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High School College Career Readiness

  • Take your high school schedule to the next level…take the plunge!

    Take available advanced courses.

    Colleges look at your grades, but they also pay

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    attention to how tough your courses are—they want to see that you've challenged yourself. Showing that you're willing to push yourself by taking rigorous classes in  high school can help when you're applying to college. In fact, the level of courses you take now is one of the first things colleges look at.  Also, if you take college level courses, such as AP or Dual credit classes, you may be able to earn college  credit. 


    animated stick figure holding check signTaking challenging classes in high school is a great way to build new skills. And it will serve you well when you get to college, because you’ll be more prepared for the work.  College-level courses can help you learn the skills and habits you'll need for success in college and beyond.


    They will allow you to develop:

    • Stronger writing skills

    • Problem-solving abilities

    • Time-management skills

    • Discipline

    • Good study habits

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    Advanced Placement

    The College Board’s  AP Program   offers college-level classes that help students develop and apply skills  such as reading critically, solving problems analytically and writing clearly.   Courses like these can introduce you to topics and ideas that are not covered in the regular classroom. For example, AP courses include Chinese Language and Culture, Environmental Science, and Psychology. This range of subjects allows you to explore your interests and develop new passions. You may even discover the subject that will become your college major or the  focus of your career.

    Dual Credit

    Dual credit is a program that allows high school students to begin their college education prior to graduation.  Students enroll in a college course and simultaneously earn college credit and high school credit for the course. 

    College courses offered for dual credit may be taught at the college campus or the high school campus by credentialed instructors; that must be qualified according to criteria established by the  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools . Courses offered for dual credit include the same content and rigor as courses taught to other college students, utilizing the same instructors, curriculum and policies. Grades for dual credit courses are entered on a student's high school and college transcript. 

    A high school student who qualifies to enroll in a college course offered for dual credit must meet the college's prerequisite requirements for enrollment for the college course. Students must satisfy Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements as well; although, they may be exempt from this testing if they meet the standards for the EOC, ACT or SAT tests. Check with your high school counselor to determine which course is for you.


    College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

    CLEP  offers you the opportunity to earn college credit for what you already know by earning certain scores on any of 33 examinations.  CLEP can help you earn 3-12 college credit hours before you graduate high school.  Get a head start on college, and save time and money.  Check with your counselor for details.


    Naviance & 4-Year Plan

    Naviance Family Connection is a comprehensive college and career readiness system designed especially for students and parents.  Naviance helps connect academic achievement to post-secondary goals.  The customizable college and career readiness tools empowers students and families to connect learning and life and provides information needed to help students prepare for life after high school. It also allows students to create an individualized learning plan for their futures by helping them discover their individual strengths and learning styles and explore college and career options based on their results.



  • Career Exploration & Planning


    Connecting Personality Types
    with Careers and Jobs 

    This page lists careers by the four-letter code from the Keirsey Temperament Sorter.


    Keirsey Temperament Sorter II 

    Take the #1 online personality assessment. Designed for career and personal development, it is used by Fortune 500 companies, professional counselors, and major universities.


    Mind Your Own Business  

    Small Business Association and Junior Achievement have joined together to provide information on owning and operating your own business.



    U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook

    Authoritative source for information on occupations, employment statistics, and job trends.  This resource also features insight into hundreds of occupations and describes what they do, work environment, education, training, salary, and more.


    O*Net (Occupational Information Network)

    O*Net Online has detailed descriptions of the "world of work" for use by job seekers, workforce development, HR professionals, students, researchers and more. Get information on which occupations pay the salary you want to earn, and allow you to figure out how much you can buy with your chosen occupation.


    ACT Explore Your Career Options

    This site provided by ACT allows you to search career options.

    Research Occupations

    This site allows students to research different college and career choices.


    TBEC Achieve Texas Education & Career Planning (Kuder)

    This site allows students to research college and career choices.


    Internet Career Connection- Career Selection and Planning Guide

    This site provides you with 5 steps of career guidance, including a detailed checklist.


    My Road

    This site provided by College Board offers a personality assessment and suggests careers and majors that fit those personalities.  Students can also create an online portfolio for college and career planning.

  • Paying for College, Scholarships, and Financial Aid



    Online registration for the FAFSA: Free Application for Student Aid.  The FSA ID , which consists of a user-created username and password, replaced the PIN effective May, 2015.  

    Student Aid Chart for Undergraduates

    This quick reference chart includes information on all types of financial aid.


    Texas Financial Aid Programs

    This site shares information on state financial aid programs.


