Connections Weekly Newsletter

April 7, 2023

AP Exam Terms and Conditions

All current AP students: The 2023 AP Exam Terms and Conditions are now available to be read through this link . Students will need to accept these terms and conditions prior to taking each exam. The College Board will send current AP students email reminders to review these terms and conditions.

With AP exams just 3 weeks away; it’s never too early to start reviewing. The College Board offers study guides and review exams to help you prepare. Here is a link to the College Board resources.

Class of 2023 - Advisor Skip Zickmund

It’s spring, which means scholarship season is upon us. Sure, you may be groaning with the thought of more applications to come after your actual college applications, but working hard on scholarship applications can save you tuition cost. Here is an article to help you get started.

Come to a S'more session on April 18 or 20 in Connections to hear about how to start the scholarship process.

Class of 2024 - Advisor Skip Zickmund

Now is the time to plan ahead when preparing for the college admissions process. The spring semester of junior year is the final push before students start applying to college in the fall, so students need to get serious about their college plans. Here are some suggestions to help get started.

When applying to college, many students think they know which strategies will help them attract the attention – in a good way – of admissions officers. This article addresses the gap between perception and reality about what actually matters, and what matters most, when it comes to grades, test scores, extracurricular activities and other factors.

CLASS OF 2025 - Advisor Joanna Peters

We spent time in class considering a new way to think about career exploration. Choosing a specific job title does not consider the options students might not know about or the reality that job titles and tasks are changing over time. Thinking about challenges allows them to see opportunities. I told them challenges are a great way to answer the stress-inducing (yet well-meaning) question “What do you want to do with the rest of your life.” In other words, (personally) I have not exactly chosen a specific career but I know I want to help people reach their potential, prepare future leaders, and communicate ideas and emotions. Talk with your child about the challenges they chose to consider. We will have one more time in the classroom together as they head toward their junior year!

CLASS OF 2026 - Advisor Joanna Peters

We completed our last class time together for the year. We checked out some resources on how to explore careers. An email with links we discussed was sent home earlier this week so soon-to-be sophomores will be able to access career exploration resources at home. Here is a copy of our completed curriculum for the freshman year. Over the summer, we recommend reviewing the freshman checklist to be sure you have finished everything to be on track for next year.

What are S’more Sessions?

These are topic-specific short lessons during flex on ONE topic. The final S’mores are “Scholarships: How to Find and Track Them” on April 18 or April 20. Sign up under What’s New in Naviance. It’s NEVER too early to start your search. The earlier you start looking the more you will have to apply to in your senior year. We have been announcing college, vocational, and other scholarships. Oh, and yes, we have s’mores around the fireplace!

Save The Date: PSAT/NMSQT Exam - Next Year

The PSAT/NMSQT Exam at TCA will be Thursday, October 5 from 8:00 -11:45am. This is the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying exam for juniors and is a PSAT/NMSQT practice exam for sophomores. The payment and registration deadline is September 8. Note: this is on the Thursday morning of Parent/Teacher Conferences BEFORE Fall Break. It has historically been scheduled by College Board during Fall Break.

Upcoming Career Chat on April 21

Entrepreneur and Business Owner Tim Holliday (Jersey Mike’s) will share what it takes to start a business and what different business opportunities are available.

Career & College Visits


Next Week in Connections, Room 1104

* Monday, 4/17 5:30, Rising Senior Night
* Tuesday, 4/18 10:30, S’more: Scholarships
* Wednesday, 4/19 10:30, Mandatory Sophomore Flex: Brian Zaun
* Thursday, 4/20 10:30, S’more Scholarships
* Friday, 4/21 10:30, Career Chat: Tim Holliday

In the Community

Nursing Information Sessions at Pikes Peak State College, Friday April 21 from 10am-12pm at the Rampart Range Campus. Learn more about the program, discuss the different types of nursing and have your questions answered.


A Virtual Information Event will be held for those interested in Service Academies and ROTC on Monday, 17 April 2023 from 5:30pm to 7:45pm. Congressional representatives from each district and senator’s offices will be in attendance. This flyer includes a QR code to register.

Save the Date for Spring 2023 NACAC Virtual College Fairs on April 23. All fairs will feature College MatchMaking which matches students to specific colleges and universities based on the criteria they provide. Register here.

First-Generation Virtual College Fair 2023, Wednesday April 26 from 10am-12pm and 4:30pm-6:30pm. This is an engaging forum for students and their families so they can explore the many available college options and learn from experts on how to make the most of the college experience.

The 2023 Young Adult Job Fair will be Wednesday, May 10 from 12-4pm at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center at 1675 Garden of the Gods Road. If you are interested in attending, please create or update your account before attending the Job Fair.

Enrichment Opportunities

2023 PPBEA Summer Internship Program - Students have the chance to gain valuable insight and experience inside the world of business. They will have internships in the following career pathways: Culinary & Hospitality, Cybersecurity & Computer Science, and Business & Social Impact and Skilled Trades. Deadline to apply is April 16.

Air Academy Credit Union is still accepting applications from rising 11th and 12th graders for its paid 2023-2024 High School Internship Program. Students will learn about AACU’s financial products and services, develop career skills in a professional work environment, and be mentored by various leaders within the organization. CLICK HERE for the online application.

