Sophomore Year

Check out this checklist into how to kick-start your college and career plans:  Now’s the time to explore them:

My Next Move
Partnered with the US Department of Labor,  My Next Move is an easy to navigate site.  You can approach your career search by key words, industry groups, or by your interest and abilities.

MyPath Careers
MyPath Careers is a totally relevant (and a little irreverent!) website geared to Oregon teens, where you can explore careers, to education and training, and learn about job opportunities.  It’s  interactive,  integrated  and hooks-up directly with everyone: • explore 250+ career profiles by interest, salary, education and industry • view 450+ videos and photo diaries of real people talking about their work and giving advice • learn about required experience and education and where to go to school • use links to Career Pathways Roadmaps for Oregon Community College programs • find additional resources for financial aid, mentoring, internships and more.

And now… for your month-by-month plan:

This is your year to concentrate on academic preparation and continue to develop basic skills and co-curricular interests.  (That’s a fancy way of saying you’ll want to stay strong academically  AND develop skills through clubs, volunteering, and other outside-of-school opportunities and experiences.)


  • Be sure to take NCAA-approved courses if you want to play sports in college.
  • Start the year out strong academically.  If you haven’t already done so, develop study habits that make passing your proficiencies easier: take notes during class and review them before the class meets again (click here for ideas about how to take notes that work for YOU), read and re-read course materials, ask your teacher for help if you don’t understand something, take advantage of after and in-school tutoring, form study groups, and get in the habit of doing at least one thing each night to prepare for your classes the next school day.  If you need help, seek it out before things feel overwhelming.


  • Sign up, if you have not done so already, for co-curricular activities that interest you. The level of involvement and accomplishment is most important, not the number of activities.
  • Keep a record of your co-curricular involvement, volunteer work, and employment (all year).
  • Take PSAT.


  • Make sure you are “on top” of your academic work. If necessary, meet with your teacher for additional help.
  • Save your best work in academic courses and the arts for your academic portfolio (all year).


  • Keep studying!
  • Volunteer-a great way to identify your interests and to develop skills.


  • It is never too early to start researching colleges and universities. Visit the College & Career Center to browse through literature and guidebooks or surf the Web and check out college and university home pages.
  • Join ASPIRE to meet with a mentor who can help you navigate your future.
  • Ask your counselor or teachers about AP testing to see if you’re ready to take AP classes or sign up for the AP exam.


  • Check out some of the many on-line resources to help you in the college admission and financial aid processes.  There are many linked from this website, and you can get more information from Jessica in the C&CC.


  • See Jessica in the C&CC with college and career questions.
  • Continue to research career options and consider possible college majors that will help you achieve your career goals.


  • Plan now for wise use of your summer. Consider taking a summer course or participating in a special program (e.g., for prospective engineers or journalists or for those interested in theater or music) at a local college or community college. Consider working or volunteering.


  • If you work, save some of your earnings for college.


  • During the summer, you may want to sign up for a PSAT/SAT prep course, use computer software, or do the practice tests in books designed to familiarize you with standardized tests.
  • Continue to visit college campuses, so you can get an idea of what you might want to study, and what kind of a school will feel most comfortable to you.


  • Make your summer productive. Continue reading to increase your vocabulary.

Adapted from NACAC’s PACT Guide, 2000. Revised Online Only: March 2005