For Mackenzie Scheu, a junior at McHenry High School – East Campus, the path to pursue her secondary education degree to become a high school teacher has some twists and turns.
Between finding the right program and finding the right school, it is overwhelming sometimes, she said. That is why she was glad to take advantage of the recent College and Career Expo, sponsored by McHenry High School District 156, at West Campus.
At the April 18 event, she was able to meet with representatives from several schools to learn about education programs.
More than 80 colleges and businesses attended the morning event to provide information and answer questions for students and parents.
“This is very helpful,” Scheu said, adding that she particularly likes Northeastern Illinois University. “It’s a teacher’s school in an urban setting.”
Tchalla Brown, an admissions counselor with Northeastern, said attending the expo is an important way for the college to reach out to potential students.
She said she was impressed by the questions asked by students, and that most students wanted information about scholarship opportunities.
“Even the freshmen are very college-ready,” Brown said.
In addition to Northeastern, some of the colleges and universities at the event were McHenry County College, Carthage College, DePaul University, Loyola University and several University of Illinois and University of Wisconsin campuses.
Representatives from several local businesses and organizations, including branches of the U.S. military and the McHenry Police Department, among others, also attended the expo to talk to the high schoolers about training and education for a variety of career paths.
Angie Testone from Aptar, a global manufacturer of dispensing systems with offices in Cary and Crystal Lake, came to talk to students about the company’s new plastics injection molding setup technician trainee program.
“We’re really trying to find people who are interested in manufacturing,” she said.
The idea behind the annual College and Career Expo is to help students start thinking about plans for after high school graduation.
In the weeks leading up to the expo, teachers at McHenry High School talked with their students about college and career paths, and there were several presentations about different career fields, such as zoology, engineering and aviation.