College/career counselors guide students to future paths – The Madison Record


Madison – A member of the College and Career Readiness Team at a school in Madison was a recent guest on the podcast series “Sittin’ With the Supe” by MCS Superintendent Ed Nichols, Ph.D.

Nichols’ guests were Kaleb Owens, MCS Career Coach, Lana Meskunas, College and Career Readiness Coach, James Clemens High School, and Dr. Stephanie Bostick, Bob Jones High School.

These counselors will guide students through their options after graduation. The team also shares useful tips for families, especially financial assistance.

At the University of Alabama, Bostic earned a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education, a Master’s degree in Counseling, and a PhD in Educational Leadership Policy and Law.

A native of Plano, Texas, Mesknath earned a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from Texas Tech University in Lubbock and a Master’s degree in Counseling from the University of Texas in the Permian Basin.

“I’ve been in counseling from kindergarten through 12th grade, helping students decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives,” Mesknas said.

Originally from Anniston, Owens attended Gadsden State Community College and transferred to the University of North Alabama to pursue a BA in Psychology. After college, he worked as a recruiter and academic advisor at Calhoun Community College.

Nichols asked about the main goals of counselors. “The primary goal of college and career counselors is to help children plan after high school,” Mesknath said. We are working on searching for, entering the workforce and recruiting for the military.”

“It’s a big challenge for students who don’t know what they want to do. They feel pressured about their major. We tell them they can always start at community college and then go to four-year school.” said Bostic.

Owens will invite guest speakers from the university and representatives of local industries such as Mazda and Toyota to discuss the job market.

“James Clemens held a career seminar. Parents give a ‘guided tour’ of the job.” It includes the education, jobs and salaries they must receive,” Mesknas said.

Counselors said the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is an important form for students. To do. The state requires all students to complete her FAFSA or sign a waiver if she doesn’t go to college, Nichols said.

“Parents submit tax information to FAFSA, but at the school level, counselors don’t see[financial]information,” Meskunas says. “Many colleges like Calhoun Community College require her FAFSA for scholarships.”

Additionally, students interested in studying for a job must complete the FAFSA paperwork.

After restrictions due to COVID-19, ACT has regained its importance. “A student should take the ACT after completing Algebra II, which includes trigonometry, or she should take the ACT in the fall of her junior year. You can,” Bostick said. Students can take the ACT free of charge in the spring of their junior year. The cost of this test will be borne by the state. The student then takes the ACT again during her senior year.

Nichols asked a counselor for one piece of advice about college and career decisions. “Ask lots of questions and explore your options. Many students don’t know what they want to do, but JobsHe can participate in shadows and internships to observe people at work.” You can,” says Owens.

“Test scores don’t define who you are,” Bostic said. “It’s not where you start, it’s where you end. You have to show up and work hard to be successful.”

Meskunas recommends starting college preparation early. “Visit a college campus during school breaks and talk to the dean of your desired major,” she said.



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