High School College Preparation
There are two basic reasons why everyone should plan on some type of additional education or training beyond high school.
To Get a Job - Almost all jobs now require additional education beyond high school. And even for those jobs where college is not absolutely necessary, chances are the person without a college degree will be competing against people with a college degree. Think about it — if you were hiring someone and one person had a college degree and the other person didn’t, whom would you hire?
Money, Money, Money - It’s a fact! The person with a college degree can expect to earn much more money over his/her lifetime than the person without a college degree.
HIGH SCHOOL SUCCESS INTERVENTIONS (HSSI)
The HSSI program cultivates a culture of college and career readiness through innovative learning opportunities and intentional interventions. The program consists of levels of intervention (intentional and innovative) for students who are identified as being most at risk of dropping out of school while fostering a college-bound and career-ready culture throughout the general student body at each campus. In addition, students interact with College and Career Readiness (CCR) Coaches in GO Centers, a computer resource room that exposes students to the vast array of post secondary opportunities.
- 580 - Targeted 9th and 10th grade high school students served (2014-2016)
- 522 - Targeted 9th and 10th grade high school students served (2015-2016 cohort)
- 12,871 - Middle School students made total visits to MSSI GO Center )2015-2016 cohort)
GO CENTERS HIGHLIGHTS
GO Centers have proven to be a successful resource for students and their families because of their accessibility and usage on high school and middle school campuses, throughout the community and college/universities campuses. GO Center Partners include colleges and universities, college advisors and community organizations. Throughout strong collaboration and coordination GO Centers are increasing the impact for more students accessing and going to college.
- 29,199 - high school students made total visits to GO Centers (2015-2016)
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High School College Programs/Activities
Education GO Get It Week
Fort Worth ISD’s Education: Go Get It Week is generally held in September. This great educational week is aligned with the date of the Fort Worth ISD District-wide College Night program. All campuses are asked (elementary, middle school and high school) to participate in providing activities and programs to students and parents during this week focused on the various topics highlighting post-secondary educational opportunities.
College Colors Day
College Colors Day is an annual celebration dedicated to promote the traditions and spirit that make the college experience great by encouraging people across America to wear apparel of their favorite college or university throughout the day.
Achieve Texas Program
Achieve Texas is an education initiative designed to prepare all students for a lifetime of success. It allows ALL students to achieve excellence by preparing them for secondary and postsecondary opportunities, career preparation and advancement, meaningful work, and active citizenship. It is a system designed to help students (and their parents) make wise education choices. It is based on the belief that the curricula of the 21st century should combine rigorous academics with relevant career education. When schools integrate academic and technical education, students can see the “usefulness” of what they are learning. The system also facilitates a seamless transition from secondary to postsecondary opportunities.
Six Year Plans
Six-year plans are completed for 7th/8th grade and high school students. The six year plans are aligned with the Academic Learning Plans and are in compliance with state guidelines.
Scholarship Bulletins – Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior
Monthly scholarship bulletins are distributed to students/parents and posted on the district’s website. The scholarship bulletins list scholarship opportunities for all levels (elementary, middle school and high school). Local scholarship information is also included in the scholarship bulletins.
Academic / Post-Secondary & Career Planning – Campus Level Activities/Programs & Guidance Lessons
Campus level programs/activities and Guidance Lessons focused on Academic/ Post-Secondary Planning, Career Education, Financial Aid and Scholarship information are provided each month to students and parents by school counselors at all levels (elementary, middle school, high school). Many campuses provide College Week and/or Career Days each year for the students.
The GO Center is a room designated specifically for college-going and career awareness activities. It serves as a point of coordination for the College for Texans efforts and local communities. The College for Texans website provides everything a student needs to know about preparing for, applying for and paying for college or technical school. It’s all in one up-to-date, easy-to-navigate mega-website almost as big as the state of Texas.
District-Wide College Night program
The District-Wide College Night program provides students and parents an opportunity to visit with over 200 college and university representatives to discuss post-secondary plans. In addition to the browsing area, workshops are provided for students and parents on financial aid, scholarships and admissions. These workshops are given in English and Spanish. Bus transportation is also provided for students who may not have transportation to the event from home.
National Hispanic College Fair
The National Hispanic College Fair is an event for high school juniors sponsored by the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund. The college fair is held in the spring semester at a local college/university with 75-100 college/universities representatives available to visit with students on their post-secondary opportunities.
