Most people have never felt the inside of a cow's stomach, designed flowers to music or created their own soil profile. Everyone will have the opportunity to do these things and learn more about the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at its ExplorACES event, March 9-10.
ExplorACES, a two-day, student-run event, acquaints prospective and admitted ACES students with the college's faculty, curriculum and vast selection of student organizations and opportunities.
More than 2,000 students will attend the event on Friday, March 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday, March 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A reception for admitted students will complete Saturday's events at the Student Dining and Residential Programs Building.
Attendees will learn about all the opportunities they would have as ACES students. Information will be available on study abroad programs, what students can do with their ACES degrees and how they can apply for nearly $2 million in scholarships.
Prospective students will get a glimpse of all the college has to offer with more than 125 exhibits showcasing academics, research and student development.
"ExplorACES is the ultimate opportunity to learn more about the college, especially if you are a soon-to-be high school graduate or transfer student interested in finishing a bachelor's degree," says Jason Emmert, ACES assistant dean of academic programs.
Though prospective and admitted students are the target audience for the informational event, parents are encouraged to attend.
"ExplorACES is really about providing students and their families the opportunity to understand what ACES has to offer. Deciding where to attend college is one of the most important choices students will ever make, and it is incredibly helpful for prospective students to see the campus, talk to faculty and staff, and perhaps most importantly, connect with current ACES students," Emmert adds.
Current ACES students have been planning the event for the past six months.
"ExplorACES was built from a student's perspective. We have been there—we know how hard it is to weigh the options and make a choice that will change your life," Janell Baum, ExplorACES co-chair of publicity, says. "Having the right information in your hands and experiencing the people, the places and the curriculum allows you to make the decision that is right for you."
Event coordinators have worked to make getting to the ACES campus even more accessible by providing free parking and free shuttle service to and from parking lot E-14, just west of the Assembly Hall.
"We built a mobile website this year, complete with maps, parking and exhibit information," Baum notes. "We are so excited to offer this to our visitors and want to make sure their experience at ExplorACES is flawless."