The Midwest College Showcase, a collaboration between the Great Lakes Colleges Association and the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, hosted nearly 150 high school counselors over two days of programming to discuss topics relevant to students applying to liberal arts colleges.
At each of the two February events, held in Chicago and nearby Schaumburg, counselors gathered for breakfast and informal conversation with admissions officers from among the 27 collective small liberal arts colleges of the GLCA and ACM. Each day, two panels of professional admission and financial aid staff from the consortia spoke on general admissions topics and financial aid. Each event concluded with a college fair providing one-on-one conversations between high school counselors and admission staff.
“The counselor breakfasts were a huge success this year! The counselors were engaged more than ever, and we discussed many of the hot topics including mental health, the upcoming FAFSA changes, and students applying test-optional,” said Kyle Vowell, Associate Director of Out-of-State Recruitment at Wabash College. “The collaboration between ACM and GLCA allowed us to engage with over 100 counselors at two separate events for a fraction of the cost of hosting just one event for Wabash.”
The panels covered pertinent topics including the benefits of attending a small residential liberal arts college, such as the individual attention students receive, a topic of particular importance as mental health concerns have risen on campuses following COVID-19.
“Something that I hear across the board at liberal arts colleges is that you have so many people supporting you on campus that it’s very hard to fall through the cracks,” said Jordan Castillo, Assistant Dean of Admissions at St. Olaf College. “If you don’t show up for class, your professors could reach out to you, or see you walking along the quad and be like, ‘Hey, how are you doing? How are things going? I didn’t see you in class today.’ The Academic Resource Centers are usually very, very full of people to support students. The mental health resources can be very specific according to the needs that they have,” he added.
The Midwest College Showcase provides counselors, parents, and students with opportunities to explore and learn more about small Midwest private residential colleges. “This collaboration between the GLCA and ACM builds on decades of both consortia separately organizing ‘joint admission’ events and activities,” said Betsy Hutula, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Administration at ACM.
“After a successful pivot to virtual activities during the pandemic, these breakfasts were the Midwest College Showcase’s first foray back into in-person gatherings. We tailored the program to cover topics that were of most interest to counselors and their students, and we are thrilled that so many counselors joined us. We will be adding more information on the topics covered to the Midwest College Showcase website and look forward to hosting more in-person and virtual events to help students consider and access a liberal arts college experience,” Hutula said.
“This continues to be a successful event whether in-person or virtually because of the high school counselors’ high level of energy and thirst for knowledge. Colleges of both consortia have a rich and dedicated commitment to reach students and provide them with unique opportunities in education and experience both globally and domestically,” said Charla White, Program Officer and Controller at GLCA.
On April 19 and 20, 2023, the Midwest College Showcase will host two virtual sessions intended for students and families to learn more about applying to and attending a liberal arts college. Participants will have the opportunity to meet and interact with representatives from all participating campuses.
Join an Upcoming Virtual College Fair