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College & Career Readiness Checklist

Freshman Year

Continue ALL of these steps through senior year

FALL/WINTER/ SPRING:
  • Meet with your counselor early to make an Educational Plan and look at opportunities to take more challenging classes
  • Get involved with groups, clubs and organizations with leadership opportunities
  • Keep a running list of accomplishments, awards and recognitions on a resume (look for resume resources in Naviance)
  • Practice good study skills and get help if needed in areas such as reading, organization, note-taking and test preparation
  • Start exploring interests and talents that you have through elective classes, hobbies and other interests to see how they relate to various career and college opportunities
  • Register for classes that help build knowledge and skills in areas of interest.
  • Work hard to keep up good grades as GPA and Class Rank can impact your college opportunities in the future. 
  • Watch for and attend college and career speakers in the career center throughout the year
  • Explore and use MCIS to start tracking careers and colleges you are interested in

Sophomore Year

FALL:
  • Attend the college fair to start getting ideas for college opportunities that interest you
  • Take PSAT (optional)- 10th graders can take the PSAT to prep for Junior year when you are eligible for the National Merit Scholarship by scoring well on the PSAT
  • Take the Pre-ACT test - practice ACT
WINTER/SPRING: 
  • Start visiting college campuses
  • Look into NCAA requirements and register with them if you plan to play sports in college as this may affect coursework that needs to be taken. 
  • Talk with upperclassmen about their college application processes and look for any advice they may have
  • Consider job shadowing someone in a field that interests you
  • Registration: Look into challenging college level coursework including College in the Schools (CIS) program, Advanced Placement (AP),  Articulated College Credit (ACC) and more for your Junior year
  • Attend the college tours: research which questions to ask ahead of time

Junior Year

Focus on keeping grades up junior and senior year grades are important to many colleges

FALL: 
  • Attend the Fall college fair hosted by the career center in the SFHS gym that has over 80 colleges present to get information from
  • Continue college tours. Look into MEA weekend activities for interested students at MN schools
  • Start looking at application requirements for programs of interest
  • Research funding options for college such as scholarships, grants and loans
  • Research application requirements and deadlines for top choice schools and programs
WINTER/SPRING: 
  • Take the ACT
  • Look into challenging college level coursework including College in the Schools (CIS) program, Advanced Placement (AP),  Articulated College Credit (ACC) and more for your Senior year
  • Apply for summer jobs or internships to gain work experience and start saving money for college
  • Add any new jobs and/or experiences to your resume
  • Participate in mock interviews to practice interview skills
  • Take the ASVAB if you are interested in any branch of the military or are looking for an in depth interests/career assessment

Senior Year

Double check Futures Prep Requirements to assure all tasks are being completed before graduation

SUMMER BEFORE:
  • Register in August for the ACT if you choose to retake the test at www.actstudent.org
  • Continue college tours/visits as well as revisit colleges you are most interesting in attending
FALL:
  • Attend the college fair to get another chance to ask questions to top schools or to continue looking for a program of interest
  • Attend Senior Day and/meet with your counselor to assure that all graduation requirements are being met
  • Attend financial aid night
  • Narrow down top college and/or program choices and get applications in by the deadlines set by each school
  • Submit scholarship/grant applications by deadlines
  • Request transcripts through Parchment
  • Request letters of recommendations (minimum of two weeks prior to due date)
WINTER/SPRING:
  • Participate in mock interviews to practice interview skills
  • May 1 is National Decision Day for colleges
    • Accept an offer that works best for your goals. Consider financial aid packages, courses offered, student living and commute time, etc.

Set goals for each year school year and trimester. Motivate yourself even when you feel overwhelmed to the point of giving up.