Sophomore Year

You’re Ready To Sharpen Your Focus

Check out this site for a fun and informative checklist into how to kick-start your college and career plans: http://www.knowhow2go.org/.  You might also have seen these next two site under “Step One: Explore My Options — Additional Skills Assessments & Career Searches,” but if not, now’s the time to explore them:

My Next Move
Partnered with the US Department of Labor,  My Next Move is an easy to navigate site.  You can approach your career search by key words, industry groups, or by your interest and abilities.

MyPath Careers
MyPath Careers is a totally relevant (and a little irreverent!) website geared to Oregon teens, where you can explore careers, to education and training, and learn about job opportunities.  It’s  interactive,  integrated  and hooks-up directly with everyone: • explore 250+ career profiles by interest, salary, education and industry • view 450+ videos and photo diaries of real people talking about their work and giving advice • learn about required experience and education and where to go to school • use links to Career Pathways Roadmaps for Oregon Community College programs • find additional resources for financial aid, mentoring, internships and more.

And now… for your month-by-month plan:

This is your year to concentrate on academic preparation and continue to develop basic skills and co-curricular interests.  (That’s a fancy-pantsy way of saying you’ll want to stay strong academically  AND develop skills through clubs, volunteering, and other outside-of-school opportunities and experiences.)

September

  • Be sure to take NCAA-approved courses if you want to play sports in college.
  • Start the year out strong academically.  If you haven’t already done so, develop study habits that make passing your proficiencies easier: take notes during class and review them before the class meets again (click here for ideas about how to take notes that work for YOU), read and re-read course materials, ask your teacher for help if you don’t understand something, take advantage of after and in-school tutoring, form study groups, and get in the habit of doing at least one thing each night to prepare for your classes the next school day.  If you need help, seek it out before things feel overwhelming.
  • If you haven’t already done so, sign up for Instant Email Notifications to stay up to date with the most current news.  (Type your email in the box at the top right-hand side of this website’s Home page and click “Subscribe”.  Then watch your email for the confirmation link, and click back to verify you want to receive C&CC messages.)

October

  • All Willamette High School sophomores take a career and skills assessment in October.  This preliminary standardized test gives you some preparation for the ACT college entrance exam, as well as help you identify areas in which you excel and subject areas which you might want to strengthen.  There is also feedback about careers which might match your interests and abilities.   You can practice for this assessment here.
  • Sign up, if you have not done so already, for co-curricular activities that interest you. The level of involvement and accomplishment is most important, not the number of activities.
  • Keep a record of your co-curricular involvement, volunteer work, and employment (all year).
  • Attend the Willamette Valley PNACAC College Fair.

November

  • Make sure you are “on top” of your academic work. If necessary, meet with your teacher for additional help.
  • Save your best work in academic courses and the arts for your academic portfolio (all year).
  • Attend the National College Fair, held in Portland in November or December.

December

  • Receive results of October ACT assessment. Read materials sent with your score report. Consult your guidance counselor to explore ways to improve on future standardized tests and courses to discuss which may be required or beneficial for your post-high school plans.

January

  • Keep studying!
  • Volunteer-a great way to identify your interests and to develop skills.

February

  • It is never too early to start researching colleges and universities. Visit your guidance office to browse through literature and guidebooks or surf the Web and check out college and university home pages.

March

  • Check out some of the many on-line resources to help you in the college admission and financial aid processes.  There are many linked from this website, and you can get more information from Mrs. W in the C&CC.

April

  • You might want to register for June SAT Subject Test. These are one-hour exams testing you on academic subjects that you have already completed. Among the many to choose from are biology, chemistry, foreign languages and physics. Many colleges require or recommend one or more of the SAT Subject Tests for admission or placement. You can take SAT Subject Tests when you have successfully completed the corresponding course in high school study (B+ average or better). Talk to your teachers and counselor about which tests to take.
  • See Mrs. W with college and career questions.
  • Continue to research career options and consider possible college majors that will help you achieve your career goals.

May

  • Plan now for wise use of your summer. Consider taking a summer course or participating in a special program (e.g., for prospective engineers or journalists or for those interested in theater or music) at a local college or community college. Consider working or volunteering.
  • There is a notebook of Summer Opportunities, and you will have gotten info about many others if you are signed up to receive instant email notifications from the C&CC website.

June

  • Take the SAT Subject Tests that you registered for in April.
  • If you work, save some of your earnings for college.

July

  • During the summer, you may want to sign up for a PSAT/SAT prep course, use computer software, or do the practice tests in books designed to familiarize you with standardized tests.
  • Continue to visit college campuses, so you can get an idea of what you might want to study, and what kind of a school will feel most comfortable to you.

August

  • Make your summer productive. Continue reading to increase your vocabulary.

Adapted from NACAC’s PACT Guide, 2000. Revised Online Only: March 2005

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