New coffee with counselors explores the non-university route


Remi Williams

Coffee with the counselors is a monthly meeting to give parents and students another way to stay informed.

Vidula Pandian, Guest Contributor

Although about 66.2 percent of high school students apply to and enroll in college during their senior year, some don’t end up taking that same path to university

The Coffee With Counselors’ Zoom meeting on Thursday at 8 a.m. will take a deeper look into careers and alternatives to a traditional college. The link will be sent out a day before the meeting and will require a RSVP

“The traditional college path is a student graduating high school and attending a four year college or university,” College and Career Counselor Shawna Chamberlin said via email. “The non-university path is a great option for students not interested in going directly to a university after high school. There have been many requests to offer a [meeting] that focuses on other educational and work opportunities not specific to a bachelor’s degree.”

Career and Technical Education Center counselor Stacy Purl agrees with the importance of exploring alternative routes after high school.

“Your career path should drive your post-high school pursuits. Many careers require specialized training and certifications in place of a traditional 4-year degree,” Purl said via email. “Typically there is still schooling involved, but it may be structured differently. At the Collin Technical Campus, there are career pathways that place the certification courses on the front end so students can start working in the field while they are finishing their schooling.”

The difference between jobs and careers will be discussed, as well as possible advantages of joining the military, affordability, and the degrees usually offered in community colleges.

“We [also] encourage FISD students to take advantage of resources like Xello on the student portal to help them learn more about themselves and what would be a good fit for their personality,” Purl said via email. “FISD offers over 30 career pathways through CTE courses and the Collin Technical Campus, [allowing] students to gain exposure to careers before they finish high school. In many cases, they are able to obtain industry certifications.”

The idea of non-university pathways as supplements or backup plans in case something falls through is important according to junior Sreya Das. 

“I believe getting the highest education is always the best because it introduces you to new platforms,” Das said via text. “However, life doesn’t always go as planned so it is important to explore other pathways.”