Guidance changes benefit students
Applications? Check. Letters of recommendation? Check. New college counselor? Check.
Starting with the class of 2013, guidance counselor Carrie Siemsen will become the single college counselor.
The guidance department is restructuring so that there will be three personal guidance counselors, Carol Heflin-Shupe, Larry Hensley, and Kathy Barnes, and one college counselor, Siemsen.
Along with change comes criticism, but the guidance department will receive none here. Like all new things, this program needs to be given a chance.
After learning all the information about this new system, all skepticism is erased. Siemsen’s sole job will be to handle anything to do with the college process for juniors and seniors.
Principal Madelyn Ball and President Richard O’Hara are trying to diversify the colleges that students attend. Travelling away from home is part of the college experience, and this system will make way for new opportunities.
Often, students end up going to the same schools, but this new college program is going to encourage students to look at colleges they may not have considered before. According to Siemsen, her new position will allow her to explore a wider range of colleges with her students.
Siemsen will hold meetings with rising seniors and their parents in the spring or summer before senior year. Students and parents don’t always see eye to eye about college location, tuition, size, etc. These meetings will provide an opportunity for them to work out differences in opinion with a counselor who knows a lot about college.
Another benefit that comes with having a college counselor is the college center. The college center will be a room filled with helpful information to work on any part of the college process.
Instead of getting bits and pieces of college information from guidance counselors, the Internet, and the packets in the guidance hallway, all the information will be in one place.
If I had one reservation, it would be that the class of 2013 will be the first class to experience this new system. No class wants to be the first class to have a new program implemented, but one class has to be the first.
Here’s to hoping for the best and putting trust in the new college counselor.
Emily Clarke is a Managing Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.