College/Career Resource Center

Chaska and Chanhassen High Schools each have a College/Career Resource Center (CRC) for 9-12 grade students to EXPLORE, DREAM, and DISCOVER their future plans.  The CRC is a part of the Counseling Department and each CRC has a full-time staff that specifically assists and supports each student with career and college exploration, admissions process/applications, financial aid, and scholarships so that each student has their best chance for success whether it be a 4-year school, 2-year school, military, directly to the workforce, a GAP Year, or any other choice.  We meet with students and families as both are an important part of the decision making process.  It’s all about finding the best fit for each individual student!

College/Career Resource Center Counselor

Tara Halvorson
952-556-1433
HalvorsonT@district112.org

CRC Hours: 7:30am – 3:30pm daily, available for individual appointments in the evening – please contact me.

High School Timeline

College and Career Preparation: Every Year
  • Take the most challenging classes you can handle and keep focused on your school work.
  • Most colleges require 4 years of English and math, 3 years of social studies and science, and many require 2 years of a world language.
  • Be involved in school or community activities that you enjoy.
  • Consider working or volunteering to create a strong résumé. Some places of employment have tuition reimbursement options.
  • Remember it’s important not to overdo it. It is better to have experiences that are of value to you. You can’t do it all, so choose carefully.
  • Enroll in a summer program: See your counselor for a list of options.
  • Keep track of your academic, athletic, work and volunteering along with other achievements – you need this information when you build your résumé.
  • Talk to family, teachers and mentors about their career path and high school success.
  • Keep your grades up to attain the highest GPA possible. All of your grades count towards your cumulative GPA.
  • Review your graduation planner and transcript for accuracy and to make sure you are on track to graduate.
  • Know what is required for high school graduation.
Freshman
  • Meet with your counselor to discuss course selections and high school success
  • Develop a four year high school and post high school plan – you may change the plan, but start thinking about the future
  • Be aware of what it takes to be successful in high school: – Keep track of your assignments – Know who can help you if you’re struggling – Stick to regular study habits
  • Keep track of your awards, honors, paid or volunteer work, and extracurricular actives
  • Begin to assess your career interests through an interest inventory with Minnesota Career Info System
    • mncis.intocareers.org username: chaska password: hawks username: chanhassen password: goblue
  • Get involved in activities, athletics or school clubs
  • Start to understand basic college options and admission requirements
  • Talk with your family about saving and paying for college

Printable Copy of Preperation Tips

Sophomore

Fall:

Take the PLAN test. All 10th grade students take it during the school day. It will indicate if a student is meeting benchmarks for college readiness and academic progress. This test helps a student determine:
– If he or she is on track their basic skills
– If a student expects to the score he or she wants on the ACT (which is taken in 11th grade)
– Future high school courses that will help you to continue in college preparedness
– Suggestions for improving academic success

Winter:

Discuss PLAN results with your counselor – specifically:
– future high school courses
– assessing basic skills
– predicting success in AP classes
– discussing career possibilities and college planning
– update your plan for high school and after high school
*In your 10th grade Personal Wellness class, you will do a major career unit and learn about careers and college choices using MCIS and the Career Resource Center. You can discuss what you learned with your counselor.

mncis.intocareers.org
username:
chaska password: hawks OR username: chanhassen password: goblue

Spring:

As you approach summer, think of some careers and colleges that you will look into over the summer. Review the college/career planning steps for 11th grade – junior year is a big year and you’ll want to stay on top of your deadlines and decisions.

Printable Copy of Preperation Tips

Junior

Fall:

Consider signing up to take the College Board’s PSAT. This test is a practice test for the SAT and is used to qualify students for the National Merit Scholarship.
★ Attend College Fairs and visits from admission representatives in the College/Career Resource Center.
★ Use MCIS’ college sort to create a list of colleges that meet your criteria including:
★ Making decisions about which colleges you think are a good fit for you
★ Learn about the college application process
★ Learn to compare schools by academic rigor, admission criteria, financial expectations
★ Consider being a mentor for others and have a mentor for yourself. See your counselor for help.

Winter:

Discuss PSAT results with your counselor if you took the test.
★ Review/update your plans for selected high school courses and options after high school
★ Meet with your counselor before course registration for senior year to discuss:
1. Your personal credit situation (and address any concerns) 2. Your college plans 3. Your intended major 4. Your capstone 5. Your next steps in choosing and applying for college

★ Register for college admission exams (ACT, SAT or SAT subject tests) coming in the spring. Check with colleges you are interested in to see which exams they require.
★ Begin to research scholarships for juniors. Check the College/Career Resource Center for more info.

Spring:

Take the ACT, SAT or SAT subject tests
★ Visit colleges/universities during the summer if you can. Set up college visits with admission counselors. Even visiting a university or college in the Twin Cities will help you learn more.
★ Use the FAFSA4caster financial aid estimator on studentaid.ed.gov and compare results to the actual costs at the college to which you will apply.

