While the junior year is often cited as the most important year in teh college admissions process, it is during the sophomore year that a student's transcript begins to take shape. All colleges consider the high school transcript to be the best indicator of college success. A thoughtful and challenging high school course of study is the most important factor in college admissions. During the sophomore year students can choose a variety of honors and Advanced Placement courses that will help prepare them for the rigors of college. Parents are encouraged to actively participate in the course selection process by reviewing their child's course selection each spring. Guidance counselors can be a valuable resource for helping families design an appropriately challenging course of study. Through independent visits to college campuses and membership in professional counseling organizations, guidance counselors are pleased to share with families the most up-to-date best practices in college admissions. Below are some suggestions to help your child continue the post-secondary planning process.
Think critically about the future
Students should review the results of their personality and career interest assessments taken in Freshman Seminar and begin to incorporate those results in course planning. At this age students are aware of their academic, social, and interpersonal strenghts and blindspots and they can begin to see how these factors fit into their long-term career goals. This is challenging work and students often need help as they move forward with it. Parents are encouraged to be involved during this time of personal growth by engaging in frequent conversation with students about the career planning process.
Continue with academic rigor
Encourage students to take challenging courses that will prepare them for the rigors of higher education. Advanced Placement courses are offered to sophomores in several content areas. Information about the AP curriculum is shared at the annual AP Night each February. For students who do not yet feel ready to challenge themselves with an AP course, Honors coursework will help students learn to work independently and will also help them refine their critical thinking skills. Electives are also an important part of each student's course of study. DHS offers anextensive variety art courses, music instruction, and technology courses. Students should be encouraged to stretch their limits in these areas, as well.
Summer Enrichment Activities
Many colleges and universities offer summer programs for high school students. These programs can provide an enjoyable learning experience and help to build a student's resume. Students can learn more about these enrichment opportunities from their guidance counselor.