I came across this article that touches upon the very heart of what our high school students and recent graduates are dealing with as they maneuver through the vast opportunities that lie before them, yet for some reason it seems enough is not being done to help students make these very crucial decisions. This four part series that was posted by Global News touches on the following :
Failure to launch kids" Canadian students are not prepared for adulthood
Students are not ready to face the challenges of adulthood due to the lack of knowlege and the skills needed to carry out every day responsibilities (I do not mean attending classes at the post-secondary level - they have attained that skill over the past 12 years of K-12 school). Students can solve a complex math problem but may not know how to set up a bank account or do their tax return. Practical and theoretical knowledge need to be taught hand in hand. The bottom line, students have not figured out what they want to do after high school, we need to provide all the options - college, university, work, gap year for life experience, all of these avenues are viable options.
One size does not fit all, Canadian campuses need better mental health services
Students need to be heard and they need to know that they are not alone, saying you are OK when you really are not needs to be addressed. It is OK to not be OK and be able to say it out loud. Mental illness and suicide rates have increased drastically - this ties in with the demand for more counsellors to be available to help students when they are seeking guidance.
University is not better than college, then why is it getting all the glory
In my years of counselling high school students I give equal weight to both university and college. Colleges provide both hands on training alongside the theory with very positive results. Universities are beginning to understand the benefits of joint co-op programs that can be integrated with degree programs.
Canadian school counsellors are stretched thin, and it's our students that suffer
This final article deals with what school counsellors face on a daily basis within the high school and post-secondary settings. The question that comes to mind is how can we effectively, as counsellors, schools,and parents help the next generations be ready for adulthood? The age old question "What do you want to be when you grow up" needs to be refreshed, or asked in a different way, It is such a broad question with no real guidance for open communication. The answer is usually IDK (I don't know).
Global News (September 17, 24, October 1 and October 8)
Today I spent time putting together a bulletin board that is highlighting the upcoming Career Fair. But this is not just a design that just happens overnight for me, it takes time to plan, to create, to map out and then produce. Throughout the course of the day there was excitement and anticipation and such positive comments of bringing a huge concept into a small space. This is a very prominent bulletin board that will be viewed by all ages Kindergarten to age 99 because of the location. Everybody loves Dr. Seuss. This book touches on more than just the multitude of pathways in life, he talks about the challenges, the ups and downs, the bumps and valleys, the highs and the lows, the choices that we make - some good and some not so good. Everybody can relate no matter the age.
Looking for money to go to a post-secondary school is not easy. Sometimes where to start can be a very daunting task. As I speak with students, entrance scholarships are very straight forward - whether students qualify for them or not depends on their Grade 12 marks (sometimes even Grade 11 marks are included) but then there are those other scholarships - you know, the millions that are apparently out there but so hard to find. So recently I saw a Facebook post called Grant me Scholarships developed by a student looking for money to pay for her post secondary schooling, The website is called GrantMe. There are many different criteria for qualifying for scholarships, three most prominent ones are academics, leadership skills and volunteerism. Many other scholarships that could be pursued are ones that students or their families may be connected to (ie work, banks, involvement in sports or other extracurricular activities, just to name a few). Many times I have been told that there is a lot of scholarship money out there but no one to give it to. If you don't apply you won't know if you qualify. If you want to know more check out their blog
Graduation is a big deal. It is one of those moments when you walk across the stage to receive your diploma and say “I did it.” For some, academics come easy, for others it does not. It is hard work, I know. I was not very academic in high school but if I wanted to graduate I needed to have friends who didn’t judge me, but who were there to help me. And I found out that it takes hard work to graduate. We need those students who strive for the high marks! It took a long time to find out what was the best fit for me, but I am doing a job that I love that allows me to help students explore all the options available to them as their pursue goals after high school. We just don’t have universities, we have colleges and trades schools, and so much more- there is a place for everyone. So I want to say, “Congratulations to all students who received their high school diploma.”
The image is from https://standforthesilent.org