INA – Students and their parents attended the Rend Lake College ICE Fair Tuesday night to gather valuable information in their search for the perfect college.
The annual ICE Fair gives participants a chance to meet face-to-face with representatives of RLC, four-year universities and the Armed Forces.
Rend Lake College recruiter Jason Swann alone made more than 100 new contacts at the event. Swann coordinates the RLC installment of the Illinois College Exposition that tours the state annually. He is assisted by RLC staff who volunteer to serve on an ICE Committee.
“The event went very well,” Swann said. “There were a number of students in the RLC district who had an opportunity to speak with many institutions, both public and private. According to the representatives of those institutions they had the opportunity to speak with several students themselves, making the event well worth the effort.”
Some in attendance knew exactly what they were looking for when they walked onto the ICE Fair floor.
“We’ve talked to SIUE. That was the first place we went,” explained Kathy Atchison while waiting with her husband, Gary, and daughter, Kristen, to speak with the recruiter from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
A senior at Mt. Vernon Township High School, Kristen has narrowed her search down to a few schools.
“We expected to gather some information to help her make a decision as to which college she wants to attend after she graduates from Mt. Vernon this year,” her mom said. “We are exploring all of our options.”
Notice the word “our.” Her parents are taking the college selection process personally, just as they have done with Kristen’s elder siblings.
“Kristen is our youngest child and we have been very active in all of the other children’s education,” she explained. “We were instrumental in helping them choose. We feel that a key goal in life is to have a good education.”
Kathy liked the ICE Fair’s design and school selection.
“I think it is a great setup,” she said. “You have a wide variance of colleges representing many areas and majors. I think it is well laid out. The traffic flows really well and I think it is a great event.”
April Rubenacker and Karen Lyday were also proactive parents Tuesday night. Attending the ICE Fair was more their idea than it was their sons’, Ross Rubenacker and Eric Lyday, both of Mt. Vernon.
“Our moms brought us along,” Rubenacker said.
“We’ve been going around getting some information and talking to representatives,” Lyday said. “That’s why we are here ... to see what all is out there.”
“It looks like there is a pretty big selection,” Rubenacker added.
There were also participants who went without parents in tow.
Tyra Benjamin and Ashton Cushman made the trip together from Centralia to see what ICE had to offer.
“There are some colleges I wanted to look at and there are some other colleges that I’ve found here,” Benjamin said.
“I was putting it off and she made me come,” added Cushman. “I’m glad that I did come. I have found a lot of valuable information.”
Watch for the 2008 ICE Fair to come to RLC this time next year.