College Financial Aid Help Sessions
These district-wide events help students and parents complete applications for financial assistance for college. FAFSA/TASFA help sessions are held in the fall and spring. These events are a collaborative effort with Tarrant County College and other district partners.
College Application BOOTCAMP
The College Application BOOTCAMP is offered during the summer for upcoming seniors to help prepare students for their senior year. During this day-and-a-half BOOTCAMP, upcoming seniors learn how to: fill out a college application, write an effective essay and receive feedback, learn about senior timelines (when to do what!), and get information about scholarships and grants. Transportation is provided from the home high school to the event location.
TCC College Access program
The TCC College Access program provides all high school seniors with assistance in completing college applications, assessment testing (TSI Assessment), academic advisement and financial aid information. Students completing the College Access program receive an admissions letter to Tarrant County College.
College & Career Readiness Coaches / TCU College Advising Corp program
CCR Coaches / TCU College Advising Corp provide students guidance and support needed to plan college searches, complete admissions and financial aid applications, and enroll in colleges that will serve them well. The focus is to increase the college-going rate at the school; expand the range of colleges and universities to which students apply and in which they enroll; and work with principals, counselors, and teachers to foster a school-wide college-going culture. TCU College Advising Corp seeks to increase the number of low-income, first-generation and underrepresented Texas students entering and completing postsecondary education.
AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination)
The mission of AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination, is to ensure that all students, and most especially the least served students who are in the middle will: succeed in rigorous curriculum, complete a rigorous college preparatory path, enter mainstream activities of the school, and become educated and responsible participants and leaders in a democratic society. AVID elective teachers support these students in socializing intelligence as they focus on academic rigor.
High School Success Interventions (in selected schools)
The United Way of Tarrant County has committed funding to Fort Worth ISD for a drop-out prevention / intervention program (High School Success Interventions – HSSI) at nine high-need campuses: Arlington Heights H.S., South Hills H.S., Dunbar H.S., Eastern Hills H.S., North Side H.S., Trimble Tech H.S., Southwest H.S., Western Hills H.S. and O.D. Wyatt H.S. The key project activities includes:
- College and Career Readiness Coaches (CCR Coaches) provide targeted interventions.
- CCR Coaches support all students and families in successful transition from high school to college and career through College Nights, parent involvement, school wide marketing, and student workshops.
- CCR Coaches increase participation of caregivers, providers, and teachers through networking meetings and referrals such as for tutoring, family guidance or mentoring.
Summer PSAT/SAT Course
The Summer PSAT/SAT course offered at various high school sites addresses the basic concepts necessary for success on the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT college readiness assessments. Among critical reading, mathematics reasoning, and test-taking, essay/writing skills and vocabulary enhancement are course tools; in addition, needs of students of different ages and ability levels will be addressed. Students are provided with released official PSAT and/or SAT score results for the purpose of guiding progress. This summer course is offered to any student entering (rising 9th graders) or enrolled in a high school.
Advanced Placement Night
Advanced Placement courses are offered at 14 high school sites, where annual College Board administrations occur in May. Programs of Choice Coordinators at each high school site serve as test coordinators. Advanced Placement teachers ensure that each course fits the framework of a college course. The AP Audit, conducted for the first time in 2007, has provided each Advanced Placement teacher in Fort Worth ISD the opportunity to review his/her current content by comparing what he/she teaches to college level requirements provided with a professional syllabus according to College Board guidelines, students are assured they will receive instruction equal to a college course while still in a supportive high school environment.
University Interscholastic League (UIL) Academics
The UIL offers the most comprehensive literary and academic competition in the nation, with 23 high school events and 19 elementary and junior high events. These activities, which exist to complement the academic curriculum, are designed to motivate students as they acquire higher levels of knowledge, to encourage students to confront issues of importance, and to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of specific skills. Students are challenged to think critically, exhibiting much more than knowledge and comprehension.
FWISD Advanced, Accelerated, and Innovative Learning offers programs such as University Interscholastic League Academic Contests which provide opportunities for students on each campus to engage in creative and academically challenging activities.
FWISD students have enjoyed successfully competing in elementary UIL contests for several years. It is a goal of our district to provide opportunities for all students and to increase school and student participation. All contest events are in subject areas that are already taught, and subject matter of the tests is embedded in the curriculum, and are based upon the TEKS.
