Parents of middle school and high school students often don’t realize that attending a career-technical school can be an advantage for college-bound students, says education consultant Beth Probst of At The Core, LLC.  “Attending a career center like Great Oaks in the Cincinnati area can provide experience, connections, professional credentials, college credit, and even a sense of purpose for students who plan to attend college,” she said, “But sometimes parents get focused on one single path for their kids.”

That realization prompted her to begin offering free coffee chats for parents in southwestern and central Ohio to discuss the paths available.  Probst, who works with families on college and career planning, is a believer in career-technical schools. “Like many parents, I had a perception of career centers from my own high school experience years ago. When I saw all that today’s career centers offer our high school students, I was blown away and knew that parents like me needed to understand the value to their college-bound kids.”

The informal discussions include information on potential educational and career options as well as how to maximize the high school experience to be prepared for college.

Five coffee chats, sponsored by Great Oaks Career Campuses and At The Core, are scheduled for southwest Ohio this fall.  The chats are for parents of 6th-10th graders living in Great Oaks—affiliated school districts.  They are:

Wednesday, September 25 from 7:00-8:30 pm at Anderson Center Station, 7850 Five Mile Road in Anderson Township.

Thursday, September 26 from 10:00 to 11:30 am at Anderson Center Station.

Monday, October 14 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at the Mason Public Library, 200 Reading Road in Mason.

Tuesday, October 15 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at Sinclair Community College/Mason, 5386 Courseview Drive.

Wednesday, October 16 from 10:00 to 11:30 am, Deerfield Township Building, 4900 Parkway Drive.

The events are free but seating is limited.  Registration is required at  For more information about Great Oaks, go to