General High School Activities
For All Students:
Meet Your Counselor
At the very minimum, it is very beneficial to meet with your school counselor at the beginning and end of each school year. At the beginning of the year, discuss your schedule and make any changes that are necessary. At the end of the year, discuss your future post-secondary plans and make sure that you are on track for graduation. Counselors are are available throughout the year and are a great resource for your post-secondary aspirations.
MPS School Counseling Sites:
Consider Advanced Classes
Honors - Honors classes are college preparatory classes that allow you to accelerate your learning and begin to prepare for college level work. These classes will challenge your critical thinking skills and good time management is a must.
Advanced Placement - Advanced Placement classes are college level classes. AP teachers must be approved by the CollegeBoard to teach the AP curriculum ensuring that all AP classes are equitable and meet college criteria. If you take an AP course, you will take an end of the year AP exam in May and, depending on your score (1-5), and the university you plan to attend, you can potentially earn college credit. To see if the university that you are interested in accepts AP credit and what you would need to score to receive this, check out this link from the CollegeBoard.
Dual Enrollment - Dual Enrollment classes are college classes that you take in high school that allow you to pay community college tuition and get college credit at the same time. How is this possible? Your high school dual enrollment teacher is also certified to teach the college class so you are getting this credit at the same time. As long as you earn a C or better pay the college tuition, you will receive the community college credit. Every high school has an MCC representative on campus that can help support in answering any questions related to Dual Enrollment, or MCC in general.
Early College Academy - Early College Academy is a unique opportunity for high school students to begin their college experience after their freshman year in high school. Eligible students include those currently attending Mountain View, Red Mountain, or Skyline High
Familiarize Yourself with Academic Resources
Khan Academy - Youtube videos covering almost every core subject step-by-step.
Quizlet - Digital note cards and games created by students and teachers from around the world. Quiz yourself at any time on your phone with the app. Studying is now easier than ever before.
AP Resources - Taking an Advanced Placement class this year? Be sure to check out all of the CollegeBoard resources to help you do well on the curriculum and end of the year AP exam.
MyHomework App. - Create a planner or calendar to keep track of your assignments and important dates.
Prepare and Register (11th grade) for the PSAT
The PSAT is a test that will help you and your teachers figure out what you need to work on most so that you’re ready for college when you graduate from high school. The PSAT 8/9 tests the same skills and knowledge as the SAT and PSAT in a way that makes sense for your grade level. In 11th grade you will take the PSAT at your school.
Attend a College Fair
Mesa Public Schools College Fair - attend this annual event allows you to meet college reps, and learn about out of state, in state and community college programs and campuses. Over 100 colleges, and high school programs are represented at the Mesa Public Schools College Fair.
NACAC College Fair (National Association for College Admission Counseling) - attend this annual event which is generally held the Phoenix Convention Center. Don't miss this opportunity to meet with representatives from hundreds of colleges throughout the nation.
College Fair Tips - Use these tips from NACAC to make the most out of the experience.
Complete your ECAP
The Mesa Education Career Action Plan or ECAP is designed to engage students in post-secondary planning. All high school students will engage in a variety of lessons including an interest profiler, career comparisons, workplace skills, understanding college expenses, reality check, college search, course planning, and resume building. For more information regarding Mesa's ECAP articulation plan please visit the ECAP homepage.
Search for Scholarships
Do not wait until your Junior or Senior year to start exploring scholarships. Mesa has built a scholarship homepage that includes scholarship information as well as many more resources for a variety of students. Other opportunities include micro-scholarships from RaiseMe and a matched saving program from New Leaf.
Continue Researching Colleges and Careers
While all students will begin this process through Mesa's ECAP process it is beneficial to continue researching post-secondary options. Your school's counselors and your parents can be great resources throughout this endeavor.
Explore Summer Activities & Opportunities
Use Mesa's summer opportunity page to explore summer programs, many of which are inexpensive or even free.
Specifically for Juniors and Seniors
Review In-state and Out-of-State University Entrance RequirementS
It is important that you know what the entry requirements are for all of the universities you plan to apply to next year. If you have specific questions, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with your school counselor.
Sign up for the ACT | SAT
Be sure to sign up by March to take the May or June ACT and/or SAT. Yes, you want to take these exams at the end of your Junior year while the material is fresh in your mind. Don't wait to take these your senior year or you may miss out on some scholarships that have test criteria and early deadlines.
What if I can't afford the fee? Don't worry, there are waivers available to those with financial need. See your counselor for more information.
Do I need to take both tests? The answer to that is mostly dependent upon the university you plan to attend. See your counselor for more information.
Download the Senior Launch Guide
AZ GEAR UP developed the Senior "Launch" Guide as a practical resource for teachers, parents, and counselors to help high school seniors navigate the many unfamiliar steps required senior year to ‘launch' successfully into their chosen life after graduation. The Guide includes clear, concise checklists for students based on their post-secondary plan (4-year university, 2+2 transfer plan, community college, technical school, military or workforce). The Guide also includes helpful information and forms for completing the FAFSA, applying for scholarships and jobs, selecting and applying to colleges, and more (section from NAU Launch Guide Site).
This free digital launch guide is provided by Northern Arizona University (NAU), along with GEAR UP, and is available for download in English and Spanish. The comprehensive launch guide can be downloaded here. Please take a moment to watch this introduction video prior to downloading the launch guide.