Senior Strategies: How to Get Started with College, Career, and Graduation Requirements

Senior+Strategies%3A+How+to+Get+Started+with+College%2C+Career%2C+and+Graduation+Requirements

Aidan Janney, Co-Editor in Chief

Right after a stressful Junior year, many students are relieved and finally able to relax after a long year of testing and difficult classes, but then the first semester of Senior year sneaks up to reintroduce those familiar mountains of stress. Applications, resumes, graduation requirements, and the daunting tasks needed to prepare for life all seem to pop up at once. This can be even more intimidating after a chaotic year like 2020. Luckily Mrs. Doyle, Mr. Eden, and Ms. Rather are all here to help the whirlwind that is the first semester of senior year.
Mrs. Doyle and Mr. Eden are planning on meeting with as many senior students as possible to discuss future plans and any help that they might need; you can also reach out directly at any time to ask questions or get advice. In the meantime, there is a lot of information to sift through, and it seems to be strewn all over the place. From FAFSA to fall applications here are just a few suggestions and pieces of information from Mrs. Doyle to help get the ball rolling.

Maybe a question on every senior’s mind, what is ICAP, and what is it even for?
Mrs. Doyle: ICAP is a state of Colorado requirement; each year there are 5 tasks picked by the state and put into Naviance for us.
ICAP can certainly seem like a chore, but it is designed to help explore college and career opportunities, and as Mrs. Doyle points out, it is a state requirement to meet the Colorado Department of Education requirements and graduate.

If a student hasn’t taken or passed one of the tests necessary for Graduation, SAT, ACT, ASVAB, etc., what are the other upcoming options to satisfy that requirement?
The College and Career Readiness credit can be satisfied through dual enrollment; AP tests, only English and Math count; certifications, OSHA tests or Microsoft office classes; articulation credits, pre-approved classes through PPCC. The best option can be a Capstone project.
There are a lot of opportunities to satisfy this credit, and it is also a part of the graduation process. You can talk to Mrs. Doyle about taking another one of these options to really explore something that interests you.

When should students start filling out their college applications? (Common App, Coalition App, etc.)
It depends on if you want Early Decision or not. According to Mr. Eden, now through early october is the crunch time

Should seniors schedule a meeting with you to discuss college applications and other related questions?
As you have questions, definitely schedule meetings or send emails, but in October we will do one on ones with seniors.

What do students need to do to make sure they apply for financial aid (FAFSA is open now!)?
FAFSA is your first step, a lot of Universities look at that. FAFSA does take some time with your parents, and there is also a FAFSA completion night coming on October 20th.

What would be a basic timeline you might recommend that students can follow this fall in the application process? (Essays, Letters of Rec, Submitting Applications, Financial Aid applications)
Now is (past) the time to get your resume ready for Letters of Recommendation. Don’t wait until the last minute; You can always wait to apply if you feel it’s not up to par.

How can students refine their resumes to best apply for jobs, even if they have little or no work experience?
Bring your resume in and sit down for a one on one meeting. You can start with a Naviance resume builder, or you can sit down with your parents and brainstorm with them.

Who can students talk to find job opportunities, apprenticeships, or a specific plan of action for what they want to do?
Ms. Rather has a new role to work with the PPBEA and students about career options. There are some great opportunities, and she is there to help you.

How does ICAP or College and Career Readiness apply if a student doesn’t plan on applying to college?
ICAP is to get kids exploring. Edge is going to start being differentiated by grade level, and each level will have a different lesson plan . You can start addressing career questions more in-depth.

The first part of senior year can be such a draining and intimidating experience, but it is supposed to be fun and exciting. The sooner that you can get started with career and college applications, research, and meetings the easier it will be to finish this preparation and enjoy your senior year! If you have any questions Mrs. Doyle, Mr. Eden, and Ms. Rather are always available to help.