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  • Writer's pictureDwaine Praught


September is the month for post-secondary fairs. Students in grades 11 or 12 will have the opportunity to meet representatives from Ontario schools and ask questions they may have about the school, campus life or the programs they are interested in. Dates for these fairs have been tentatively set as follows:

Ontario Universities' Fair

Metro Toronto Convention Centre

September 28 - 30

10:00 am - 5:00 pm daily

University Information Program (travelling version of the above- same schools & information) currently scheduled local stops on the tour (check for updates)

St. Thomas More CSS (Hamilton) - October 1 9:00 am - 10:30 am

Nora Frances Henderson SS (Hamilton) October 1 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Bishop Reding CSS (Milton) - October 2 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Bishop Macdonell CHS (Guelph) - October 4 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Ontario College Information Fair

Enercare Centre - Hall B - Exhibition Place, Toronto

Tuesday October 23 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Wednesday October 24 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

We highly recommend students planning on attending a post-secondary school in 2018-2019 to attend one or more of these sessions. It is a great opportunity to gather information direct from the source, that is specific to your areas of interest. However, this should not be a brochure gathering exercise. The purpose of attending the fairs is not to wander around, collect booklets and go home. In fact if you go home with more than 5 such booklets, you have failed!

The purpose of the fairs is not to add to your list of school options, it is to eliminate them. You will never have a better opportunity to ask questions that will help narrow down your search. If you simply gather brochures, not only are you cluttering your mind with more unnecessary data, you are missing the opportunity to get your important questions answered. Think of the fair as a trip to the outlet mall. Why go there if all you are going to do is walk around and see what stores are there - you could do that on the internet from home. Go there with the intent of visiting your favourite stores, checking out the sales and trying on those clothes you might wish to buy. Even if you don't intend on buying that day, you'll have all the information you need to make a decision later.

Remember the large majority of information in the brochures is available on the school website already. The brochures are an attractive, neatly organized summary of the website (so they do have some value), but the information therein is available elsewhere. What is not available is the access to the school representatives that can answer questions not on the website. Use the opportunity for what it is meant to be.

Before attending, determine which schools you may be interested in, offer the program(s) you need, are geographically compatible and align with your academic level. Use and to help you search. When you go to the fair, bring along a series of questions that you would like answered. For example:

  • what pre-qualifications do I need to get entrance to my program (marks, portfolio, audition, essay etc.)

  • what career paths do graduates from the program typically follow?

  • what placement rates to students have in the workplace following graduation?

  • what clubs or extra-curricular activities are available on campus?

  • what types of support are available to students on campus (guidance, mental health, medical, safety, financial etc.)

Remember the purpose of the fairs are to help you narrow down your options, not add to them. That will require some advanced preparation, but it will pay dividends with added peace of mind afterwards. #fallfairs #careerplan

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