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College, Vocational and Career Resources

A Guide to Planning for College

Freshman Year

  • Take challenging academic courses and always try your best.
  • Meet with your guidance counselor to develop and review your academic plan.
  • Get involved in extra-curricular activities. Make the effort to get involved with groups, clubs, or teams that interest you. These activities are fun and make you a well-rounded student.
  • Work hard and make the grade. Get off to a good start with your grades because they will impact your GPA and class rank. Although college seems like a long way off right now, grades count toward college admission and scholarships.
  • Explore your interests and possible careers. Use Naviance family connection and complete interest surveys to learn more about yourself.
  • Start learning about college. Look at the college information available in your Counselor’s office, CAC and public libraries. Use the Internet to check out college web sites. You can start a list of colleges that might interest you.
  • Attend a college fair and/ or meetings for parents and students about college planning and college entrance criteria.
  • Plan worthwhile summer activities. 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.

Sophomore Year

  • Continue taking challenging academic courses.
  • Continue your involvement in volunteer and extra-curricular activities.
  • Take the PSAT in October.
  • Begin learning about the college admissions process. Use naviance family connection and explore in more detail.
  • Familiarize yourself with resources provided by your guidance counselor, the CAC, college fairs and the library.
  • Review and rework your test after receiving PSAT results.
  • Begin to build your own “college file” and add to it as you gather materials about colleges that interest you. Use school vacations to visit college campuses.
  • Continue exploring potential careers. Use naviance family connection and explore in more detail.
  • Develop your personal resume recording activities and achievements.
  • Practice writing a college essay, selecting topics from those requested on college applications. Ask someone to critique your essay.
  • Plan worthwhile summer activities. 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.
  • Stay on track with your courses. Work with your guidance counselor to make sure you’re enrolled in the courses you need to prepare you for college or a career.
  • Read, Read & Read

Junior Year

  • Continue taking challenging academic courses.
  • Continue involvement in volunteer and extra-curricular activities. Accept leadership roles.
  • Continue to add activities, awards and achievements to your personal resume.
  • Think about what you seek in college: location/size/specific major/competitiveness. See your Counselor and develop a broad list of colleges that interest you, including “reach” and “safety” schools. Update your navianace family connection account.
  • Learn more about the college-entrance process through information, meetings offered, the CAC and your counselor.
  • Review sample FAFSA form.
  • Take the PSAT in October. PRACTICE prior to testing! This test determines National Merit and National Achievement Scholarship qualifiers. Review and rework your test when results arrive.
  • Think about which teachers you will ask to write recommendations.
  • If you intend to seek an athletic scholarship, start contacting coaches at the schools that most interest you.
  • Take sample ACT test. Consider attending an ACT preparation sessions.
  • Preview how much financial aid you may be eligible for by completing the FAFSA 4caster at www.fafsa.ed.gov
  • Attend college fairs and meet college representatives when they visit school. Ask questions!
  • Get to know your teachers and start thinking about who you might ask to write recommendations.
  • If you intend to seek an athletic scholarship, register at the NCAA Eligibility Center at www.ncaaclearinghouse.net. Send out letters of interest to coaches at the schools that most interest you.
  • Ask colleges of interest to let you know when a representative will be in town; attend their presentations.
  • Write a response to the common application essay. Ask your English teacher, etc. to edit.
  • Individually meet with your counselor in the spring about college planning and graduation requirements.
  • Develop a timeline for your college and scholarship application deadlines.
  • Research scholarship opportunities.
  • Plan worthwhile summer activities. 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.
  • Visit colleges when and if possible. Obtain an excused absence form from your counselor for college visitation.
  • Complete your resume in naviance.

Senior Year

Fall:

  • Continue taking challenging academic courses and keep your grades up.
  • Continue involvement in volunteer and extra-curricular activities.
  • Visit the CAC for college catalogs, applications, scholarship information, etc.
  • Research scholarship options and track deadlines.
  • Meet with your counselor to narrow your list of colleges and discuss financial aid and scholarship opportunities.
  • Complete senior survey on Naviance.
  • Student athletes should complete and mail the NCAA Clearinghouse application.
  • Note any early action or early decision deadlines at colleges of your choice.
  • Visit colleges of major interest. Plan an overnight in a dorm if possible.
  • Attend college representative’s visits and college fairs.
  • Ask colleges of interest to let you know when a representative will be in town; attend their presentations.
  • Investigate scholarship opportunities and internships.
  • Take any additional needed ACT tests in October or December. Study for the test.
  • Ask for recommendations from your teacher well in advance of deadlines.
  • Submit drafts of application essays to at least one adult for editing.
  • Submit all applications between September through November.

