What does your school counselor do?
A. Maps out a plane's flight path.
B. Helps guys learn how to dance.
C. Gives you information about your future.
D. Teaches fifth period study hall.
The Answer: If you said "C"... well done! School counselors are one of the best resources you will have in high school as you plan for your future. From college preparation and admissions tests to school-to-work programs and career fairs, they've got the answers to your questions. You may luck out with a guidance counselor who is the most accessible person on the planet, but many are super busy juggling a thousand students, so it's up to YOU to take the initiative and TALK to your guidance counselor. Here are some questions to help get the conversations started.
SCHOOL. Am I on track for graduation? Where do I rank in my classes? Can I see my transcript? Will I have enough math, science and language classes for college? Should I take advanced placement (AP) classes?
MILITARY. What are my options if I'm interested in joining the military? Will recruitment officers be visiting the school to talk about the different branches?
TECH. What do I need to do if I want to attend a vo-tech school my junior or senior years? And how does this transition happen? If I have a particular interest, can you suggest which tech school or program might be best suited for me?
TESTS. What are the dates for the SAT and ACT this year? Is our school a testing center? Does our school offer prep classes or study materials? How many times can I take the SATs?
WORK. Does our school offer job-shadowing programs or school-to-work programs with local employers? What employers in our area offer on-the-job training for high school graduates? Where do you post job or internship openings sent to the school from employers? How can I find out about apprenticeships that let me learn a trade while I earn money—and earn college credits?
COLLEGE. What college fairs are being held locally? Do you have information on when colleges offer open-house weekends? What activities can I do at home and over the summer to get ready for college?
MONEY. Does our school have scholarship search programs or resources? What types of scholarships have past students received? When should I start applying? Does our school offer any financial aid workshops or seminars for my parents?
Before you leave his or her office, make sure you ask your counselor, "How best can I work with you as my counselor? Do I always need an appointment to see you or can we share information via the school's e-mail system (if they offer this)"?