College and Career Center lacks student usage

For many high school students, the idea of life after senior year is intimidating and stressful. San Marin has a College and Career Center (CCC) to help make this transition smoother. However, only approximately 12 percent of the senior class, according to Barbara Hernandez, visits the College and Career Center on a regular basis.

Senior Leah Coale has frequented the College and Career Center throughout her four years at San Marin. Coale has had the opportunity to volunteer at the Novato Community Hospital with the help of the CCC. However, she understands why some students may be hesitant to check it out.

“Students may be apprehensive to visit it because it is a scary thought,” Coale said. “This is their future, and if they get an internship, it is becoming more real.” CCC Specialist Barbara Hernandez helps students find academic and extra-curricular opportunities. Hernandez explained that because of the move of her office from the front office to the library, it is difficult for her to get her messages across to the school population.

“When students talk to me about anything, I get a sense of who they are,” Hernandez said. “Then if an opportunity arises that I think they might be interested in, I can make sure they know about it.”
Naviance is a college and career readiness website that provides students with tools to help them with future planning. Despite its availability to students, Hernandez said that
few students utilize the website. In the fall of 2017, the Novato Unified School District implemented a mandatory college and career readiness course for all freshman
students. The course focuses on the development of ten-year plans, as well as an introduction to the school’s CCC. However, many students still do not visit the center until they need recommendation letters and formal transcripts. Sophomore Parker Orth
said that he knows nothing about the CCC and does not plan on exploring it until his
senior year. Upperclassmen advise underclassmen to investigate it earlier.

“The sooner, the better,” Coale said. “It helps to not wait until the last minute to achieve
the 40 community service hours needed to graduate.”

Although Hernandez wishes that students would utilize the college and career resources more frequently, she understands that not everyone chooses the same post-high school path.

“Personally, I feel students have been in school for at least 13 years, taking a break
or taking some time to decide what direction you want to go is okay,” Hernandez said.
“From my point of view, students don’t take enough time figuring out their learning
styles or career choices.”

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