Counselor Visit Day Spotlights Cinespace Partnership and College of Education

Undergraduate Admission hosted the annual Counselor Visit Day for Chicago-area high school counselors on Dec. 5. Forty-seven counselors from more than 30 high schools and nonprofit organizations visited the Lincoln Park Campus to learn more about DePaul, and the College of Education (COE) and Digital Cinema academic programs in particular. This program gives counselors valuable insights that inform discussions with the students they advise.

Experts Speak on Latest Issues and Trends in College Admissions
The day began with insights into the admission process locally and nationally from two industry-recognized experts. DePaul’s Jon Boeckenstedt, associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing, shared enrollment highlights from the 2014 fall freshman class and answered questions from counselors.

Boeckenstedt’s presentation was well received. Aliza Gilbert, a counselor at Highland Park High School who has participated in the visit day several times over the years, noted, “Jon’s ability to explain data and stats in layman terms is incredible. His presentation is always one of the highlights of the day.”

Next, Phil Trout, president-elect of National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and high school counselor from Minnesota, presented on the latest issues and trends in college admissions. Topics ranged from student/parent conversations about the value of college, the earlier college admission cycle (noting that “September is the new November”), and the emergence of social media and its impact in the admissions process.

Spotlight on New Special Education Major
Counselors then visited the new College of Education building where they met with the dean and several program directors. The visit highlighted the Special Education major introduced in fall quarter. Amy Feiker-Hollenback, assistant professor of Special Education, shared more about the new degree—a popular potential major among prospective students—that was previously only available as a concentration. Graduate students in the School of Counseling then led tours of the building and answered questions from counselors, giving them a sense of the level of preparation that COE provides to its students.

Focus on the Cinespace Partnership and Digital Cinema Program
For the second half of the day, the group headed south to DePaul Cinespace Studios, a one of a kind, 20,000 square foot, cinematic learning environment and production facility formed in alliance with Cinespace Studios Chicago that provides students with film and television production experience in a working studio.

Through this partnership, DePaul makes a robust learning experience available right in our backyard. While many local high school students want to study filmmaking in California, DePaul’s Digital Cinema program is widely recognized within the industry as a program of choice. “DePaul's Cinespace partnership is brand new to me,” said Paul Welsh, a counselor at Fenton High School. “I had no idea we have such a wonderful program so close to home.”

Mark Degnen, chief financial officer for Cinespace, welcomed the group and spoke about the mutually beneficial relationship with DePaul, including the benefits of having eager students working on various production teams. Counselors had a lunch meeting with Matthew Irvine, associate professor of Directing and Screenwriting, who provided details about the Cinespace partnership and the learning opportunities it provides. Then CDM undergraduates offered insights into the student experience while leading facility tours, including a visit to the set of the television drama, Chicago P.D.

Counselor feedback rated the Cinespace visit as the most valuable portion of the day, with one counselor writing that he was “blown away by the phenomenal facilities.”

For more information about the event, contact Anne Kremer, associate director for Undergraduate Admission, or Elisabeth Pilhofer, admission counselor for Undergraduate Admission.