Spring College Visits

For the first time ever, students can visit with colleges on Cathedral’s campus during the spring months.


The NextGrad screen displayed a Valparaiso University advertisement.

This spring, colleges are visiting our very own College and Career Center to meet with interested students, in efforts to expand their knowledge and provide assistance during their application process. In the past, this opportunity has not worked, but now students are encouraged more than ever to attend these meetings.

College and Career Coordinator Ms. Kathy Pivonka is blessed to be able to share these opportunities with sophomores, juniors and seniors. Although sophomores have not begun the college search, she believes these visits will allow sophomores to “become more comfortable” for the future in their college application process. She said, “We have always had one appointment here or there, very random, but we have never had the opportunity to do full blown spring visits because all of us were doing scheduling and meeting. With the College and Career Center, now we are able to do spring visits, and for the first time ever we are letting sophomores come.”

Students can find the upcoming college visits on their Schoology page, which Pivonka utilizes as a resource to spread the word and provide information through a format other than email. Leading up to spring break, there will be three consecutive weeks where various colleges and universities are joining us on campus to spread the word. For each grade, she believes there are different goals.

Pivonka said, “For each class, there is a different goal. For seniors, it is getting your award letters for financial aid and scholarships, and making final decisions. For them, it is like ‘tying up the loose ends’ with the opportunity to do it in person. For the juniors, it should be a continuation and a chance to really think about it. For them, it is more of a ‘I am going to get going’, and for sophomores it is a  ‘lets get your feet wet a little bit so that when we do have fall visits, maybe you’re more apt to join in.”

These visits stem from the college fairs that are happening in the Indianapolis area, which also cater to students to smoothen the application process. Pivonka communicates with these colleges and their representatives to invite them to our campus and get the word out. Pivonka schedules these meetings throughout the week, all at different times with the purpose to cater to all students. In the past, spring visits were available for schools that wanted to meet with Cathedral students who were already admitted.

A representative from the University of Alabama meeting with students.

She said, “The more that underclassmen can do with just visiting with colleges, the more comfortable they will be senior year with the terminology and the process, and comfort level. A lot of information goes in the newsletter or student email, but I was looking for a different way to capture (it). They (sophomores) just got their Schoology page last week.”

During these visits, Pivonka invites the representatives to our campus. These visits could look different in a variety of ways. She spends time developing networking relationships with their representatives and utilizing them as a way to spread the word. These representatives share information regarding the application process, scholarships and financial aid and special programs.

Another new addition to our campus is the NextGrad display which can be seen in the Innovation Center and outside of the College and Career Center. She describes the addition of this as “a win win.” Cathedral is the first school in Indiana to sign the contract for the installation, and was installed on Feb 22. On this display, students are able to find information relating to colleges and also provides Pivonka with an alternate way to share individualized information twice a month. NextGrad can be found in around 250 schools out West, and is in the process of adding to schools in the Midwest. For Cathedral, this excellent addition was free and brings great benefits to the counseling team and students.

She said, “I was approached to be one of the first Indiana schools, we get the TV, they install it and colleges do a subscription service and promote (it). They (the advertisements) change, it might be an open house or a specific program. They have a number of schools now getting screens and a number of colleges now, so it will grow!”

Pivonka encourages students to sign up and utilize these college visits to their advantage, and to recognize the information that is displayed on the NextGrad. She said, “We are very lucky to have them want to come visit us, and it is nice to visit with someone who might be reading your application senior year.”