, which students would get to go.
First, the students who have been unable to visit on their own either because of lack of transportation or another restriction would receive priority. The school can schedule a Wootton only open house day with UMD and other schools well in advance to make sure that there is enough room for a large number of students. This way teachers can be notified early on of the days where a portion of their students will not be in class. The plan will not be perfect but with the new one lunch schedule, students can always make up work the following day.
It is important that seniors get the opportunity to see what a prospective college campus looks like to get an idea if they could see themselves there for the next four years of their lives. Not to mention, information sessions on a campus are much more informative than those that take place in the Career Center.
The benefits of college visits to our school, however, are evident. Any time you can introduce yourself to an admissions representative from a prospective college is beneficial. This new program could complement its counterpart.
If you’re a junior, there is a high chance that you will be attending the college fair this year at the Fairgrounds. The fair is an excellent opportunity for rising seniors to grasp the mass of options out there for post-high school education, both domestically and abroad. The school cannot send seniors to the University of Edinburgh for the day, but a trip to Towson, UMBC or even the University of Delaware, for that matter, is not out of the school’s reach.


Josh Friedman

Opinion Editor