College & Career Planning Timeline

Freshman year is critical in establishing a solid foundation for the remainder of high school. A student’s attitude, willingness to work hard, willingness to get involved in activities, and commitment to learning are all keys to success. The freshman year is a time when essential knowledge and skills are learned and developed and students explore their interests. Here are some things you can do to stay on track and to prepare you to be college and career ready.


  • Meet with your school counselor to discuss your interests and your future goals.
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities (both school and non-school sponsored). Make an effort to get involved with   groups, clubs, or teams that interest you. These activities are fun and make you a well-rounded student. Remember that colleges would rather see real involvement in one activity instead of a loose connection to several.
  • If you’re interested in playing sports in college, research the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility requirements. The NCAA requires completion of certain core courses; you can find the specifics at
  • Explore your strengths by taking the Strengths Explorer assessment through your Naviance Student account. Take time to examine and understand the results of the assessment.
  • Take a Career Interest Inventory through your Naviance Student account and begin to explore and research your possible career interests.
  • Set goals to improve your time management, study skills, and work completion.

Early Winter

  • Build a Four Year Plan and Choose Classes for your sophomore year schedule.
    • Use the Course Planner in Family Connection to help plan for your diploma requirements and build your sophomore schedule.
    • Take challenging and rigorous courses that will set you apart from others especially in math and science.
    • Make sure you know which high school courses are required by colleges, and that you’re taking the right classes as early as the ninth grade. You can ask your counselor about what those “right” classes are.
    • Get to know the levels of courses offered by your school.
    • Interested in a Career & Technical Education program? Apply to Area 31 Career Center for your junior year. Visit their webpage to get more details on their programs. You will need to be on track with your credits in order to be able to attend the Career Center for a half day.
    • There are many dual credit courses available for the senior year, plan ahead and take courses to prepare you to take advantage of free college credits!
  • Build your credentials by beginning to create your Resume in Naviance Student. Keep track of academic and extracurricular awards, community service achievements, and anything else you participate in, so it’ll be easier to remember later. It’ll come in handy when you want to highlight your accomplishments—such as when you’re filling out college applications or creating a resume.

Late Winter

  • Start learning about colleges and post-secondary schools that have the programs you are interested in. Use the college search tools in Naviance Student to check out possible matches for your interests. View college profiles and their websites. You may even want to start a list of colleges that might interest you.


  • Set goals to increase your GPA and work hard in your classes, colleges & post-secondary schools are encouraged by upward trends in grades, GPA, and standardized testing scores.
  • Use National Scholarship Search sites such as FastwebCollege Board’s Big FutureChegg or UNIGO or the Scholarship Search tool in Naviance Student to become familiar with the types of requirements and criteria associated with scholarships so you can begin to log the kinds of experiences you need to qualify for scholarships.
  • Social media posts –  be careful about the digital footprint you create in cyberspace when you make posts to sites such as Instagram and SnapChat. Colleges, universities, and prospective employers look at the web to examine the social media sites to see the profile left behind by students’ activity on the internet.


  • Make summer count. There are plenty of ways to have fun and build your credentials during the summer, such as volunteering, getting a job, or signing up for an enrichment program.