Juniors Introduced to Post-Secondary Planning

On Tuesday, Apr. 28, 2015 Malden High School’s house guidance counselors hosted the College and Career night for junior students and their families. The night consisted of counselors Erin Craven and Ann O’Connor speaking about the process of post-secondary planning during senior year, focusing specifically on what students would do when applying to college or laying out the framework for their entrance into the workforce and how Malden High School would be able to help throughout. This presentation was followed by an open panel of representatives from 4 institutions who were there to not only talk about their respective programs but also to answer any and all questions posed by the members of the audience.

Approximately fifty people attended, with most being parents coming alone, however there were a handful of students who came with and without their family. This crowd represented in many respects the people and students most conscious of the journey on which they are soon to embark. Each was wholly enthralled in what was being shown and discussed, with many taking notes or recording what was being said for later reference. This attitude continued into the second half of the night, with many of the parents posing questions to the 4 representatives and diligently listening and taking notes on what was said.

The majority of the time was spent on the guidance presentation, which began by focusing on the general college process, the grades and test scores needed for admittance to various schools, the list of schools in the area and where current Malden alumni are attending, and the timeline for post-secondary planning in Malden High School. This general purpose section, presented by Craven, was followed by a presentation focused specifically on Naviance, the service provided to Malden High School students to help with post-secondary planning, whether it be for college or work.

O’Connor went into great detail about the features that Naviance has to offer students and how students, parents, and counselors could collaborate to take advantage of Naviance and better tackle the process of applying to schools or making a plan for work after school. This includes things such as side by side comparisons of schools in terms of admissions criterias and statistics, financial aid, student body composition and so forth. It also allows includes features that pertain directly to job searches and application.

The night was concluded by a panel forum made up of representatives from four institutions: Salem State University, Universal Technical Institute, North Shore Community College, and City Year. Much of their time was spent discussing the features and appeal of each of their respective institutions or programs and explaining the process that had been introduced during the earlier presentation in the light of their school specifically. They also took questions from the audience which ranged from the difference between Early Action, Early Decision, and Regular Decision when applying to schools to the stance that their respective institutions and programs had on undocumented applicants.

While many pieces of the process were left unaddressed because the meeting served as an introduction rather than an in depth review, the presentation was able to provide valuable insight into the post-secondary planning that juniors will be doing in the coming months and specifically deal with many of the most pressing and major pieces of the puzzle.

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