Local students make post-high school plans

Krystle Wagner • Nov 4, 2015 at 9:45 AM

During the week, time is set aside to give seniors the chance to apply to colleges or indicate they will join the military after high school.

As of Friday morning, about 87 percent of Grand Haven’s 383 seniors had confirmed they had a plan beyond high school.

As of Thursday morning, about 78 percent of Spring Lake’s 190 seniors had a plan confirmed, and that number was expected to grow on Friday.

Tri-Cities College Access Network College adviser Jana Reenders said she’s impressed with both schools.

“It’s exciting to see the amount of kids who really understand the importance of getting their applications in and have a plan,” she said.

According to the Michigan College Access Network, about 40 percent of Michigan high schools participate in the annual week. This year’s focus has shifted from “applied” to “Do you have a plan?”

Grand Haven seniors Nate Todd and Jillian Davis said the weeklong effort helped them navigate the application process and what it entailed.

Todd, 17, said he plans on attending either Northern Michigan University or Western Michigan University to study marketing or entrepreneurial business.

Davis, also 17, said her current plans will take her out of state to study nursing.

Throughout the week, Spring Lake teachers decorated their class doors to showcase their alma maters as a way to start discussions about post-secondary plans.

Spring Lake High School counselor John Coughenour said hearing students’ plans is encouraging.

“Sometimes the knock against teens is sometimes they’re not being proactive,” he said. “They don’t have a sense of direction, they’re too dependent on mom and dad, they’re not developing a sense of independence. As much as sometimes I think that’s true, I tend to get the idea lots and lots of kids aren’t that negative stereotype. They really are taking charge and making decisions about themselves.”

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