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New College & Career Center designed to help BHS students plan for the future

9/6/2016, 3:56 p.m.
Bolingbrook High School's counseling team has launched an all-out college and career readiness campaign designed to encourage students to look ...

Bolingbrook High School's counseling team has launched an all-out college

and career readiness campaign designed to encourage students to look

beyond high school.

"It is important that each student develops a personal career plan, and

post-secondary education needs to be a part of that plan," said VVSD Director of

College and Career Readiness Dorletta Payton. "Statistics tell us the more education

and training a student completes, the higher the income earned."

At the forefront of the BHS initiative is a new College and Career Center with

computer access and printed materials for hundreds of colleges as well as

information on financial aid, scholarships, potential majors, and careers, including

the military and the trades.

"This is an area dedicated to college and career exploration," said BHS College and

Career Counselor Mark Ondracek. "The more help and resources we can give our

students and their families, the better off they will be."

In addition to scheduled classroom visits for all grade levels throughout the school

year, the College and Career Center is open for general use before and after school

as well as during homeroom and lunch with full time administrative assistant Laura

Thomas available to lend a hand. The Center will also host visits from dozens of

college representatives who will come to BHS over the next six months.

"We recognized a need to increase the number of students who enroll in

college after they graduate from BHS," said BHS Assistant Principal Dr.

Albert Brass Jr., who has been the driving force behind the new campaign.

"This room will serve as a foundation. It's all encompassing for post high

school planning. We're very excited."

"The Center's location near the front entrance of the high school symbolizes its

importance because helping our students prepare for their future careers and

education is central to our mission as educators," Payton added. "Whether a student

plans on going to a 2 or 4 year college, an apprenticeship program for a trade, or

the military, they will be able to obtain information and advice that will help

prepare them for their future career."

As part of the renewed emphasis on college and career readiness, the BHS counseling

team is hosting a series of college bus tours for students on school holidays. The

first tour will head to University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia and Benedictine

on Columbus Day (Oct. 10). Other bus tours will take place on Veterans Day,

Presidents Day and Pulaski Day.

"A lot of students never set foot on a college campus. But you wouldn't buy a car

without test driving it. You shouldn't attend a college without seeing it," Ondracek

said.

"Everyone needs to have a plan after high school," he added. "If we can

show our students different options and they walk out of here saying 'I

can see myself doing that', then we have been successful."