McDonald County High School chosen for post-secondary counseling initiative

ANDERSON – McDonald County High School has been selected as one of 40 schools in the state to participate in a counseling program as part of a post-secondary counseling initiative.

The school will start the program in January 2022, the start of the second semester of the 2021/2022 school year. Ken Schutten, the district’s communications and media specialist, said the program was founded by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in partnership with the rootEd Alliance.

The three-year initiative, which is funded by Federal Covid Assistance Dollars, aims to ensure that all high school students have a counselor exclusively dedicated to helping them succeed after graduation. diploma, ”said Schutten.

Schutten added that the program targets students in rural communities with the hope that more students will begin and complete college education or other post-secondary goals.

Michael Shaddox, an advisor at MCHS, said the program will help rural students make the transition to college or a career after high school.

“This is an initiative that aims to help students in rural communities, the elderly and any student prepare for the post-secondary transition, whether it is a transition to the job market, college, trades school or the military, ”Shaddox said.

Shaddox said that a counselor will start working at the school in January and that counselor’s sole focus will be to seek out students, especially seniors, to educate them and help them achieve their post-secondary goals.

Shaddox said having a counselor at MCHS to work only on post-secondary goals allows current counselors in the school to get rid of certain tasks and prioritize other school and student goals.

“There are so many things that we are tasked with doing in our office,” Shaddox said. “This person, their role is pretty well defined, that’s what they focus on. They won’t be a class advisor like what we do.”

Angie Brewer, principal of McDonald County High School, applied for the grant for the program. Brewer said she believed MCHS was chosen for the program because of MCHS’s location in a rural area, the diverse student body and the high poverty rates in the county.

Brewer said she was excited to participate in the program because she believes the goals reflect her own goals for the study organization.

“It reflects my goals, so I was excited about it,” Brewer said. “Whatever the students want to do, continue beyond high school, this aims to show them this path. Whether it’s going to a four-year college, two-year college, technical school, or the right to work in a skilled workforce. “

Brewer said some changes she hopes to see once the program is implemented include larger partnerships with local businesses, more college trips, more student workshops, apprenticeships and internships.

“I’m so excited for this program,” Brewer said. “Like I said, my goal is for our high school students to leave here prepared for whatever their future looks like, whatever is best for them.”

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