Winter:

  • Attend a Financial Aid information session.
  • Complete official FASFA (financial aid form) available on the Internet. Visit the CAC for more information.
  • Continue to work hard in all of your classes. Take all semester exams.
  • Continue to apply for scholarships.

Spring:

  • Confirm your admission to the college of your choice. Notify colleges whose offers you did not accept.
  • Continue to work hard in all of your classes. Take AP exams and all semester exams.
  • Continue to apply for scholarships.
  • Create a college budget and begin applying for additional funding, if needed.
  • Complete your future plans survey and be sure to list where your final transcript should be sent.

A Guide to Entering the Job Market

How do I find a job?

  1. Visit the Cincinnati Ohio Means Jobs location at 1916 Central Parkway, (513)946-7200 or http://www.omj-cinham.org/. OhioMeansJobs offers a variety of services to help job seekers find employment. Job leads and the resource rooms are free and open to everyone. Career coaches, workshops and Veteran’s services, are available to those who are eligible and apply. Regardless of whom you are, OhioMeansJobs can help you find your next job.
  2. Get a business casual outfit and even when filling out applications.
  3. Pound on doors. (Visit potential job locations with help wanted signs)
  4. Check want ads.
  5. Let your friends and relatives know that you are looking for work.
  6. Get online and complete a job search.

When you get a job interview…

  1. Be neat and well groomed.
  2. Go alone for an interview.
  3. Be on time. (Arrive 15 minutes early)
  4. Learn the interviewer’s name and use it. Use a firm handshake to greet the interviewer.
  5. Know something about the company and the job before the interview. Be prepared to ask important questions about the job. Usually you are expected to ask questions near the end of the interview.
  6. Be positive. Stress your strong points. Be honest about your weaknesses, but don’t dwell on them.
  7. Show some enthusiasm.
  8. Bring the following information with you:  Social Security number, Personal references, Resume, Driver’s license
  9.  Don’t plead for a job or a chance. Never say, “I’ll take anything.”
  10. Avoid asking questions about the length of paid vacations or being late for work. They leave a bad first impression.
  11. Don’t criticize former employers.
  12. Be sure you communicate what you can contribute as an employee.
  13. Be sure to thank the interviewer for his or her time. Shake the interviewer hand.
  14. Don’t hang around after the interview.
  15. Be persistent. If you don’t get a job for which you’ve interviewed, keep trying. Persistence pays off. If you’ve had an interview, and the employer doesn’t call you back, check with the employer in several weeks to let him/her know that you are still interested.

Some Resources to Help Find a Job:


A Guide To Joining the Military

Joining a Military Academy

The application procedures for the academies are quite different from regular college admissions. Except for the Coast Guard academy, which accepts appointments on a nationwide competitive basis, the academies require that you be nominated for an appointment by a member of the U.S. Congress from your state. To ensure consideration by your Congressman or Senator, you should have already written (in the spring of your junior year) to ask for consideration for a nomination. If you have not done so, you should do this immediately! You should also email the academy for a “pre-candidate kit”, which will outline for you all the necessary steps you should follow. You can also find some very good guidance in the websites of these academies.

Joining the Military

If you are interested in joining a branch of the military after graduating from high school, you may gain information and insight from any of the following sources:

  • Recruiters who come to visit school. Listen to the announcements for the dates and times.
  • Calling or visiting the recruiting offices in your area.
  • Talking to people you know who have been in the military.

Joining the ROTC

If you are planning to attend college, but you would like to receive training to become a military officer at the same time you’re in college, you should investigate the Reserve Officer Training Program, or ROTC. You may also want to apply for an ROTC scholarship to help pay your college expenses.

Joining the National Guard

The National Guard program allows you to serve in the military and maintain a civilian life at the same time. You would begin by attending basic training for eight weeks followed by an additional eight weeks of specialized training. Following that, you would be expected to attend training sessions one weekend each month and for two consecutive weeks each summer. You may be called to duty in times of natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, etc.

Joining the Reserves

The reserve program is almost identical to the National Guard in terms of the time and sequence of training obligations. To obtain information about the educational and financial benefits of the various military options, visit with a recruiter. Recruiters make periodic visits to the Guidance Office. Be sure to sign up to see them when their visits are announced. If you’d prefer to see them at their offices, you can find online under Cincinnati Army Reserves.