Virtual College Fair goes off without a hitch

One hun­dred twenty-eight Quakertown Community High School stu­dents vir­tu­al­ly vis­it­ed with 18 col­leges on April 22, an event that replaced the tra­di­tion­al College Fair held in the gym­na­si­um.

“This was def­i­nite­ly new ter­ri­to­ry but the tech­nol­o­gy held up and the stu­dents pre­sent­ed them­selves very well,” said coun­selor Eric Gozzard, who has coor­di­nat­ed the event for six years.

The for­mat for the 45-minute meet­ings had a col­lege rep­re­sen­ta­tive present infor­ma­tion about their school for 15 min­utes. That was fol­lowed by a 15-minute stu­dent Q&A. The last 15 min­utes allowed stu­dents to view oth­er pre­sen­ta­tions dur­ing the same time slot and jump around to oth­er pre­sen­ta­tions.
A college representative speaks with Quakertown Community High School students and administrators on a computer screen in a Google Meet.
A QCHS coun­selor was in each ses­sion to set the tone for each vis­it, and the high school admin­is­tra­tive team and Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner joined in on some of the Google Meets.

“Eric did a phe­nom­e­nal job,” Principal Matt Van’t Hoenderdaal said. “To go from a tra­di­tion­al for­mat and change it to a vir­tu­al set­ting, I’ve got to give him a ton of cred­it. Everything went great.”

Mr. V said that with all of the uncer­tain­ty sur­round­ing the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, it was impor­tant for stu­dents to hear from experts. “I think they had a lot of their ques­tions answered and it eased some of their wor­ries. They got to hear from a col­lege rep­re­sen­ta­tive direct­ly, and it’s good for the col­leges to hear from them, too.”

Mr. Gozzard said he “brain­stormed” with Mr. V and assis­tant prin­ci­pal Jennifer Carolla “and test­ed out dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios and every­thing went well.” He thanked the Guidance Department coun­selors and admin­is­tra­tive assis­tants Chrissy Breyer and Judi Devlin for their efforts in mak­ing the event a suc­cess.

“Everybody exe­cut­ed their jobs per­fect­ly,” he said. “The col­lege reps were open to it. They’re look­ing for ways to con­nect with kids now.”

Mr. Gozzard said that QCHS stu­dents have a his­to­ry of dis­play­ing their pro­fes­sion­al­ism at sim­i­lar events, and the vir­tu­al College Fair was no excep­tion. “Representatives always tell us how polite our kids are, year after year. I’m very hap­py with how the stu­dents pre­sent­ed them­selves. They were polite, wait­ed their turn to speak, and asked good ques­tions. The coun­selors set the tone to begin the meet­ings and the stu­dents respond­ed positively.”