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Decision ’17: College guidance for KHS students

April 18, 2017
Decision ’17: College guidance for KHS students
By Noelle H. Lowery 

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.
As the universal college acceptance date — May 1 — looms, some 35 Kodiak High School students will head to Kodiak College on April 19 for a day filled with information, tours and guidance to help them make some very important educational decisions. For juniors, it is about exploring dual-enrollment courses and seeing what Kodiak College might have to offer them. For seniors, especially those who have applied and been accepted to Kodiak College or another University of Alaska campus, it is about making that last and best decision of their high school career.
Welcome to “Decision ’17.”
“This event is all about having as much information as possible to make a decision that will effect the rest of a student's life,” explains Corrisa Heyes, a college and career counselor at KHS. “We are not here to push any specific agenda, but we know the power that education — career training, certification, licensing, degree attainment, etc. — can have when looking for a job. Our students are smart, and they are fully capable of making great choices. We want them to have as much information as possible about the opportunities that are out there for them.”
This is the third year that Kodiak College and KHS have teamed up on a Decision ‘XX event. According to Heyes, the first event — Decision ’15 — was headed up by Barry Altenhof, who lead the planning team and worked closely with Kodiak College. That event was held in the early fall and approximately half of the senior class attended.
The last two events, Decision '16 and ’17, were scheduled for the late spring semester and targeted mostly seniors that have not yet made a decision or intend to attend a UA school, as well as forward-thinking juniors.
Heyes has worked with the Kodiak College team of Barb Brown and Robyn Callahan to organize and circulate the word about Decision ’17. Heading up this year’s event, Brown is the academic adviser at Kodiak College, and Callahan serves as the school’s registrar. The three women along with Kodiak College’s Financial Aid Coordinator Nancy Castro will carry the students through the day, speaking to them about the importance of their decision, what it takes to succeed in college, and how the admissions, registration and financial aid processes work.
Heyes believes Kodiak College and the “Decision ‘XX” events serve as strong resources for KHS students regardless of where they will eventually attend college. “A senior that still has not made a decision regarding their plans for next year would benefit from the decision-making activities and the introduction to an academic adviser as well as a little more information on what all the 'college-y' words mean,” she says. “More information is always better when trying to make a tough decision.”
Adds Heyes: “For juniors that are just starting to look at their options, having a general overview of the process tailored to their level of involvement will make their college/other postsecondary education search easier. It will also give them names and faces of knowledgeable people that they can reach out to with questions.”
To be sure, this event is a wonderful opportunity to get students on a college campus, give them a feel for the varying level of student support services available, and demonstrate the important community resource KHS students have in Kodiak College, especially if they are interested in attending a school in the University of Alaska system.
“Kodiak College, as a community campus of the University of Alaska Anchorage, is in an excellent position to help students with any issues they have with applying/registering/etc. to any school within the UA system,” notes Heyes. “Their expertise transfers well to questions about other schools that a student may be considering. Juniors and Seniors can both benefit from learning more about college-specific processes that will apply no matter where they end up going to school.”