The Student Services Department is available for a variety of support services. Personal guidance, academic counseling, career advising, assistance with college selection, and post-high school planning are provided on an individual basis. Academic support services are available to all students. This includes, but is not limited to, help from respective course teachers before or after school and various levels of tutoring. In order to promote self-growth, students are encouraged to take personal responsibility for their needs. If students don’t know whom to ask to obtain information, Student Services is always a good place to start.
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Our new College and Career Counselor, Mrs. Penaflor, is available in the College and Career Center to give students the opportunity to receive one-on-one help with decisions about applying for college, financial aid, ACT preparation, and entering the workforce. Please contact her with any questions!
During the freshman year, students engage in an orientation to high school. The transitional phase may be difficult, thus students are provided a review of note taking techniques, study tips, and test-taking strategies. Students learn about graduation requirements and college admissions standards. Students are encouraged to form healthy relationships and friendships while at STM. Goal setting is highlighted throughout the year at various checkpoints with the students documenting their participation in extracurricular activities and academic successes.
During the sophomore year, students explore the world of work, aptitudes, and interests. The focus is on college and career entrance requirements and preparation. Classroom guidance sessions focus on test scores analysis and the continuum of college prep courses. Students take various inventories and assessments to discover learning style, personality type, and work values. Students are encouraged to continuously set learning goals, assess progress on their four year plan, and set their sights on independent post-secondary prospects. Through individual conferences, students learn to understand current career and job growth projections in today’s society.
During the junior year, research on colleges, apprenticeships, the military, and exploration of post-high school options begins in earnest. This is accomplished through PSAT and Practice ACT administration, interpretation of results, and college timeline information. Students are encouraged to research colleges by taking advantage of visits from college representatives, information from the Student Services’ college resources, and by visiting college campuses. In second semester, a parent/student night explores post-high school options and offers information on public and private colleges, tips on the selection process, and information on financial aid and scholarships. The journey continues when students take the ACT in April and June and create resumes and college essays.
In the first semester, individual and group meetings are held with seniors to discuss credit checks for gradu-ation, to review the college application process, and to make decisions regarding post-high school plans. During the second semester, information is given on college financial aid, final transcripts, scholarship deadlines, and life after high school. Seniors are prepared to leave St. Thomas More and start new chapters in their lives.