Each year carries its own important milestones and deadlines. It is important that students enter each grade prepared to meet their goals in order to better prepare themselves for post-secondary enrollment. Below is a list of some vital milestones that students should strive to reach. The Access Center is able to provide assistance with any questions you might have regarding the topics below:

  • Challenge Yourself: Continue or start to take more difficult and challenging classes in core academic subjects. Post-secondary institutions look for students who are taking and doing well in rigorous courses.  However, don’t overwhelm yourself.  Know your limits, strengths, and weaknesses.  While an AP course might look more impressive on paper, don’t force yourself to take it if it’ll negatively affect your GPA.

  • Plan Ahead: Review college requirements to appropriately build your class schedule. Understand what is needed to graduate high school as well as meet the college entry requirements.

  • Research: Research colleges or other post-secondary programs that peak your interest. Take career interest quizzes and various electives to explore different career sectors of interest. Attend career and college fairs to narrow your career interests.  Find out which colleges offer majors in your desired career fields, and figure out what education paths your career field might need.  Complete a Career Coach Assessment to discover what majors might work for you.

  • Get Involved: Volunteer with various in-school and community based organizations. Volunteer experience will help you to explore different career sectors as well as provide you with valuable learning experiences. Remember, more does not necessarily mean better; colleges like to see you find your passion and pursue it.

  • Communicate: Talk with your counselor or a college advisor from the Mesa Counts on College Access Center about your high school courses as well as your post-secondary plans. Ensure that your counselor is guiding you to meet the post-secondary entrance requirements.

  • Stay Organized: Compile a binder of all your awards/accomplishments, volunteer work, internship experience, and certificates. Document the milestones needed to be reached to get where you plan on going.

  • Entrance Exams: It is important for you to research which entrance exams are required for your desired post-secondary destination.
    • PSAT: Sophomores can better prepare themselves for the PSAT/NMSQT which gives them the opportunity to qualify for many scholarships, though only juniors are offered these scholarships.  It will also give them early preparation for the SAT.