College fair gets an update


NHS Yearbook

The college fair was geared toward students who are nearing graduation.

Ella Burrows, Contributing Writer

  57 colleges and 16 businesses in the southwestern Missouri area visited Nixa High School this October to talk to Juniors and Seniors about potential options for their futures at the annual College Fair. Tuesday, Oct. 5, upperclassmen gathered in the main gym to visit 73 stations representing a wide variety of local education and work opportunities.

   Joy Horgan, a counselor at the high school for nine years, has always played a large role in organizing the event- which is not a small task. 

   “Starting in August, I began contacting the colleges who came the previous year,” Horgan said. “The College Fair last year was a lot smaller, so it was more difficult.”

    Although a smaller-than-usual guest list was a setback following the pandemic in 2020, the College Fair has only grown.

   Previously, the high school has only included universities at the fair, but the 2021 school year marked the beginning of a new tradition. 

   “The business side of things was new this year,” Horgan said. 

   The preparations included new connections as well.

    “In September, I reached out to the Chamber of Commerce,” Horgan said.

   The Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce, a board focused on business development in the Ozarks, gave Horgan access to local businesses such as Vital Farms and DeWitt and Associates Construction. 

   On the collegiate side of the fair, a wide range of representatives were present- from Missouri’s Welding Institute, chosen because of the interest in welding classes at the high school, to Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri.

   Horgan didn’t have to reach out to many of these schools individually about attending the fair, but with the number of schools Nixa hosted, the work was still cut out for her. 

   “We tried to get all the local ones, and a variety of tech schools,” Horgan said. “There’s a lot of back and forth involved.”
  Although the College Fair is attended by seniors and juniors alike, Horgan said she believes that the latter group is more heavily impacted by it. 

   “I think the College Fair is most beneficial for juniors,” Horgan said. “It’s the first time they are exposed to opportunities like this and get to see everything that’s out there for them, not just the colleges they might’ve heard about.”

   One junior at Nixa High School, Treasure Bougher, said that she was glad Nixa hosted the fair this year. 

   “As a whole, I felt like it was pretty well put together and the colleges they picked out were very beneficial,” Bougher said. 

   She talked to the representatives from some of the colleges, including Missouri State University, Columbia and Drury University.

   “It did have a lot of good information, and actually having a person there to tell me about the colleges was very helpful,” Bougher said.

   Following the fair itself, the school had a chance to get feedback from the attendees. 

   “Everybody had positive things to say,” Horgan said.