Supporting students as they prepare for their post-high school journey is a priority for educators at OTHS.
During the November Board of Education meeting, the OTHS Guidance Department provided an update on the outstanding student supports and services available from Guidance. I wanted to share the information that was presented, as our Guidance Department is doing great things to support OTHS students.
Individual Academic Advising and Planning
Guidance counselors meet annually with every student at OTHS in an effort to assist with course selection and graduation planning. These meetings are individual and focus on the unique goals and objectives of the student.
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Parents are encouraged to contact their student’s guidance counselor if they have questions or concerns regarding courses selected by their student and/or how course selection can impact college admission or career preparedness.
College and Career Lab
The OTHS Smiley Campus opened its College and Career Lab during the 2015-2016 school year. This lab is open to students before school, after school, and during advisory class periods for individual student needs. In addition, the lab provides the venue where students can visit with representatives from the numerous colleges and universities that visit our campus.
SLU 1818 dual credit registration and on-site admission events also take place in the lab.
For those students engaged in the cumbersome and complicated college application process, student workshops are offered in the lab. These workshops provide information and insight to students on the preparation and submission of college applications.
The Guidance Department hosts other workshops for students/families on topics such as the completion of the FASFA submission and financial aid education, and workshops to support the unique needs of the student athlete.
College and Career Fair
On Wednesday, March 14, 2018, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Panther Dome of the Smiley Campus, the Guidance Department will be hosting a college and career fair. Representatives from more than 50 colleges, universities, and technical schools will be on site so students can explore academic opportunities and gather information about post-secondary options. Breakout sessions are planned during the fair that will focus on financial aid for students and NCAA requirements of the prospective student athlete.
The Guidance Department is diligently working to implement a first-generation mentorship program to support students who will be the first in their families to attend college.
Statistics confirm that many first generation college students have the ACT or SAT scores to get into the most selective universities and colleges, but often enroll at community colleges and regional public universities due to a lack of knowledge about available opportunities. Providing additional supports to first generation college students and their families is instrumental in OTHS’s commitment to meet the needs of all students.
In addition to the above highlighted items, the OTHS Guidance Department offers numerous other supports, services, and opportunities for students and their families: Career awareness exploration and lessons, job shadowing, individual counseling, parent information night presentations, scholarship application support, parent conferences, and an alumni speaker series are just a few.
Parents are encouraged to contact the Guidance Department or to visit the Guidance Department web page to find additional information on the resources available to students.