Career Coach Helps Students Get Their Future on Track

Jennifer Shaw was recently hired as the career coach for Southside High School. The career coach position is a partnership between the Southside school district and the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville.
Shaw will be employed by UACCB but will spend most of her time on the Southside campus. She will help students succeed in their junior high and high school academic track, as well as prepare them for the next step after receiving their diploma. Shaw, who interned at Southside last fall for her undergraduate degree, is pleased to begin working with students and helping them “find their life stories.”
“It’s important we help students get a step ahead by providing more opportunities to them,” Shaw said. “I am extremely excited to be here.”
The career coach position is funded by a grant designed to provide career coaches to school districts, and Shaw will work with students in the eighth-12th grades working directly with Southside High School Counselor Lisa Rich. Shaw’s duties will extend from helping seniors submit college applications to locating scholarships and even, according to Shaw, “providing support to students who may not receive academic support at home.”
“My goal is to remove any barriers that students may have so they can go to college or a vocational school,” Shaw said.
Goals for the career coach are to increase financial aid applications by students; increase the college going rate of graduating students; increase graduation rate; increase Smart Core enrollment; and reduce course remediation.
Shaw hopes to enroll more students in Smart Core, which begins in the eighth and ninth grades to put students on a course track to better prepare them for college curriculum.
Shaw is ready to start counseling students in the upcoming school year. “This is a great way to improve our community,” she said.