Life 101: Beyond High School 2012 by Joanne Barnard
Welcome class of 2013 to Life 101 – a series of ten articles that takes the otherwise daunting task of preparing for life after high school, and breaks it down in to a monthly “to do” list. For this month find out where you stand now.
Regardless of what your plans are after high school, get a current copy of your “Report of Graduation Requirements” and your transcript. The report lists the classes you have taken grouped by required departments: Math, English, etc., along with the credits you still need in order to graduate.
Your transcript is organized by year, has the classes you have taken, and the grade received for each. Also listed are your test scores for CSAP, ACT, SAT, etc. Down the road when you apply to college or vocational, school this document is sent directly from the high school. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a copy on hand for your own eyes. Both of these documents can be obtained through your school.
Once obtained, check these documents for accuracy. Meet with your school counselor to insure you are on track for graduation, and how you compare to admissions requirements for your next school. Keep in mind that just having the minimum may not get you accepted. The caliber of classes, and the rigor of your schedule will be what an admissions department considers, including extra curricular activities and job experience.
There is still time to beef up your transcript. Take that extra math or advanced class. Having a full load during your senior year will enhance your college application, and can keep you equipped for college. Advanced Placement (AP) classes are more demanding, like a college course, and are given more weight when calculating grade point average (GPA). Depending on your score on the corresponding exam, you can earn college credit.
Speaking of college credit, if there is a course you would like to take and you have exhausted options at Lyons, consider the Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO). Through PSEO you can have college courses reimbursed by the district. Go to counseling.stvrain.k12.co.us for more information.
COLLEGE NOT YOUR CUP OF TEA?
The Career Development Center (CDC) offers courses in a variety of subjects. Visit their website at cdc.stvrain.k12.co.us. Even if you plan to go directly into the workforce, a business or accounting class could help you move up the ladder and be more efficient with the money you earn.
Seniors, you are the ones with the most at stake, and only you can direct your future. Evaluate where you are, weigh your options, and put into action those things that will complete your graduation requirements and enhance your transcript.
Upcoming series topics: building a resume; choosing and applying to post-secondary education; scholarships; financial aid and more.
Parents often wonder what they can do to help. Along with each Life 101 article there will be some tips for the parents.
• Pay for your child to take the SAT/ACT test at sat.collegeboard.org and actstudent.org respectively
• Encourage your child to pick up their ‘Report of Graduation Requirements’ and transcript
• Go over the above documents with your child, checking for accuracy and understanding
• Take your high school senior to a college fair. (collegefairsdenver.org)