    Understanding College Costs

    This site helps change the focus from the total cost of college by  providing  information on the entire financial process and provides resources to help you plan and pay for college.


    Income Based Repayment Plan for Federal Loans

    This site provides information about income based loan repayment plans and programs (IBR).


    Federal Student Aid

    Learn about the different types of financial aid available and the qualifications for each.




    Simple Tuition

    This site helps with finding student loans and explaining the various options.


    Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan

    Information regarding paying for a beneficiary's college tuition and fees.


    529 College Savings Plan 
    Use this site to research 529 plans from every state. We provide plan information and tools that help you choose which plan is right for you. We have even rated all of the nation's 529 plans so you can quickly compare overall effectiveness of each plan.


    Free scholarship search and college search site.  This site requires that you register with an email address.


    College Board's Big Future-Financial Aid 101 

    This site provides information about financial aid including the different types of aid and how to apply for financial aid.


    College Athletic Scholarships   

    All the information student-athletes need to maximize their opportunities to compete in college sports and/or be offered athletic scholarships.


    Colleges, College Scholarships, and Financial Aid Page   

    This page is designed to offer college bound students, parents, and Counselors easy access to information on free college scholarship and financial aid searches and resources.

  • College Selection & Admissions

    Finding the Right College 
    This site provides a guide to finding the best college.


    America's Best Colleges 
    This site provides exclusive college rankings and lists.


    College Admissions

    This site provides basic information about various colleges and how to contact the admissions office.


    ACT College Search 

    Information on college location, type, major, size, admissions and cost.


    Glossary of Terms
    (US Department of Education)

    This site provides a glossary of college related terms.  


    Find a College (Big Future)

    This site provides quick facts on college size, location, deadlines, majors, learning environment, campus life, graduation rate, admissions and cost.


    Community College Finder 

    This site will help you locate community colleges in each city and provides an institution profile.


    Selecting a College 

    This site will assist you with comparing different colleges.


    College Express  

    Register for free access.  Good advice in the “Admissions Advice” Section.  Tips on writing the application essay can be found in the Information Category “Getting There”.  Select a college based upon preferences, find information on college admissions and apply online, estimate costs of education, search for scholarships, parent information, and a student bulletin board for asking questions.


    College for All Texans  

    Everything a Texan needs to know about preparing for college, includes:   Preparing for College, Applying for College, Choosing a college, College Matcher, Texas Common Application Form, Paying for College – Average costs, reducing costs, applying for Financial Aid, tax information , Getting Through College – Guides to help the student succeed in college , Career Planning – Choosing a career, resume writing, jobs in Texas , Military in Texas – For people in the military seeking to enter college , and FAFSA – Link to FAFSA to fill out the form online.


    College Opportunities Online  

    Direct link to over 9,000 colleges online. You can search for a college based on its location, program, or degree offerings either alone or in combination. The more criteria you specify, the smaller the number of colleges that will fit your criteria.


    Mapping Your Future  

    This site provides information on the steps necessary to prepare for college and what to consider at each step.  It is divided into three major steps: Planning a Career – steps for choosing a career plan , Selecting a College – characteristics to look for , and Paying for College – options for paying for college.


    Next Step U 

    This site provides a guide that helps high school juniors and seniors explore potential careers, research collegiate options and make educated decisions about their futures.



    Sign up for ACT tests and receive scores online. Provides sample test questions, sample essay prompts, and practice tests.


    Khan Academy

    This is a great, free resource for practice and preparation for the new SAT debuting in spring 2016, also find practice and helpful videos for the PSAT and other school subjects and topics.


    College Board 

    A highly recommended resource. College Board administers the SAT and AP testing so the site has all the information on tests: dates, locations, etc. and provides for online registration and viewing of scores.   Also provides sections on: Planning for College – Great articles on making the most out of high school, choosing a major, and researching careers, Finding the Right College – Answers all the students questions about finding the right college, Getting Into College – Covers college application process including essay writing, and Paying for College – Covers calculating college costs, college scholarships, and loans.



    Renowned source for college information with ability to search by major, location, tuition costs, size, and much more.  Contains practice tests for ACT and SAT with tips and strategies for success


    The Princeton Review  

    A resource with many interactive tools for finding colleges. Some of the sections on this site include: Explore Schools – Use Counselor-O-Matic to find colleges that match your choices, Majors & Careers – Search for majors and see related careers, Career Assessment Quiz, Admission Test Information – Test dates and locations, expected changes, free practice tests, fee-based courses, Online Applications – Apply for college online, Financial Aid – Scholarship search, basic information, “Estimated Family Contribution Calculator”.


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