Student’s futures are made clear

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By Delisa Russell

Counselor Michelle Calkins (right) showing Kelly Brautigam how she can transfer into a Cal-State University. (Carlos Castellanos)

By Delisa Russell

The counseling center here at Riverside City College is a resource fest for both prospective and attending students alike.

Many students are directed to the counseling center by other departments and programs early in the semester, others visited on their own.

If you are one of the many who have already visited and accessed the resources available within, then you already know about the career center where you can do career research and find out job details and salary information of many popular, and some not so popular, careers out there.

You already know about the transfer center where you can get information on pretty much any college or university worth attending.

You’ve met the helpful staff possibly even met with an academic counselor and developed an educational plan before scheduling your classes this semester.

For those of you who have yet to do so-meeting with an academic counselor and establishing an educational plan before scheduling classes can greatly increase your chances of success in college.

An educational plan is to a successful student as a blueprint is to a construction project.

Although not absolutely necessary to register for classes, a well thought out educational plan will put you on the path to taking the exact classes you need to succeed in the major of your choice.

Not sure about what you want to major in? The counseling department can help with that too.

Don’t expect a counselor to choose a major for you.

The counselors, although concerned with your ultimate success, don’t know your strengths and weaknesses and they work with what you present to them.

If you pull up a chair, sit down and say “I want to be a psychologist and I need a education plan,” the counselor will provide you with you educational blueprint and wish you the best of luck in your endeavor.

Sure, everyone who wants to be a psychologist isn’t cut out to be a psychologist but it isn’t the counselors’ job to swat you down from your big dream of being the next Dr. Phil.

That’s what family and friends are for!

The counselors won’t know in one session what your strengths and weaknesses are, they aren’t judging you by your appearance.

They won’t know if you’re really not sure what you want to be and that you were hoping they could pick something for you, preferably something earning six figures.

All they know at that point, in a one on one session, is that you want to be a psychologist and they are there to offer some guidance.

They can however provide you with some resources to help you “find yourself.” The key here is to be honest.

It’s okay to be undecided in your first semester of college, many students haven’t put their finger on it yet.

Counselor Mike Barnes recommends Guidance 47. A course that is a career exploration and life planning course offered every semester.

“I highly recommend Guidance 47. Outside career guidance counselors charge up to $2,000 dollars for the same kind of guidance that’s offered here on campus.” Barnes said.

If time is an issue and taking the course isn’t an option you can exercise, at least treat yourself to an inventory test.

Educational Adviser Clarissa Andrews strongly advises assessment and inventory testing.

“I recommend the Myers-Briggs and the Strong Inventory test,” Andrews said.

The Myers-Brigg is offered online and costs $14.

The Strong Inventory test is also offered online and costs $16.

“There are also two computer guidance software programs here in the Career Center that are offered free of charge,” Andrews said. “Eureka and Choices”

Taking an inventory test will help you define your strengths and weakness and even supply you with a long list of careers field that you could possibly dominate in.

The personal analysis you get from the tests can and should be considered before you decide and major and meet with a counselor for a college educational plan.

You won’t be disappointed.

Hours of operationMonday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.Tuesday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.Thursday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Phone numbers(951)222-8440

CounselorsPatricia AvilaMike BarnesEllen Brown-DrinkwaterEileen ColapintoArthur DassowJudy HaughGary JimenezKelly LoveridgeDaniel OrtegaRosa RamosMary RyderPatrick TitusElzabeth Yglecias

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