Orange County School of the Arts’ First Annual College Fair
On October 20, 2016, Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) hosted its first annual College Fair for its high school students and parents. Most college fairs offer several information sessions about admissions and financial aid, and booths featuring representatives from universities and colleges. OCSA’s College Fair took this model a step further by offering a variety of interactive master classes, arts and academic panels, and showcases.
The event kicked off with a performance from USC’s infamous Trojan Marching Band. Whether you are a USC fan or not, the Trojan Marching Band provided great entertainment to the attendees, playing upbeat hits such as Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” Pat Benetar’s “Heartbreaker,” and The Offspring’s “The Kids Aren’t Alright.” Additionally, the band conductor spoke about ways for students to get involved in any university’s campus life, such as going to sporting events, joining the school’s marching band or drill team.
Once the students and parents checked in to the event, they visited information sessions, masterclasses, and panels based on their interests. What I loved most about this event was how the information sessions and master classes catered to every high school student at OCSA. For those who have never heard of OCSA, the Santa Ana-based charter school offers a wide range of arts programs, such as culinary arts and hospitality, dance, fine and media arts, music, and theatre.
Every student interested in majoring in the arts were able to attend a panel and/or masterclass focusing on their art form led by university deans and professors. For example, students interested in pursuing musical theatre were able to attend a masterclass that focused on musical theatre audition techniques. Students who wished to pursue film and television learned how to record sound effects for films. The school’s Classical Voice students performed audition repertoire in front of a panel of “decision makers” from four highly ranked music programs and networked with them at a reception. Many students were also interested in learning about non-arts related majors such as business, education, engineering and science.
Throughout the day, students and parents were able to attend general information sessions about admissions, financial aid, private universities, UCs and Cal States, standardized testing, and writing personal statements. Additionally, students and parents were able to meet with representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities across the nation.
OCSA truly nailed its first annual College Fair. In one short day, the students and parents received a vast amount of information and resources to further prepare them for the college admissions process. The biggest takeaway for me – it’s never too early to begin preparing your student for college and the future.
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