Printable Copy of Preperation Tips

Senior

Fall:

Take the SAT or ACT again if you are not happy with your score or if you have not yet taken the exam.
★ Narrow down your list of colleges that you are interested in attending.
★ Consider setting up a job shadow or internship for your Senior Project.
★ Meet with your counselor to go over the senior checklist:
1. Your credit status 2. Your senior courses 3. College applications 4. The application process in general (with deadlines) 5. Letters of recommendation 6. Admission essays 7. Tests such
as ACT, SAT 8. NCAA eligibility 9. Any testing or retesting 10. Requesting transcripts

Winter:

Attend Financial Aid Night with your parent/guardian.
★ Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and if necessary the Financial Aid PROFILE as part of the application process. (Note to parents/guardians: Previous year income taxes must be completed first.)
★ Research and apply for scholarships including your high school’s local scholarship(s).

Spring:

Watch for acceptance notifications from colleges/universities.
★ Watch for financial aid notification awards/information.
★ Make your decision about which college/university you want to attend and notify schools of your intent by timelines designated.
★ Talk to the financial aid office at your school of choice about all of their financial aid options.
★ Secure housing, set up appointments for any testing required and attend orientation.
★ Send your final high school transcript to the college you will be attending in the fall.
★ Counselors will ensure you have met graduation requirements and are ready to participate in your high school graduation ceremony.

Printable Copy of Preperation Tips

Testing

Researching Colleges

Questions to Ask On a College Visit

When visiting with a college representative, ask plenty of questions to ensure you choose the college that best matches your needs.

Ask Questions About Academics

1. What majors or programs do you offer?

2. What is the average length of your programs?

3. What percent of your students graduate?

4. Do you have internship programs?

5. Will I have an advisor to help me with scheduling questions?

6. How difficult is it to get the class schedule I need?

7. Do you offer tutoring services if I need them?

Ask Questions About Admissions

8. When is your enrollment deadline?

9. What standards do you use for acceptance?

10. Do I need to take an entrance exam?

11. When can I take a look at the campus?

Ask Questions About Financial Aid

12. What type of financial aid is available to me?

13. How do I apply?

14. Do you have a financial aid application deadline?

15. Are there scholarships available through the college?

16. What is the total cost of my program including books, fees, and tuition?

Ask Questions About Student Life

17. What kind of support will I receive?

18. How many students are enrolled at your college?

19. What is the average class size?

20. How big is the largest class?

21. Do you have student organizations and activities?

Ask Questions About Technology

22. What type of technology courses are offered at your college?

23. What equipment and software do you currently use?

24. Does each student have access to a computer during class time?

25. Does your college have a student Intranet?

26. Will I have an email account and access to the Internet?

Ask Questions About Career Placement

27. What type of career placement assistance do you offer?

28. Will you help me find a part-time job while I attend school?

29. What is your placement rate?

30. What types of jobs are your graduates getting?

Planning a College Visit

What can I expect on a visit?

Colleges offer a variety of visit options, from a more formal visit to an informal visit. Although it can be fun to spend time with a friend on a college campus, a visit scheduled through the Admissions Office is recommended. A basic visit generally includes an information session covering admission requirements, programs available, financial aid and scholarships, housing options, and student activities as well as a tour of the campus. More extensive visits can include a meeting with a professor in your interest area, sitting in on classes, visiting with a coach, eating in the cafeteria, attending a sporting event, and even spending the night in a dorm. Visits can be for a group of students, or you can schedule an individual/personalized visit.

How do I go about setting up a visit?

You can always call the Admissions Office at any college and ask about upcoming visit days. Many college websites have a “Visit Us” tab, either on the main page or under “Prospective/Future Students”. Sometimes you need to register in advance; sometimes you can just show up. Some colleges can accommodate you on a particular date that would work for you even if they don’t have a scheduled event.

1. Call the Admissions Office to ask about visit options

2. Visit the college website – some offer online registration for visits

3. Check out the “College Visits NOT Held at High School” section on this page, this is updated regularly with visits at colleges in this area and has contact information.

4. Use the Minnesota Career Information System, www.mncis.intocareers.org. In “U.S. Schools”, search for any college. Under “School Name & Address”, some colleges have a link to a virtual campus tour. Under “General Information”, there is often specific information on school visits.

5. A great option every summer in Minnesota – Minnesota Private College Week, end of June. All 17 private MN colleges offer daily open houses and tours, and preregistration is suggested at www.mnprivatecolleges.org/mpcw

6. Education Minnesota in October is a great time to visit and most Minnesota colleges offer a variety of visit options. Some events do require pre-registration, so visit each website to know your options.

Final Thoughts:

Remember that college visits are a way for you to decide if a college “fits” you. The more campuses you visit, the better you will know what you like: big, small, in a city, in a small town, how far from home, type of programs, cost, etc. Visit places you know about, but visit new places too. Look around the college neighborhood, talk to students. It’s okay to not like any particular school. There are many colleges to choose from, and visiting will help you decide if you can picture yourself living and learning on that campus.

MN Career/Colleges Book

Chaska High School Counseling Team

Red House - Last Names A-G

Garrett Silker

silkerg@district112.org

952-556-7172

Red House - 9th Grade

Katie LoScalzo

locsalzok@district112.org

952-556-7171

Blue House - Last Names H-O

Cassie Klein

kleinc@district112.org

952-556-7121

Blue House - Last Names P-Z

Kayla Denner

dennerk@district112.org

952-556-7122