- Calculator Applications
- Computer Applications
- Computer Science
- Current Issues & Events
- Editorial Writing
- Feature Writing
- Headline Writing
- News Writing
- Literary Criticism
- Number Sense
- Ready Writing
- Spelling and Vocabulary
- Social Studies
- Informative Speaking
- Persuasive Speaking
- Poetry Interpretation
- Prose Interpretation
- Lincoln-Douglas Debate
- Cross-Examination Debate
- One-Act Play
Whiz Quiz, coined “The Sport of Knowledge” has provided an opportunity for FWISD Middle School and High School students to compete with other students by using their knowledge to answer challenging questions covering a variety of subject areas. Teams of students work together throughout the fall semester and at the end of the season at the semi-final and final match, winning teams will be declared the district third, second and champion teams.
Gold Seal Programs of Choice (GSPOC)
Every Fort Worth ISD high school will offer Gold Seal Programs of Choice to incoming freshman. Gold Seal Programs of Choice provide rigorous courses of study based on students’ interests as well as the needs of the modern workplace. Within each program are multiple trajectories to ensure an extraordinary learning opportunity for every student.
- Real world applications to classroom lessons
- Internships and job shadowing through the District’s business partners
- College credits
- Licenses and certificates
- Core instruction in math, science, English language arts and social studies (Entry at Grade 9 through application process)
Advanced Placement & SAT Citywide Study Sessions
Advanced Placement students are offered the annual opportunity to attend an AP/SAT Citywide Study Session at Texas Christian University. Students are instructed by Fort Worth ISD instructors, some who are or have been College Board readers or consultants. Course offerings include English, mathematics, science, social science and world language AP courses. Teachers are invited to attend these sessions, also, with a goal of equitably providing support for students as well as a professional support base for teachers, who instruct these courses.
Advanced Placement College Board Administration
Advanced Placement courses are offered at 14 high school sites, where annual College Board administrations occur in May. Programs of Choice Coordinators at each high school site serve as test coordinators. Advanced Placement teachers ensure that each course fits the framework of a college course. The AP Audit, conducted for the first time in 2007, has provided each Advanced Placement teacher in Fort Worth ISD the opportunity to review his/her current content by comparing what he/she teaches to college level requirements. By writing a professional syllabus according to College Board guidelines, students are assured they will receive instruction equal to a college survey course while still in a supportive high school environment.
Official PSAT/NMSQT Administration / Early Participation Program (EPP)
Fort Worth ISD administers the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), a program co-sponsored by the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). This assessment is administered to all 10th and 11th grade students as a part of College Board’s Early Program Participation and measures critical reading, writing and mathematical skills. The administration is site based and coordinated by the Programs of Choice Coordinator of each high school campus. The PSAT includes a feature, AP Potential, which is utilized to determine student potential for appropriate advanced level courses and the Advanced Placement program. AP Potential analyzes individual student scores in each tested area in order to predict course success in specific Advanced Placement courses. In addition, PSAT provides a college readiness percentage by grade level, by campus. The college readiness percentage is the score on each section that a student should meet/exceed to be considered on track to be college ready.
Boys & Girls Club Educational Talent Search
The Educational Talent Search Program of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Fort Worth provides free college, career, and financial aid information to over 1200 middle school and high school students each year. ETS identifies and selects students who want to attend college and provides them with the motivation and support to enroll in a program of postsecondary education (college, university, technical or vocational school) after high school graduation. Pre-College Advisors provide ETS students in grades 6-11 with college, career and financial aid exploration activities through group workshops and individual appointments held at their schools. ETS seniors receive individual assistance with admissions, scholarships, and financial aid forms to ensure college enrollment.
The Superintendent’s Scholars Recognition Ceremony is a formal ceremony recognizing over one hundred high school seniors and a smaller amount of juniors.
Those being recognized include:
National Merit Scholars, both Semi-Finalists and Commended Scholars; National Achievement Program Scholars – African American students with qualifying PSAT and National Merit Qualifying Scores; National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars – Hispanic students with qualifying PSAT and National Merit Qualifying Scores; AP Scholars who have a grade of 3 or higher on three or more exams; AP Scholars with Honors who have a grade of 3 or higher on four or more exams, and AP Scholars with Distinction who have a score of 3 or higher on five or more exams.
Recipients receive a stole for their achievement, which may be worn at graduation.
Academic Award Recognition Ceremony
High School juniors in FWISD who earned a weighted GPA of 3.8 or higher during their sophomore year, are recognized in an academic awards ceremony which is sponsored by Lockheed Martin. Each honoree is awarded an academic sweatshirt monogrammed with each school’s colors and initials as well as the student’s own initials. The ceremony is well-represented and includes a reception as well as a prestigious key-note speaker with great appeal to high school students.
