Aug 11, 2010

The Colleges That Change Lives Go South

This weekend, the Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL) launches a southern tour taking their traveling road show from Houston and Nashville to Austin and Atlanta. Back by popular demand, the CTCL will stop in Tulsa for the first time in two years and Memphis for the first time in four years.

“Counselors in Memphis and Tulsa asked for us to return,” said Marty O’Connell, executive director of the Colleges That Changed Lives. “In spite of the economy, our attendance has been steadily growing and these were logical cities for us to visit.”

In fact, the CTCL sessions have been “standing room only.” Over 1000 people showed up at the Bethesda Marriott Hotel last May for the DC area event. Similar crowds attended in New York City and Los Angeles.

But it’s not possible for the CTCL to visit every city. For this reason, the CTCL launched a Speakers Bureau as an alternative for bringing the CTCL message to communities not included in the tour.

In a nutshell, the CTCL Speakers Bureau features Executive Director O’Connell as well as other experienced admission deans and directors who present programs designed to motivate college-bound students or facilitate discussions on the latest issues in higher education.

Topics may include admissions selectivity and outcomes; college rankings and their importance; how campus characteristics and learning opportunities relate to college success; and where financial aid fits into the overall picture.

In the coming months Ms. O’Connell will be speaking at high schools located in every corner of the country—from Florida to California and back. In November, she will be visiting the Long Reach High School, in Columbia, Maryland, for a conversation on college admissions. The evening session, scheduled for 7:00 pm on the 16th, is open to the public.

For students and families lucky enough to be located near a tour stop, the CTCL program begins with a 30-minute panel presentation followed by a college fair lasting about 1.5 hours. While sometimes hectic, the fair is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate some interest and meet one-on-one with representatives from each of the Colleges That Change Lives.

After the southern tour, the CTCL heads toward the Midwest in September with stops in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and the Twin Cities. The tour takes a winter break so admissions staff can concentrate on reading applications, but resumes in the spring.

For more information on the tours or to learn more about the College That Change Lives, visit the CTCL website.

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