Colleges and universities review a student’s transcript beginning in 9th grade, which means you can’t afford to pay attention to important things during senior year. You as a parent, guardian or supportive adult must start prepping students now for later. There are some things you can do this year to get them on and keep them on the right path to college.
Fall Strategic Plan
- Schedule quality time to visit your child’s high school (or junior high) to meet with guidance counselors, teachers and administrators. Introduce yourself and make sure they know you’re partners in your child’s success. Ask the guidance counselor for a checklist of courses and testing for your student.
- Talk to your child about extracurricular activities that will engage them and give them something for their college applications later. If they engage in extracurricular activities, introduce yourself to their coaches or faculty advisers.
- Help your child focus on the big picture by giving them personal assignments like researching career interests and colleges/universities they’re interested in exploring. Make your child a partner in the preparation for college.
- Keep an eye on their school workload. Do they have enough or too much homework? Is the work challenging enough? Here is a nice resource about homework that you can use to stay on top of things.
- Make sure they have some social balance by allowing them time to go to sporting events and homecoming. Keep them motivated and balanced.
Winter Strategic Plan
- Review courses and make sure your student is on the right track. Here is a resource that discusses the classes colleges look at during the admission process.
- Start looking at next year’s courses.
- Continue challenging your child to explore career and college options. Take them to visit professionals in the community that do what they want to do later.
Spring Strategic Plan
- Help your child make summer plans and try to include more career and college exploration activities. During spring break take them for a walking tour of a local campus. Plan more of the same for the summer.
- Review the year with them. Again, pull together all of the partners in your child’s preparation for college, including your child, to review what the strengths and weaknesses are, and then make the necessary choices.
These are but a few things you can do to prep your child for college in the 9th grade. These steps today can insure success later.
~ Dr. Grady
Need extra support? Join my First-in-Family College Readiness Group on Facebook. We have great experts in our midst and other parents just like you.