Archive for Thursday, January 15, 2004

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New center’s technology helps students plan futures

January 15, 2004

Eudora High School began its year not only with a new building but with a new career center as well.
Genea Doerfler, high school guidance counselor, said the school wanted to reconstruct the counseling department by adding a career center.
"We want to better prepare students," Doerfler said.
The career center focuses on educating and assisting students with college and career choices, Doerfler said.
Principal Dale Sample said he and Superintendent Marty Kobza discussed the possibility of a career center before the new high school building was built.
"We wanted a place where students could feel comfortable," Sample said. "It was part of the package."
Sample said whether students wanted to research colleges, job opportunities or the armed forces, the career center was a place they could do that.
"Students are given options with the center," he said.Counseling secretary Brenda Wiley said the center, which opened in August, offered the students a variety of information to help them in their choices for college and careers.
"We've had the software (in the past), but now the students have better access to the software," Wiley said. "There is information on colleges and other post-secondary schools."
Wiley said there were three computers with Internet access available to the students so they could apply for college and look for scholarships and other forms of financial aid.
Associated with the career center is the Choices program, which covers career exploration, applications for and information about colleges and ACT applications, and study guides, Wiley said.
Doerfler said the program involved students inputting personal data, including likes, dislikes and abilities. The students would be matched with careers, colleges and scholarships that fit the criteria or eligibility of the student.
There is also a telephone in the center for students to use, mostly for scheduling college visits.
Senior Michael Mersmann said he received useful guidance from Doerfler and Wiley as well as made good use of the resources in the center.
"The new counselors helped me prepare for college," Mersmann said. "(The new resources) helped with the ACT, college entrance forms, scholarships, resumes and references."
Mersmann, who plans to go to Kansas State University to pursue general engineering, said Wiley and Doerfler helped him finalize his college plans.
"I thought I was going to go to K-State and I took the ACT and got a 30, so (Wiley and Doerfler) set me up to go to a scholarship day and an engineering day," Mersmann said.
Doerfler said the career center didn't necessarily focus more on either college choice or career choice because an individual student's need is more specific.
"It's about 50-50," she said. "It all depends on the student and the student's wanting."
Wiley said the majority of the students who used the center were doing college searches, but there were some students who were looking at vocational options as well.
In addition, Doerfler said college representatives, athletic recruiters, coaches and employers are set up in the career center when they make high school visits.
Doerfler and Wiley organize a weekly memo called the Senior Cardinal Scoop that tells the seniors when college recruiters are coming, about ACT prep courses and deadlines, and other information that may be useful for the students.
Furthermore, Sample said Doerfler met with each senior once a semester to discuss the student's future and where he or she was headed after graduation.
Sample said both Doerfler and Wiley were new to the counseling staff this year and he was pleased with the success the career center has received.
"This program has taken off faster and is further along than I thought it would be," Sample said. "The biggest impact are the two people in charge. They both work well and are concerned about the students' welfare. They're just doing a great job."
The career center is open weekdays from 7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but Doerfler said the center can be opened at any other time to accommodate the students.

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