FOLEY - National College Application Week was Nov. 4 - 8, but seniors (and all high schoolers) in Baldwin County are getting taught the importance of preparing for the future far more than just one designated week. Career Coach Morrell Baxter who works with Foley and Daphne High Schools calls the approach the “Three C’s Campaign,” comprised of Cash For College, National College Application Week, and College Signing Day.
“The Three C’s are a great opportunity for the whole faculty to come together and make a culture of supporting our kids to have a plan and to do something with their lives that means something,” Baxter said.
The first step, Cash For College, handles everything to do with FAFSA, with Baxter and the other career coaches visiting senior classes and helping the students create a FSA ID and explaining to process of FAFSA and how it could help with loans and grants for college. The schools also hold a FAFSA Night, inviting parents and seniors to come and learn all about the FAFSA process with the goal of the night to have every student complete and send their application. College reps join to assist students, and Baxter and the other career coaches are available to meet students individually if needed.
During National College Application Week, a number of colleges waive application fees for students to apply at no charge, and this year marks the first time that the Universities of Alabama and Auburn are on the list to waive their fees.
“I work with the counselors to get a plan made, and we call in every single senior from the high school and make sure they have something they’ve applied to,” Baxter said. “We don’t push four-year schools because that’s not the direct path to success anymore, we have a lot of kids that need two-year or certificate training to be successful.”
Afterwards the team records what student is applying to where and then follows up with students who didn’t apply or are looking to begin work at a job after graduation. A large event is held for these students where industry workers come to the school and talk to seniors about getting certified in different areas and on-job training opportunities.
Then in the spring comes College and Career Signing Day, where everything comes together.
“Here at Foley High we have a motto: Enroll. Enlist. Employ,” Baxter said. “That means that when you graduate from here, you either do one of the three things: you enroll in a college, you enlist in the military, or you employ yourself at a job. You don’t just go and not have a plan for the future, we encourage students to do one of these three things.”
As soon as students apply to either a college, the military, or a job program, they’re able to sign a large sign with their name and where they applied to. Coaches and counselors present them with stickers and pens stating they applied to give them a sense of accomplishment, Baxter said.
To view a scholarship page created by our local career coaches, visit https://baldwincountycareercoaches.weebly.com/scholarships.html.