College trip gives WHHS students chance to see 6 schools
College trip gives WHHS students chance to see 6 schools
Posted on 12/30/2014
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WEST HAVEN, Dec. 30, 2014 — A West Haven High School Counseling Department college visit trip this fall offered a group of students the chance to see multiple out-of-state campuses in an effort to aid in their college search.

The annual two-day Campus Connection trip took around 45 sophomores, juniors and seniors and their school counselors to Roger Williams University, University of Rhode Island and Providence College in Rhode Island and Boston College, Northeastern University and Boston University in Massachusetts.

Students toured campuses, visited with recent alumni who now attend some of the the universities, learned what college life is all about, and attended college admissions information sessions. The trip has traditionally been offered in the spring, but this year took place in the fall.

The excursion provides a chance to see colleges that students might not get to see on their own, due to their distance from West Haven or a family’s challenges in taking time off from work for such trips.

The Campus Connection tour started several years ago when WHHS school counselor Holly Benedetti searched for a solution for students who expressed an interest in universities outside of Connecticut but struggled in finding ways to visit them. WHHS worked with a campus tour company that a nearby school district had used, but later developed its own program after seeing its success.

“Student interest has expanded each year because we have been able to customize each excursion based upon our students’ needs and interests,” Benedetti said. “It’s such a rewarding experience for counselors to hear students discuss their college search and application process as a result of Campus Connection.”

WHHS counselors take students to a different set of schools each time and look for a variety of institutions, ranging from public, to private, to religious. Participating students pay a trip fee, which includes one night at a hotel, meals and transportation. The trip includes campus tours of classrooms, dorms, student unions, cafeterias, libraries and areas surrounding school buildings.

WHHS senior Ahmad Mohd had already been considering Massachusetts colleges, but, thanks to the Campus Connection tour, is now sure he wants to apply to Northeastern University and Boston University.

“You can always do research, but you never know until you get to the campus how you’ll feel about a school,” Mohd said. “You see what it’s like, what kind of classrooms they have, the classes and programs they offer. I also wanted to get more involved in the college process and learn how my counselors could help.”

Senior Olivia Quagliani noted how much the group accomplished in just two days and how helpful it was to hear from alumni from the WHHS Class of 2014 at a few of the schools.

“You hear the Westie perspective and how it compares to life in West Haven. It was good to hear from someone who went through what we’re about to go through,” Quagliani said. “The trip is a great opportunity because some people don’t have the time to take a day trip or the money to travel, so it’s nice to go with other kids from school and your counselors.”

Contact: Communications Director Susan Misur, 203-937-4300 X7114;