Need another incentive to boost participation in CyberStart America? If you become National Cyber Scholars through this year's CSA program, you will win a scholarship to cover the SANS Foundations (SEC275) course and earn your GIAC Foundational Cybersecurity Technologies (GFACT) - and, in a new initiative for 2023, you will be able to use your certification for college credit.

The University of Denver will be hosting their 2023 Pioneer Prep Leadership Institute from July 19 - July 21. This institute is for students who identify as Black/African American and/or Latinx for opportunities to better understand the college application process, exploration of personal identity, and engagement with DU administrators and current students.

Celebrate World Quantum Day on Saturday, April 15th with student workshops from 11am-12pm. World Quantum Day was created to “engage the general public in the understanding and discussion of Quantum Science and Technology.”

Are you looking for volunteer opportunities? This list, though not all-inclusive, was created to give families some ideas of community service options. TCA or Connections Center staff do not endorse any of these opportunities. Due diligence is the responsibility of each family.

Rhode Island School of Design is offering both online and in person summer courses. Enroll by May 4 to save 10%.

The AIGA Colorado Springs Student Portfolio Review will be on Saturday, April 29 from 10am – 3pm at the PPSC Downtown Campus. This free event is open to creatives in graphic and web design.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is hosting a two-week Architecture Career Discovery Programs this summer. This immersive workshop will open your eyes to architecture as a future career and provide you with an impressive portfolio piece. Register here.

Not admitted to a school, but want to try again? Check to see if the college has a program like this one. Students not initially admitted to Texas Tech University may gain full admission by completing 6 hours of college credit and maintaining a minimum 2.5 GPA.

CodeWizardsHQ offers summer classes and coding camps in Scratch, Python, Minecraft, Roblox, and more.

Williams College is offering their 2023 Windows on Williams (WOW) fly-in program for class of 2024. This is an all-expenses-paid opportunity to visit campus and experience the Williams community. Deadline to apply is July 1 or August 1.

Scholarships and More

The Alpha Gamma Rho Chapter at Colorado State is offering three $1,000 scholarships for first year men studying agriculture or natural resources. Deadline to apply is May 30.

Metro State University of Denver is offering a Pathways to Possible (P2P) is a scholarship program designed to support students as they transition to MSU Denver and throughout their college journey with individualized support in attaining academic and career goals. Deadline to apply is April 21.

Career Focus - Mental Health

Are you interested in a career in mental health? Do you love horses? Check out this opportunity at Eagala, a collaborative and experiential approach to mental health services incorporating horses.

College Spotlight

Check out these new future-focused degree programs Illinois Tech:

St. Edward’s now offers three programs that provide pathways and preparation for earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Their Pre-Nursing Track and Health Professions Track prepare traditional undergraduate students majoring in Biology to transition into Accelerated BS in Nursing programs.

Checklists by Class for March/April



  • Most admissions decisions and financial aid award letters arrive this month. Read everything you receive carefully, as some of it may require action on your part.

  • On the waiting list? Contact the admissions office and let them know of your continued interest in the college and update them on your spring semester grades and activities.

  • Compare award letters from colleges.

  • Make a final decision on a school, submit enrollment forms and deposit checks before May 1.

  • Sign and return your award letter/financial aid package by the deadline.

  • If you are not going to college meet with your Connections advisor to discuss your plans and to get support whether you plan to work, go into the military, travel, or participate in a GAP Year Program.

  • Register and attend on-campus programs for accepted students

  • Register and attend any receptions for accepted students in your local area.

  • Update your resume to use for summer jobs.



  • Begin the application process if interested in military academies and/or ROTC.

  • Gather specific info on 4-8 colleges and schedule campus visits when possible. Visiting the actual campus will give you the best idea if you like it or not.

  • Attend the Denver Spring College Fair. Pay attention to Connections Center announcements for date and location.

  • Consider participating in internship and job shadow opportunities.

  • Take state SAT at TCA- time and date to be announced.

  • Complete these Naviance items to help with career/college exploration: Learning and Productivity, Personality, and Strengths Explorer; Update your Resume; Add Colleges and Careers to your Naviance List.



  • Check Naviance for Summer Opportunities (Enrichment Opps) you may want to attend

  • Google Search “college programs, high school”

  • Continue a resume in Naviance, Add Careers and Colleges to your favorites list in Naviance

  • Do a SuperMatch college search in Naviance



  • Watch the Connections Announcements for Summer Opportunities you may want to attend

  • Summer opps are also listed in Enrichment Programs on the Colleges page in Naviance and Search “college programs, high school”

  • Continue a resume in Naviance,

  • Continue exploring careers and consider asking a community member if you can schedule an informational interview or do a job shadow. Look for PPBEA opps.

  • Continue volunteering.

  • Guardian review of the freshmen Readiness Report (progress in PWR Path).

  • Finalize summer plans (summer school, job, travel/exchange, volunteer)

  • Think about taking the PSAT/NMSQT in the fall of sophomore year. Deadline to register happens at beginning of the sophomore year.

  • Time to celebrate! You are going to be sophomores!

Connections Center (Career & College)

Joanna Peters, Director - 9th & 10th Grades, PSAT/NMSQT, Scholarships

Skip Zickmund, Assistant Director - 11th & 12th Grades, AP

Jodi Hoffman, Office Manager - Rep Visits, Community Service