CPS students did not have school on Monday (Columbus Day), so some of them chose to go to college instead! Yesterday I had the pleasure of leading 10 students from Cabrini Connections on a field trip to DePaul University in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. This trip, like the one to Northwestern in September, is part of our College Application Assistance Program (a.k.a. the "College Zone"). Each one of our students meets with a College Zone Coordinator at least once per quarter to discuss post-secondary plans. Though, for some, college is many years away, they are learning about what it takes to get into college - they begin to understand what kind of GPA they need to maintain, what kind of ACT score they should shoot for, and how much scholarship money they may need.
Our visit to DePaul began in the school's Student Center. Chartwells Dining Services was kind enough to treat our students to free lunch in the Center's Cafeteria, which features several different made-to-order food stations. Needless to say, they came away happy. Special thanks to Stephanie Moye for her help!
After lunch it was time for an information session followed by a campus tour. DePaul is known as one of the best schools in Chicago and it certainly showed. DePaul has more than 15,000 undergraduate students, nearly 250 student organizations, and its athletics compete in the BIG EAST conference. The average high school GPA of admitted students is 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and their average ACT Composite is between 22 and 27 (middle 50% score range). Also, in 2009, the Princeton Review ranked DePaul No. 10 in the Diverse Student Population category, making the sixth consecutive year that DePaul has been ranked in the nation's top 20.
Our campus tour took us from the Student Center, to the Academic Center, inside a dormitory (left), through The DePaul Quad, to the library, and, finally, to the Fitness and Recreation Center. As I walked around, it was great to hear some of the students who went on the Northwestern trip comparing the two universities (e.g. the sample dorm was nicer and larger at DePaul, but Northwestern has a more spacious campus). This is part of the goal for these trips: to answer the questions, what does college look like, and, most importantly, what does your college look like? Where do you imagine yourself going to school? So it isn't necessarily about visiting DePaul per se. It's about visiting college, of which DePaul is an easily accessible example.
Thank you for welcoming us, DePaul! I look forward to seeing some of our students becomes yours!