Looking for college paraphernalia for a high school classroom.
January 14, 2010 7:07 AM   Subscribe

College Inspiration Filter: what's the best way to guide students to get college/university paraphernalia (posters, pennants, pins, shirts, brochures, etc) to decorate a classroom? Details inside.

My wife is a high school math teacher in California, and the school where she works is in a lower income area where there wasn't much push to get kids thinking of any schooling beyond high school. The mindset is changing with some new administrators and teachers, and my wife would like to get the kids thinking about education beyond high school.

My wife doesn't have much time to contact schools individually, and she thought that the kids might get more out of it if they brought in the material themselves, but she's hesitant to tell them "get whatever you can" and send the kids out without direction. She'd like items from any school, from in-state institutions to national and abroad, and anything from technical programs to community colleges, to four year programs and grad schools.

What is the best way to guide kids towards this material? Is there generally any one department or office who typically handles promotional-type material? If she could tell kids "contact someone in the [outreach?] department for more information," that would be better than "get college-marked materials." Thanks!
posted by filthy light thief to Education (10 answers total)
Contact the admissions department of the various schools. Ask them for an application. They send other stuff with the application like bumper stickers, etc.
posted by dfriedman at 7:10 AM on January 14, 2010

Welcome to the wonderful bureaucratic, de-centralized, non-standardized world of higher learning. Unfortunately, there isn't any one department that will always handle this request nor will it be the same across different colleges and universities.

But I have worked with departments that do this and they have been variously called: public affairs, public relations, recruitment, community liaison and, as dfriedman mentions, admissions.

If you can find a university or college recruiting fair in your area... well, jackpot. There is every manner of promo item at those things.
posted by pixlboi at 7:20 AM on January 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

You can also try contacting the athletic departments - probably the sports information director, or one of their minions.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:25 AM on January 14, 2010

Two ideas:
1. She could make it a homework assignment for each kid to write a letter to an admissions officer at a college/university of their choice, asking questions about the school. Probably not every school will send a nice response, but I bet some will, maybe with some bumper stickers/posters.

2. If the college stuff can be second-hand, why not ask other teachers if they and/or their family members have any old school paraphernalia lying around? There are really only so many trinkets you need from your own alma mater.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:30 AM on January 14, 2010

Ask for donations from your university graduate friends, family, colleagues and other people to help you out and donate some university schwag. Alternately, there are probably enough mefites around who work in universities who could have some schwag sent to you, just ask.

Too bad you couldn't have asked a few months ago, I could have arranged to send some stuff from a few universities in Canada.
posted by lizbunny at 7:31 AM on January 14, 2010

I work in a communications office at a major university. I'm probably the person you would call. At the very least, we could route you through to someone who could help you, but more than likely we would just do it ourselves.

I probably wouldn't go through the admissions department unless you want things like viewbooks or a bunch of applications. We can help you get a bunch of those too, though.

I like the idea of getting second-hand stuff from people around you. One thing which might be nice is having them talk to someone who went to a school of some sort and having them share their college experience. In a low-income area, you probably wouldn't have many people who had gone to college, let alone out of state, but if the students have heard of a particular school (likely because of sports -- that's how most people hear of schools across the country), chances are it's a big enough place to have an alumni group in your area. Or you could say, "What do you think you might want to do?" and have them look for programs, then contact the school.

MeMail me; I'm happy to send some swag from my area :)
posted by Madamina at 7:45 AM on January 14, 2010

Do you have a counseling/career guidance department at the high school you can work with? They have some college paraphernalia where I work and would know the people to get in touch with if I really want some. Might be a good first place to ask.
posted by jmd82 at 7:53 AM on January 14, 2010

Please don't make this a homework assignment. How would this task reinforce or advance their learning of math? Asking the kids to get involved, great. Requiring them do so, to decorate a math classroom, a problem.
posted by Pineapplicious at 8:22 AM on January 14, 2010

How a Memphis teacher did it.
posted by raisingsand at 10:04 AM on January 14, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone for the comments so far!

My wife won't make it a homework assignment, as this isn't math related, but might be worth bonus points. She wants to do this to get her kids to start thinking about what comes after high school, not think of this as another thing to complete for class.

Madamina - Memailed, thanks!

raisingsand - your link is borked, and links back to this thread.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:15 AM on January 14, 2010

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