University of Chicago Medicine Breast Cancer June 2022
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Pupil services help Argo students find career path

Daniel McCarthy, from the Pupil Personnel Services Department, was this month’s presenter at the Argo School Board’s monthly meeting this week.

Supt. Dr. Kevin O’Mara said the purpose of the department was to Òmake sure kids that have challenges can overcome those challenges.”

McCarthy, who is serving his 11th year at Argo, said he was asked most often, ÒWhere are the graduates going?”

He said that during their freshman year, the students are given the ACT Explore placement test. The test determines what kind of classes are best for each student: Honors, regular or studies levels. There is also a power point presentation for incoming freshmen and parents. Minimum requirements are explained.

Early in the fall, freshmen are interviewed to see what career path they may wish to pursue. This enables counselors to help students choose the right classes.

Late in their freshmen year, students are given a plan test and build toward the ACT college entrance exam.{{more}}

ÒWe are looking for 1.5 growth on the test every year,” said McCarthy.

During sophomore year, career cruising and career matchmaking sessions occur. This is given through a series of Òlike or dislike” questions. This helps students research career fields in which they may find interest.

Sophomores who reach higher achievement levels may take the PSAT. Students who score in the 90th percentile or higher are eligible for a National Merit Scholarship.

ÒWe have not had one (in the high percentile) in quite some time,” said McCarthy.

At the end of their sophomore year, students are measured for college readiness.

During their junior year, counselors meet with students individually.

ÒThis gives students the opportunity to branch out with electives,” he said.

There is also a college planning night and a two-day workshop.

ÒWe want to plant the seed,” said McCarthy.

The events include requirements for college admission, cost, campus visits and the application process. Students can determine which college to shoot for by major or career interests.

Senior year has an assembly and review. There is also a senior credit check to ensure seniors will meet graduation requirements.

ÒThere is one last shopping night,” with up to 50 visits from college sponsors, mostly from Illinois, he said.

Students can Òfollow up on their choices” after that.

A financial aid night is also held for students seeking FAFSA help.

ÒThis is a stumbling point for many students,” according to McCarthy.

A FAFSA representative is available for consultation twice each month at Argo.

In May, students can request their final transcripts and an exit survey is performed.

As an incentive to the students, two AMC movie tickets are given for each college application submitted. Students can also attain tickets by registering through Parchment, registering a FAFSA PIN during first semester or submitting a FAFSA request .

So far this school year, more than 100 sets of tickets have been given away.

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