The Poland Seminary High School guidance office is gearing up for 2012 by providing two events that will help students entering and graduating high school.
The first event is freshmen orientation, which has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2 in the high school auditorium. This meeting is for all Poland eighth-graders who are about to enter their first year of high school.
According to guidance counselor Judy Volosin, students entering high school need to be introduced to the vast array of courses available, then make the right choice for their own career path.
"In middle school there is not a lot of choice," Volosin said. "High school has different levels and choices plus foreign language options. The first three years of high school is key to shaping a career path."
She said most career paths have to include further education these days and students have to start thinking about college as soon as possible.
"It is hard to do anything today without advanced education," Volosin said.
At Poland, the rate of graduates heading on to college has always been on the high end. Last year, 90 percent of graduates went on to college, two percent attended a technical or trade school, .5 percent went into the military and 7.5 percent were undecided or faced other situations.
Volosin said Poland still individualizes a student's course selection. In fact, she said her office goes to the middle school and meets one-on-one with every student.
"When they get to high school, they are prepared," she said.
One thing she always recommends is for students to take the most difficult classes they can.
"Some make it, some don't," she said. "We have kids that take more basic courses if they struggle, then later move into college prep courses."
Among some of the topics that will be presented at orientation are an explanation of the registration process, a review of graduation requirements, explanation of course levels, college entrance requirements, athletic participation requirements, and the high school graduation test.
"It is important to attend so that students can receive this information," Volosin said.
While the orientation will help those entering high school, on Wednesday Jan. 18, the guidance office will host a financial aid workshop geared to the parents of graduating seniors. The event will be held at the high school cafeteria at 7 p.m.
Volosin said all students have a chance for a college education today. She said there are several types of aid available depending on the student and family needs. She said scholarships are the funds that don't have to be paid back. Grants are often based on needs and loans are always available.
"We want to try to minimize the loans," Volosin said.
She also pointed out athletic schoolarships, which can be a good thing once the student has been qualified by the NCAA. She said when is comes to sports scholarships, there are a lot of hoops students have to jump through to qualify. The rules have to be met in order to be in line for one.
To inform parents of what it will take to get their son or daughter into a good college situation, Volosin said a special guest speaker has been invited to speak at the meeting. Besides Rob Sainato and Volosin, Gina McHenry from YSU's Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship will be on hand to help cover the financial aid issues and to prepare Poland seniors for the next step in their life.
Volosin said the two meeting really does cover high school students from start to finish.