Annual event for all seniors and recent graduates of Fort Worth ISD, ages 17 to 21.
The Fort Worth ISD Career & Technical Education department provides this huge annual event where 50 to 100+ businesses participate and offer employment opportunities! As part of the event, job readiness workshops and event workers are available and offer assistance to the job seekers; so, they may present their best to employers. The Hiring Fair is held the first part of June during the week after the last day of class for the school year.
Whether seniors or recent graduates are looking for a job, college-bound or undecided in their plans for the future, the Hiring Fair has something for all. At the Hiring Fair, young job seekers have the opportunity to talk with employers from a variety of industries in one location. The participating businesses are hiring for entry-level full-time, part-time and long-term, as well as summer jobs. Seniors may look for their first job, a new job or seek career opportunities and even discover employers that offer tuition assistance.
Tuition assistance is an extra benefit that some employers offer their employees in addition to their regular pay. Tuition assistance is money that is applied directly to the cost of college tuition. This employee benefit is another way young adults can further their education and achieve a college education!
College Board My Road
My Road is a free College Board tool to all PSAT test-takers that allows students to:
- get a detailed personality type
- explore suggested careers and college majors
- search for colleges by location, major and cost
- find out what students and professionals have to say about choices
- acquire tips on the college application process and high school success
- create an on-line portfolio for college and career planning
ACT vs SAT
Colleges accept both tests equally, so the choice is up to you! Here's what you need to know to compare the exams.
Test Structure: Reading, Math, and Writing and Language
- 3 hours (without essay)
- 3 hours, 50 minutes (with essay)
Tools: Some math questions don't allow you to use a calculator
How It's Scored: Scored on a scale of 400–1600
Test Structure: Reading, Math, English, and Science
- 2 hours, 55 minutes (without essay)
- 3 hours, 40 minutes (with essay)
Tools: You can use a calculator on all math questions
How It's Scored: Scored on a scale of 1-36
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Selecting a Career
High school students approaching graduation have two choices: enter the job market or go to college. Ultimately you have to choose a career that not only pays the bills, but also brings a sense of self-worth and belonging with it.
Finding a job after high school can be stressful and confusing, especially since people, articles and websites often give conflicting advice. But, if you look at your job search in terms you understand, like smartphones, it may help ease this transition. Consider the following:
- Before you start looking for a job, think about your personality and what kind of career suits you.
- Your first job after graduating may just be what you can find so you can pay your bills. This is pretty normal. Think of it as your first smartphone. It probably is a basic phone that enables you to get on the Internet and text.
- Think about your next steps.No matter what type of career (or smartphone) you choose, consider what it is doing to help you accomplish your goals.
Resume Writing Tips
The resume is…
- A marketing tool
- An individually designed document
- A highlight of your background
- Used by employers as a screening device
- Just ONE piece of the job search process
And keep in mind that the recruiter may only spend 15-20 seconds reviewing the resume before they decide whether to read any further. This is why you need to create a dynamic resume that sells you effectively.
Important Characteristics of Résumés
- Sales-Focused – Remember the resume is a marketing tool designed to market your skills and experience to an employer. Does it focus on the most important things that an employer should know about you? Did you stress skills and accomplishments over duties? Did you support your objective? Did you use action verbs?
- Relevant – Did you include only relevant information? Did you include specific information such as numbers, percentages or dollar amounts? Did you make your qualifications easily identifiable? Make the reader pay attention by using action verbs that convey measurable accomplishments and problem-solving skills.
- Concise – Resume language should be succinct and expressive. Use the minimum number of words necessary to convey meaning. Use precise action verbs. Avoid personal pronouns. Leave out articles: a, an, the. One page is recommended but may vary if you have extensive experience. Use short sentences or phrases.
- Quality-Oriented – Absolutely NO MISTAKES – spelling, grammar, or formatting. A resume with mistakes demonstrates the level of work you perform and tells the reader that you were too lazy to take the time to proofread it. Is that really the message you want to send?
- Visually Appealing – Does your resume look attractive and balanced? Is there white space? Is the font size readable (10 to 14 points is recommended)? Are the headings highlighted – boldface works well (remember, you want the reader to be able to find things easily)? Do important things stand out through their spacing or highlighting?