Academic Road Trip
By J.W. Brandt, BGHS Principal
On a rainy October morning, 34 BGHS juniors and seniors, their counselors, and their bus driver set off on a college road trip. “The purpose,” said Mrs. Karen Burditt, freshman and junior counselor, “was to visit and experience a junior college, a private college, and a public university.” By the end of the day, the students had done exactly that.
The trip was arranged by Mrs. Burditt and was part of a three-week college blitz for BGHS students. In addition to the college trip, there was a college and career fair held in the gym on Wednesday, Oct. 23, and information dispensed on the A+ Program on Oct. 28.
The purpose of the bus trip was not to see three complete college tours, but rather to allow students to experience abbreviated tours and find out about dorms and classes and everything else that different types of colleges have to offer.
The bus, loaded with those 34 students, Mrs. Burditt, Mrs. Becky Orf, sophomore and senior counselor, and their bus driver, Mr. Jason Davis, an agriculture teacher at BGHS, departed at 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 15, headed first for St. Charles Community College. “We saw St. Charles in the rain,” Mrs. Burditt said. “But, we made it from building to building.” Mrs. Burditt said that she was “very impressed with the campus.”
“We had a pizza lunch at UMSL to save on time,” Mrs. Burditt explained. UMSL, or the University of Missouri at St. Louis, is a large, public, urban campus, much different than either the junior college or the private university visited. “The kids got to see a dorm there…all the dorms have heated indoor pools. The campus is really nice,” she added. “It is a really big campus and a good example of a large university.”
The final stop was at Lindenwood University. “We had great tour guides,” Mrs. Burditt said. “It is a beautiful campus.” Lindenwood is a private university, offering students a much different college experience than either of the other two schools visited.
“The goal was to get the kids’ feet on a campus. That way, when we followed it up with the college and career fair a week later, they would know what kinds of questions to ask,” Mrs. Burditt explained. “Then, we had Kati Karleskint from St. Charles Community College come during CAT Time to explain what A+ pays for in college.”
Student responses to the trip were positive. They each had a favorite school visited and differing reasons for their responses.
“I really liked visiting Lindenwood, and it gave me an option I was not looking at [before this],” said Chloe Hays, junior.
“I liked UMSL,” said Malik McPike, senior. “The trip helped me make a better decision about which college I want to attend.”
“I liked getting to see the different types of colleges and their set ups,” said Kaitlyn Meyer, junior.
Evan Scherder, senior, liked “the whole process.”
“I got to see multiple colleges, see what colleges are really like, and learned more about each college,” said Jessica Schindler, senior.
By the time the end of the school day rolled around, at 3:09, those 34 students had returned to the BGHS campus better informed and better prepared to make decisions about what comes after high school.