College Career Center Provides Students with Academic and Job Support

Caroline Santos also contributed to this article.

The College Career Center (CAC) was made for students who need help with college support and financial aid. They help students with information they need like scholarships, jobs, summer programs, trade school, applications, vocational schools, and much more. Located in B337, they can help students find different opportunities even if college is not for them. The center is accessible to all students, however, the college advisors are focused on juniors and seniors.

The center is run by Michelle Sun and Melissa Loftus, two advisors from Boston University. The advisors stay at Malden High for two years and then go to other schools after their 2-year stay; Sun is in her second year while Loftus is in her first. Along with the two, Alison Fornash works in the college career center as a supervisor as well. 

Both advisors agree that they want to encourage and promote a college-going culture. The advisors are there to help and explain to students how the college process works and answer any questions. 

Sun came to Malden High because while she was a high schooler, her school had something similar to the CAC; She “felt inspired” by what her school had done and thought that Malden High should have something similar where students can come in for college and work support.

As for scholarships, students are allowed to go in and go through the available scholarships to see what applies and fits best. There is also a general scholarship that all seniors can apply for, they only need to submit their resume and college essays.

A recent addition to Malden High is the commits bulletin board on the third floor of Boyle, in front of the bathrooms. The idea to put it up came from Loftus as she also had one in her high school. It was also partially inspired by the commits page on Instagram (malden24commits). Each college has an anonymous sticker to acknowledge the achievements of students and encourage more students to apply to college. 

The Commits Board on Boyle third floor. CAROLINE SANTOS

Junior resources is one of the first things that will be mentioned when talking about the CAC: helping juniors with career paths and having two days completely dedicated to them. They focus on registering students for SAT and ACT exam dates and have informational talks about college. “If you attach yourself to us and we get to know you - and receive a scholarship that we think fits well for you - we are more likely to think of you and send them your way,” Loftus elaborated on the behind-the-scenes of helping juniors with scholarships. 

This gives further insight into how not only do they care about students academically, but are looking to connect with them on a deeper level. Giving out scholarships that would better match a certain student’s criteria is perfect for the future of this school's resources for everyone, most importantly the students. 

While supporting juniors and giving them multiple opportunities, unlocking pathways to help them choose the college that is not only best for them, there are also field trips. In these field trips, students are allowed to explore the college campuses and get more information to see if that college is the right fit for them. Sun added “Visiting them is like a fun way to see if they can see themselves in that environment.”

The advisors have already gotten to setting up for the field trips. The upcoming trips are being organized to Bunker Hill Community College, BU, Mass Robotics, UMass Boston, and Northeastern University. Most of these locations are accessible by train but recently Fornash has gotten a grant with some money for buses. The field trips are a great experience for students to get insight into the college, its programs, what it looks like, and what it will be like. Sun expressed how she always looks into the accommodations for the students, such as ensuring they can eat lunch there or if there is any food for them to eat while they are there.

If students need help with job searching, the CAC also offers that to students. Every Thursday the new job coach, Louckens Joseph, is available to help students in pursuing careers. He can help build resumes and search for places that fit different personalities and interests. Students can always pop in the center to see if he is available to schedule a meeting.  

The CAC is always available with Sun and Loftus for any student help, but if they do not feel comfortable going to CAC, Loftus has another alternative for you as well: “coming here and getting our recommendations is great, but counselors also have recommendations. It is complicated if you don’t know anything about it.”

So while counselors also provide great recommendations just as CAC does, CAC will provide more insight and background knowledge to multiple processes like finding individualized scholarships, recommending jobs, or helping learn the requirements needed for colleges.

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