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Higher Education Support

Higher Education Support Specialists

Higher Education Support Specialists work with recent MHS graduates as they pursue postsecondary education. Through regular communication and visits to the graduates’ college campuses, they provide academic, financial, and personal advisement.

  • Graduates are expected to communicate monthly with their Higher Education Support Specialist through text, phone calls and/or email & attend college visits.
  • Specialists serve as an advocate to graduates throughout their postsecondary journey. Regular communication between graduates and specialists ensures meaningful guidance, direction and support.

The specialists also work closely with CES staff and higher education partners at postsecondary institutions to promote graduates’ educational success.

At the end of each term the Higher Education Support Specialists review all graduates’ college transcripts to ensure CES standards and progress towards degree completion.

Who is My Higher Education Support Specialist?

Higher Education Support Specialists visit college campuses within a 3.5-hour radius of Milton Hershey School that have a high number of MHS graduates attending.

There are three Higher Education Support Specialists who cover the following territories:

Shelly Wessner:

4-year institutions (West)

Unique Patterson:

4-year institutions (East)

Ashley Smith:

All community colleges, technical institutions, culinary and certificate programs


The Pennsylvania and U.S. maps below show each specialist’s coverage area for 4-year institutions.

n West
n East

Recommended Higher Education Institutions

Milton Hershey School is currently developing partnership agreements with select higher education institutions in order to improve college persistence and degree completion among our graduates. These schools often offer the following personalized support to students:

  • Dedicated faculty/staff members specifically for MHS graduates
  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
  • First-generation student programs
  • Campus employment

We encourage graduates to consider these institutions when developing or changing their GPS Plan.


Contact GPS

The College and Career Readiness and Support Department helps students and alumni on their postsecondary journey before and after graduation.


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