ROTTERDAM: Door always open at guidance office

At certain points in one's high school career, no one is more important than a guidance counselor. It is for this reason that the guidance office at Mohonasen High School is always busy.

Guidance counselors are responsible for collecting and mailing college applications, making schedules, and the overall personal growth of each of the 1,150 students at Mohonasen High School.

The college application process is often a dreaded one for many students and parents, and counselors at Mohonasen's guidance office try to ease the pressure in many ways.

Rebecca Pauley, dean of guidance for Mohonasen High School, said the guidance office holds an information night in the winter for parents of juniors. A financial planner comes to the school in late fall to talk to parents about saving for college, and an information night about applying for federal financial aid is held in the winter. The school hosts a college fair, featuring local institutions, and college representatives come to the school nearly every day in the fall.

Mohonasen school board member Eileen French has already had two children go through the college process at the school. She said she couldn't have been happier with the guidance department.

I had a very positive experience working with the guidance office while my children were planning for college. The department is very good at making recommendations and paying attention to the kids, French said.

The guidance office requires seniors to hand in college applications by Nov. 1, and most are sent out by Thanksgiving. According to Pauley, about 88 percent of Mohonasen seniors go on to a mix of two- and four-year colleges. Nearly 90 percent of the students go on to some form of higher education, including trade schools.

Pauley said in addition to the occasional application trickling in for the Jan. 15 deadline, the guidance office is now beginning to prepare juniors and underclassmen for the college planning process.

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