WTHS prepares for 17th annual college and career fair

More than 100 colleges, cosmetology schools, military and employers available to students

High school students are constantly surrounded with decisions to be made from setting plans for the weekend to choosing which clubs or sports teams to join. The most difficult decision for these students is deciding which college or career path to follow after high school. Lucky for Washington Township High School students, their school is proactive in helping them find their calling.

The school, in partnership with the New Jersey Association of College Admissions Counseling, will host the 17th annual college and career fair on March 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the 9/10 gym.

“It’s an opportunity for students and families to gather information from multiple colleges and speak with professionals in various careers about what they do in order help students find their path,” school counselor Andra Williams said.

As far as colleges are concerned, more than 100 colleges and universities from across the country will be in attendance. For example: Rutgers University, Rowan University, Penn State, James Madison University, Holy Family University, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Stockton University, Seton Hall University, Temple University, University of Connecticut, University of Alabama, University of Arizona and West Virginia University will have booths set up to give students information.

For students who don’t wish to go to college, technical institutes like PennCo Tech and UTI are scheduled to attend. Williams said a few cosmetology schools will attend, too.

As far as career paths go, Williams said representatives from the local carpenters, plumbers, pipe fitters and iron workers unions will have booths set up.

If none of the above are fitting, all five branches of the military will be in attendance.

“When we started it was just colleges,” Williams said. “This will be our third year including professionals. Many of the professionals are Washington Township High School graduates who went to college, entered their field and came back to talk about their path.”

Williams said professionals from Jefferson Health will have booths set up to talk about careers ranging from the medical fields to fashion merchandising, physical therapy, business and law.

“I like that the kids are able to look at different colleges and get information from different representatives,” co-coordinator of the college and career fair Nicole Venere said. “It opens their eyes to colleges they didn’t think they’d apply to. I like seeing alumni coming back and paying it forward by speaking about the professions they’re involved in.”

A phone app called StriveFair is being used by colleges and students to share information. The students can register at StriveFair.com. Once registered, they will have a unique barcode colleges can scan to send them information.

Students can also prepare for the fair by using Naviace, the program the Washington Township School District uses for career and college assessments and preparations.

When it comes down to it, the convenience factor is important for students, according to Williams.

“I love that it brings our community together and offers something unique to our students,” she said. “It’s something that is convenient for our students and provides them with a very easy opportunity to gather information on a number of different colleges quickly in a place they are comfortable.”

Upon arrival, students will be given a map showing them which colleges are located where. Investors Bank will be handing out bags to hold informational packets students may receive.

With more than 100 colleges and universities, career paths, professionals and other educational opportunities, the Washington Township High School career path truly has something for everybody.

“We hope they’ll leave feeling excited about their future,” Williams said.