Efforts at a local high school are showing an increase in student college, program or career readiness.

Counselors at Hartland High School say a number of changes have been made in recent years to promote post-secondary credential attainment. Among them are college application week, advisory committees and dual enrollment. At Monday’s Board of Education meeting, counselors presented some statistics regarding the progress made in encouraging a post-secondary path, whether that is apprenticeships, college, trade school or immediately entering the workforce.

The number of students that have successfully completed an application to some type of program during Hartland’s College Application week has grown 7% since 2015. The school has had presentations from 30 colleges, two community colleges, one private trade school and representatives from two unions.

At the end of last year, Hartland High School received a grant from the Michigan College Access Network to help fund initiatives that support a “college-going culture”. The Reach Higher System Impact Grant was used to launch a career and college ready class in January, as well as a preparatory component to help students in their college placement exams.

Initiatives like college decision day, the cash campaign and the “Life After High School” scholarship fund are the result of collaborations between staff, teachers and the counseling department. 77% of Hartland High School teachers responding to a survey said they’ve added or made changes to their curriculum to support the post-secondary initiative.

Superintendent Chuck Hughes says the school’s counseling department has a focus and vision for what to expose students to in order to help them make good decisions. Hughes says this sets Hartland apart as a district

Counselors say the final results are proof the combined efforts are making a difference, noting there’s been an increase in the number of students enrolled in a post-secondary program within six months of graduation, with the most recent numbers showing 81% of graduates in 2016. (DK)