WILKES-BARRE — Courtney Lehey of Larksville concedes her planned college major may sound a tad, um, schizophrenic.
“I want to study psychology,” she said, then pausing, having just talked to a representative from a college heavy on performing arts. “And musical arts.”
Lehey, a junior at Wyoming Valley West High School, was one of scores of students from about 30 regional schools given the chance to stroll through an upstairs gym in the Scandlon Physical Education Center at King’s College Monday.
The college hosted the annual Northeast Regional College Fair, organized by the Pa. Association of College Admissions Counselors, until 11:30 a.m., with a second session set up for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
It’s a sort of “speed dating” for those contemplating education after high school. Students are dropped off and get to stroll up and down rows of tables, each with representatives from a different institution.
Because the busloads keep coming all morning, there isn’t always a lot of time to linger if you want to talk to more than a few schools.
Still, Lehey said, it was worth the visit. “It helps a little bit … to talk to people from the schools.” She didn’t say it, but you could sense the “but.”
“I’ll feel better if I go and visit the campus,” she conceded.
Fellow Wyoming Valley West junior Alexis Pileggi of Kingston also saw some value in the fair.
“You get to learn more about the schools,” she said after talking to representatives from Penn State about her preferred major, pre-med. And yes, that means she wants to be a doctor. Penn State and the University of Scranton are currently near the top of her higher education choices.
Lehey also is considering Penn State, which proved convenient with the performing arts school set up at the adjacent table: Pace University, with campuses in New York City and nearby West Chester County, New York. But when she talked to Pace representative Jesenia Holguin, the news may have sounded a bit daunting.
The performing arts programs at Pace get about 3,000 applicants every year, so “admission is by audition,” Holguin said.
A smiling Lehey moved on, still keeping it on her list.
The Pace table once again was unnoticed by any students — as was the case for many representatives in the first half-hour of the morning session — Holguin said she may have landed a sweet spot that could boost interest in her little college: A table next to Penn State. “I’m hoping some of that will rub off on us,” she laughed.
Then, realizing Lehey had been the subject of a news photo, she added. “That better be the photograph you use. It’ll prove I was here.”