Staff Profile: Michelle Kuhl

Drew ScottRussell, Staff Reporter

For years, HHS students have lacked comprehensive guidance on the complex process of obtaining a postsecondary education. In March, Dr. Michelle Kuhl started her new job at HHS as a College and Career Readiness Coordinator, and she is ready to address these issues.

Kuhl graduated from Eden Prairie High School and went to the University of Tennessee-Knoxville for her bachelor’s degree in Academic Psychology. She subsequently went on to get her M.A. in Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology from the University of Minnesota, as well as her doctorate in Educational Policy and Administration.

Students who receive personalized information and plans from their counselors or coordinators are more likely to apply for financial aid, attend college, and enroll in degree programs. Kuhl’s new position precisely accomplishes this.

According to the NACAC, “Juniors who talked one-on-one with a school counselor were: 6.8 times more likely to complete a FAFSA. 3.2 times more likely to attend college; and. two times more likely to attend a bachelor’s degree program.” 

“In my role as the college and career readiness coordinator, I am responsible for two major things: one, meeting with students to develop plans for life after high school, and two, work with teachers, staff, administrators, and students to develop a better structure to integrate post-high school planning into your academics while here at HHS,” Kuhl said. “Currently, my position is part-time, but I will be full-time in Fall 2022.” 

Acceptance into college is not the end-all-be-all of career preparedness. Students who have chosen to take pathways other than the linear one also require help. 

“Life will happen, so why not be prepared for it,” Kuhl said. “Attending college, learning a trade, enlisting in the military, or taking a structured gap does not happen accidentally. Students must prepare for what comes next, and here at Hopkins, we are invested in making sure scholars and parents have the information they need to make the best decision for themselves.”

Even with help, many students are still stressed out about deciding what to do during high school and when to do it. Students are concerned about obtaining internships, volunteer work, employment, clubs, and leadership roles, to name a few.

“This work needs to be well integrated into what you are already doing so that it does not become a burden or something that completely stresses you out,” Kuhl said. “By starting early and doing a little at a time, you can be ready.”

If you need help with college or career planning, you can reach Dr. Kuhl at [email protected] or in her office at W152.