The counseling department at Windsor High School has plans to educate students on college preparation, and other information, like the military and possible employment, to help students plan for their futures as they reach their junior and senior year.
The counseling department does activities, meetings, and lessons before the end of a student’s senior year to equip them with the skills to approach college effortlessly.
The guidance counselors believe in the importance of teaching students how to apply for college, and what steps the student must take to reach their goals.
The counseling department begins post-secondary planning with juniors during the course selection process by having them complete checklists about their preferences. The procedure is described by Mrs. Fernald, a guidance counselor for the school, who said, “We are talking about the big picture for what it’s going to take to make their post-secondary plans a reality.”
Junior workshops are also held, which are discussions, during the school day, where each workshop touches on a specific part of the application process, like the resume or letters of recommendation.
Furthermore, the counseling department hosts Parent Night, where parents of juniors learn about the post-secondary planning process, and how to help their child achieve their goals.
At the beginning of senior year, counselors check in with seniors to discuss any changes that they have had with their post-secondary plan.
Also, when ninth to eleventh graders take the PSAT, held on Oct. 10 this year, the guidance department has a senior conference. There is a keynote speaker, and students go into different workshops, like the military, employment, and scholarship sections. Aretha Prabawa, a senior at the school, said, “During that [conference] they had different stages for different types of plans… so that they could give students choices.”
The counseling department also sets up the college fair, which was on Oct. 16 this year. This is an event where admission officers of different colleges give students a chance to understand what each college campus is like, and what programs and classes they provide. A student who attended the college fair said, “I came to the college fair because I’m a junior and I just wanted to see some of the colleges before the senior year so I could know where I might want to apply… I got to see so many colleges and see if they had the classes I want to take.”
However, the counseling department still believes there is room to improve. Mrs. Fernald believes incorporating parents more in the process is an area of improvement. “It would be wonderful if parents were available to come in and do all these meetings with us,” says Mrs. Fernald. However, the work schedules of parents usually align with the school schedule, making it difficult for parents to attend the meetings.
In the future, it is a hope to have a meeting with both the student and their parents to help the post-secondary planning be more successful.