The mission of the Portage Area High School Guidance Office is to develop informed, self-directed, resourceful, and assertive students who will graduate within four years of entry and leave high school with clearly defined post-secondary plans. While doing so, we reach students on an emotional and individual level proportional to student needs to provide timely interventions and develop lasting relationships.
The Guidance Office serves many functions for high school students and their parents. Most commonly, students associate counselors with the creation of student schedules and the submission of college applications. However, counselors have many other responsibilities. Counselors are also called on to help students in personal crisis, facilitate mediations between students, consult with students on problem solving, and provide information and referral to services outside the school.
Counselors are different from social workers and psychologists because counselors receive specific training in career development and exploration. Although a small percentage of high school students have a strong interest in a specific career, most students are still exploring options. Many students will experience changes in career interest, or are interested in several different career areas. Counselors can help students identify some strengths and interests to explore. Counselors can help students find information about career options, education, salaries, etc., and can help students with investigating job shadow opportunities.
For most students, some sort of training or education after high school will be necessary to achieve career goals. A very high percentage of our graduating students enroll in either a 2 or 4 year college or university. Counselors can help students identify appropriate programs or schools, and are an essential part of the application process. The guidance office provides many opportunities for students to meet with representatives from post-secondary institutions.
Students may see the school counselor at any time just by stopping in the guidance office between classes. Parents are welcome to stop or call if they are in need of information or assistance.
Mary Ann George, Guidance Counselor Renee Bednarski, Guidance Secretary