DPS to create College Counseling Suites in every high school

Communication and Media Arts High School’s reality TV makeover to include district’s first counseling suite

Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542
Kisha Verdusco at 313-873-4546

When students at Communication and Media Arts High School return to classes this fall, they will have access to the district’s first College Counseling Suite, a room that will offer services to help them research, communicate with and gain acceptance to colleges.

CMA, 14471 Mansfield, is receiving a makeover this week from the new NBC reality show “School Pride.” Work on the school will wrap up on Saturday, making the school’s College Counseling Suite the first to be completed. The room will be unveiled to the public on Friday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony that begins at 9:30 a.m.

College Counseling Suites will be created at every DPS high school over the next few years, as part of the district’s plan to raise the college acceptance and matriculation rate among DPS graduates.

“I saw this concept at work earlier this year when I visited some of the highest-performing schools in the state, and I am proud to say that every single DPS high school will be getting one of these,” said DPS Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb. “The district’s five-year Academic Plan aims to ensure that every DPS graduate is prepared for college by 2015, and the College Counseling Suites take that plan one step further by ensuring every student has the necessary tools to get into the college of their choice.”

Every high school that will be built under the district’s $500.5 million Bond Construction Program already has a College Counseling Suite designed into the plans. Other schools will receive renovations or room redesigns to accommodate the suites.

Following the models used by successful private schools and others, specific counselors will be assigned solely to assist high school upperclassmen with preparation for and selection of collegiate and career options and maximizing scholarship/financial aid opportunities.

The Counseling Suites will be customized to fit each school, but all of them will share three characteristics:

– They will have counseling center for students, guidance counselors and college recruiters and representatives to meet in comfortable area. These rooms will be equipped with video conferencing capabilities, which will allow students to virtually visit any campus or talk to any college representative without leaving their school or taking costly college tours.

– Each Counseling Suite will be equipped with a research center that will allow students to conduct college searches. They will have computers, manuals, brochures and all the materials needed to make the select and apply to college.

– All of them will feature a seminar area, where students can take college entrance exams and attend workshops about topics such as financial aid or test-taking skills.

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