Career and College Planning

Last Updated: 4/14/2020 2:06 PM

The College/Career Planning Timeline: 

Freshman Year-Fall: 

  • Activity Fair 

  • All Freshman attend an activities fair with representation from all the clubs and activities at Central Columbia 

  • Students are encouraged to get involved in something since it helps to explore interests and makes them more well-rounded individuals  

  • Explore Careers 

  • Freshman complete interest inventories and career connections in Naviance 


Freshman Year-Spring: 

  • Pathway Presentations 

  • Students should reflect on completed elective classes and experiences 

  • Representatives from all of our 5 pathways will meet with all Freshman about their program and what it has to offer 

  • Freshman will select a pathway 

  • The chosen pathway focuses a student’s elective courses and offers post-secondary preparation  

  • Mock Scheduling  

  • Freshman will plan out their course selections for the next three years with their school counselor 

  • Freshman are reminded that this is a road map that can change with exploration but will help them take advantage of all the opportunities available at Central Columbia 

  • Career Research Project 

  • Freshman will complete a career research project on two careers they are interested in 

  • Students explore  education, knowledge, skills and abilities that are required for both careers  

  • Students also research the salary and outlook for the careers and what pathway they would fall into here at Central Columbia  


Freshman Year-Summer: 

  • Students should continue to build their credentials and explore their interests and abilities by getting a job, volunteering or attending summer camps 


Sophomore Year 

  • PSAT in October  

  • All Sophomores will take the PSAT.  Central Columbia will cover the cost.  The PSAT will be used for career exploration, future class placement recommendations, and SAT practice.   

  • Results of PSAT to students in December 

  • All students will connect their scores to Kahn Academy, a comprehensive/FREE SAT practice platform. 

  • Explore potential careers 

  • Take multiple self-assessment inventories that compare interests, abilities, and values to available careers.  

  • Complete the Career Map Activity & Futures II Career Research Project  

  • Pathway electives 

  • Students are required to take Career Pathway electives.  These are classes that give students experiences outside of core content, that can absolutely help explore career paths. 

Complete all the Graduation Portfolio Checklist Items 


Junior Year – Fall: 

  • PSAT in October  

  • NOT all Juniors will take the PSAT.  The PSAT will still be used for career exploration, future class placement recommendations, and SAT practice.  This additional PSAT can provide students an additional opportunity to practice, but also create scholarship opportunities, including the National Merit Scholarship.   

  • Results of PSAT to students in December 

  • All students will connect their scores to Kahn Academy, a comprehensive/FREE SAT practice platform. 

  • Meet with counselor to discuss your post-secondary plans 

  • Register for SAT/ACT ( or if you plan to take standardized testing in the winter.   

  • Attend local College and Career Fairs 

  • Continue to explore potential careers with your School Counselor, Pathway Electives, and Futures III 

  • Complete the Junior-year Graduation Portfolio Checklist items. 


Junior Year – Spring: 

  • Senior course selection  

  • The School Counselor will spend time in your classes to help select senior-year courses.  Students will reflect on their academic/career plan and how it has evolved since their 8th grade year.  Counselors will ensure that students have their graduation requirements met. 

  • Register for SAT/ACT 

  • Central Columbia offers the “SAT School Day” every April.  See your School counselor to sign up.  

  • Explore potential careers and research a career training options 

  • In Futures III, students will complete a number of activities that will help them to continue their search for career options that best fit themselves and the future job market. In addition, students will research different routes that they can take to train for their chosen career.  These include universities, technical colleges, military training options, apprenticeships, and entering the workforce directly.  

  • Talk to teachers about writing recommendation letters 

  • If pursuing college, narrow your list of schools down so that you can set up visits for the spring of your Junior year. 

  • Secure an internship placement, work experience placement, or college classes for Senior year 


Summer before Senior Year: 

  • Tour/visit college campuses 

  • Continue to search future career options 


Senior Year – Fall/Winter: 

  • Finalize a list of schools, and focus on a career direction. 

  • Finalizing a list and focusing on a career does not mean that you commit to this forever.  We all know that your plans will LIKELY change during your senior year, but having a plan and focus will keep you moving forward toward a goal. 

  • If applying to college, Early decision/Early action candidates see your counselor ASAP (September/October) 

  • Prepare applications – Students should work closely with their counselors when applying to colleges. Many students are applying online at 

  • Visit counselor to review the application process and transcript release procedure 

  • Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  CCHS will hold a FAFSA completion session for parents and students in October.  

  • Work on Senior Seminar requirements 


Senior Year – Spring: 

  • Complete all Senior Seminar Requirements  

  • Participate in the Senior Exit Interviews 

  • Complete all Senior Seminar Requirements  

  • Revised Professional Resume, Scholarship/Job Applications, Post-Secondary Action Plan*, Exit Interview 

*Post-Secondary Action Plan 

  1. What is my current plan and why did I choose the plan? 

  1. Self-Assessment Results: What self-assessments (interest, abilities, and values inventories) have you taken and how have they contributed to your career goal? 

  1. Career Exploration:  What career exploration activities have you participated in and how have they contributed to your career goal? (Job shadowing, internship, work experience, Career Investigation Project, Career/College Research Project) 

  1. Financial Impact of your plan:  How much will it cost you to prepare for your career goal?  How much will you earn?  What does the job market look like for your career goal?  

  1. Short Term Career Goals: What do you plan to do during the summer and fall after your senior year, and how will this have an impact on your career goals? 

  1. One Year Career Goals:  In the year following your graduation, what would you like to accomplish? (get a specific job, get promoted, finish training, join a club, travel, continue education, etc.).   

  1. How will your one-year goals help you achieve your career goals? 

  1. Three Year Career Goals:  By 3 years after high school graduation, what would you like to accomplish toward your ultimate career goal? 

  1. How will your three-year goals help you reach your career goals? 

  1. Long Term Career Goals:  By 5 years after high school graduation, what would you like to have accomplished toward your career goal? 

  1. Barriers to Meeting My Goals 

  1. Certain barriers may make it difficult for you to reach your goals (young children, job loss, money problems, job market, etc.).   How would you deal with these barriers so you can reach your goals?