March 10 2024

Congrats to CCR coordinator Katie Hanson for Capella University graduate scholarship




Katie Hanson at South High School

Katie Hanson came to Achieve Twin Cities eight years ago with a commitment to ensuring that all young people have the opportunities and tools they need to reach their career and life goals. Now she’s enhancing her experience and skills through a master’s degree and license in school counseling, which will equip her to provide even greater support to South High School students as the school’s Career & College Center co-coordinator.

Katie recently received a full-tuition Capella University Fellows Program Scholarship for her graduate studies, which is offered through community-based organizations to people who believe in giving back and changing lives. Her attention-getting application was submitted along with glowing recommendations from Achieve CEO Danielle Grant and career and college readiness director Caitlyn Cole.

“Getting this scholarship was a big deal for me and solidifies what I want to do,” Katie says. “I couldn’t pursue my school counseling license without it because I can’t go into debt. It will also allow me to focus on studies that help me incorporate more social-emotional learning into my postsecondary exploration and discovery work with students, with a unique counseling lens.

On an average day Katie serves 20-30 South students in grades 9-12, most of them seniors. Students come into the center to explore career and college options, do their homework and relax during free periods. From helping students apply to Ivy League schools to filling out job applications for positions as line workers, each day is different, and Katie likes that. She also loves building her students’ confidence. “Young people lost a lot of confidence in their skills during Covid and online learning. Now it’s great to see them starting to get this back as they make plans for the future.”

Katie is always thinking about how she can better serve her students, especially those who face additional barriers. “There is a lot of racial and economic disparity in college attainment in Minnesota and we also have one of the worst counselor-to-student ratios in the country. I feel like I can have a greater impact at South with a master’s degree and license in school counseling, and the time is now.”

With one to two graduate classes per quarter, the journey to Katie’s advanced degree will take three years, including practicum and internships “I’m happy to take this on,” she says. “I love my student-facing career and helping young people get where they want to go after high school. Our students are so much fun. They say hilarious things and they’re such good friends to one another. I like helping them figure out where they want to go and go for it – so I’m excited to bring everything I’m learning back to South.”

Congratulations on your Capella scholarship, Katie – and thank you for your long-time dedication to South students!

Learn more about Katie on her staff page.