Evanston Township High School sophomores and juniors will receive a sneak peek into the life of a college student on Thursday during Kits & Cats Day at Northwestern University.
The twice-yearly event is designed to expose high school students to a college campus and help them imagine their own academic and social lives.
Students spend the morning with volunteer undergraduates from a variety of majors that connect with the ETHS students’ interests. They’ll see dorms, classrooms, workout facilities, cafeterias and have a chance to ask their guides questions during small group campus tours.
In the afternoon, students will participate in two different activities around campus that highlight academic and career fields or campus resources such as the Block Museum.
“Every high schooler should have access to a college tour that isn't about promoting a specific college but rather demonstrates what college looks like and gives them the opportunity to receive honest answers from college students,” said Northwestern senior Isabel Sturla, who has participated in the last eight Kits & Cats Day events.
“This especially applies to first generation college hopefuls,” Sturla said. “It's important for them to at least see a college campus and have a basic understanding of how college works before they go on college visits or send in their applications.”
Sturla, a senior in the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences and ETHS alumna, takes her groups to different classrooms to illustrate the various sizes, from large lecture halls to small discussion classrooms.
“This is one of the most drastic differences between high school and college,” said Sturla, who studies biology and psychology and is minoring in Spanish.
Kits & Cats Day targets ETHS students who would be first-generation college students and those who have not yet decided if they will attend college.
“We want ETHS students to become aware of Northwestern, ETHS’s neighbor, and get excited about college exploration,” said Amy Pratt, associate director of OSEP.
Kits & Cats is part of Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro's Good Neighbor, Great University initiative. The effort is led by the NU/ETHS Partnership Office and ETHS College & Career Services. The event is supported by the Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP) at SESP and Northwestern’s Neighborhood & Community Relations.