As graduation approaches, it’s cram time for high school seniors. As they prepare for graduation, they are also looking forward to the rest of their lives. With the many options available, including college, enlistment in the armed forces, or work, there are many different ways to prepare for life beyond school while still preparing for graduation.
This year, Muscatine High School added a new staff position called the college and career counselor. Maggie Malani started this year at MHS, filling this position. Maggie’s job is to help set students up with job shadowing opportunities and introduce them to Career Cruising, a program which offers assessments for students that will match them with potential careers, and also match those careers with colleges that offer those degrees.
The school also started offering a program pairing with MCC called Career Academy. Career Academy involves an engineering technology program as well as a culinary arts program. The academy is meant for students to get a head start on their degree, in hopes that they will attend MCC after graduation to finish the program. This academy will offer ag and welding programs next year.
Students are also preparing by building a résumé with Ms. Malani in their English 12 classes. The students did mock interviews with businesses in the community, receiving feedback on their interview and what they can do better when applying for a potential job in the future.
The school is also offering FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) nights at the school. Parents and students are invited to come work on their FAFSA financial aid paperwork with the help of staff. At a previous event this year, about 20 parents came with students to work on the FAFSFA. Another FAFSA night will be held on January 22.
The seniors this year are on track, as 31% of them have already filled out their FAFSFA, and 22% have completed a required senior survey.
It is important to senior counselor Karey Hawkins to help students select courses throughout high school that let them figure out what their interests are and what they want to do with their life after high school.
“Having them from freshmen to seniors, you become attached. You take their success personally,” says Hawkins. Working to get as many students to graduate as possible is always a goal for the high school.