As part of the transition program, students enrolled at Windham County in the 11th grade had informational student-guided tours at nearby colleges scheduled for this spring.  Due to closures because of COVID-19, all in-person college tours have been canceled.  Fortunately, many colleges have provided prospective students with virtual college tours which our school took advantage of.  Technology has proven that opportunities are truly endless online.

This past month visits were made to Eastern Connecticut State University and QVCC, Southern Connecticut State University and University of Hartford via ZOOM, an online video conferencing service.  An advantage to these tours is that schools out of state are now easily accessible.  The tours are conducted with a guide and include academic buildings, libraries, cafeterias and even provide a peak into the dormitories.  Fun Fridays have become a virtual college tour day!

Our Social Worker, Stacia Ulrich, organized the visits and said, “It is important for high schoolers to be exposed to possibilities for after graduation. Students need to be exposed to choices. I ask each student to make a list of possible colleges, some in range and some out of reach so that they have an idea of what they need to improve on. College tours are a great way for students to find a new goal and purpose. At HRS of Windham County, we have tours scheduled for both 2-year community colleges and 4-year universities, all of which include opportunities for answering questions and getting in contact with the faculty. If a student has a specific interest in a school, we can set up a visit. Tours and information sessions allow for students to ask their questions, explore the campus, and learn about the school’s unique qualities. Tours also allow the students to see the buildings inside and out, including classrooms, dining halls, dormitories, athletic facilities, and libraries. Today, more schools have virtual tours which allow students to control the narrative and “visit” places for free, regardless of location and let students visualize the possibilities of their future.”

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