Connections Weekly Newsletter

October 21, 2022

Upcoming Events

S’more Session - Scholarships: It’s Never Too Early to Start Searching,

10/26 at 10:30 in Connections

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, we will hold our first S’more session for all interested high school students. S’mores are topic-specific chats during Flex in the Connections Center (and yes, we have s’mores or cookies). This S’more topic is “Scholarships: It’s never too early to start searching.” It is open to all grades. We will talk about where to search for scholarships, how to organize a list, and how to become competitive for the scholarships you find. If you know what you are working toward, you can fill in the requirements along the way! Yes, this is a GREAT session for freshmen and sophomores too!

Career Chat 10/28 at 10:30 in the Connections Center
Julynn Mullenix, Licensed Counselor - If you are interested in the mental health or Human Services Career Clusters fields, please join us as Mrs. Mullenix shares her passion and her career as a Counselor. Counselors advise individuals and groups to promote mental and emotional health and Mrs. Mullenix will draw from her 20+ year career as a counselor in a wide variety of settings and private practice and tell us about this rewarding field. More Psychology Resources here

CLASS OF 2023 - Advisor Skip Zickmund

College Applications: Two quick reminders as you get ready to send your applications. First, recommendations - teacher and counselor - need to be made 2 weeks in advance of the deadline. Second, if you complete a transcript request through a college website, you must also make a request through Naviance. All transcript requests must be made in Naviance.

Athletic Transcripts: Transcript needed for recruiting purposes or for eligibility must be requested through Naviance. Here is a link to explain the process. When prompted, select the blue-green box labeled “Using Managed Transcripts” The 5:52 minute mark will explain the process for athletic transcripts.

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is open for the 2022-23 academic year. The U.S. Department of Education uses this form to determine a student's eligibility for need-based federal financial aid for college based upon their financial situation.

Here is a link to a series of ten short videos with quick tips and advice from Colorado College to help jump-start college applications. Some of the content is specific to Colorado College, but overall, you can apply the information to all colleges.

Here is a link to the Senior Year Checklist to help stay aware of some of the monthly “milestones.”

CLASS OF 2024 - Advisor Skip Zickmund

Starting the college search is sometimes thought of as a milestone moment. There might be a lot of talk and anticipation building up to it. In reality, though, the college search sometimes doesn't have an official starting moment. Instead, it's often a slow, rolling start with small steps building up over months or even years. Here is an article to help to start thinking about the process.

Many colleges are currently test-optional, giving students the option to submit ACT/SAT scores as a part of their college application. Many scholarships and specific academic departments might still require test scores even if general admission is test optional. It is in the best interest of all students to have a test score available if needed. Here is an article to help you decide when to take the ACT/SAT.

One of the biggest mistakes in the junior year is not taking advantage of college meetings from college representatives when they visit TCA. A complete list of upcoming visits can be found in Naviance: Naviance home page> Scroll right side>”What’s Newbox> Bottom of box> Click “Show More”>Click “More Info”>Click “Register” to sign up. Students can use these same steps to sign up for Career Chats.

CLASS OF 2025 - Advisor Joanna Peters

During our recent PWR lesson, Sophomores brainstormed a goal-setting exercise. Setting a goal, thinking through the steps, and sharing it are all steps leading to more success in reaching a goal. I introduced the WOOP process. “Goals” can be such a high-pressure word. WOOP is a similar process that is just so much more fun. WOOP stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle(s), and Plan. What do you hope for, what would be the result of attaining that wish, what could get in the way, and how do you get around the obstacle to the result? Talk with your teen about their goals. Remember, you have access to their goals and inventory results in Naviance. There are many great resources out there like this article in Parents Magazine.

We also worked on Resumes. Encourage your teen to keep track of activities starting the SUMMER AFTER 8th grade. In my house, my daughters each had a small box with a stack of index cards by the front door. As they came in, they wrote down the date and details about the activity they just completed. Over the summer, they organized those cards and entered them into their resumes. There is a great resume tool in Naviance. In the details box, students can “Qualify and Quantify” by adding ALL of the details. Later, they can print their resume without those details, but they will have it available for future applications. For example: Writing down “teddy bear drive with NHS” does not give as many details as “organized teddy bear drive with 10 other students, collected 250 teddy bears to distribute to fire stations in our community” which tells a much better story.

CLASS OF 2026 - Advisor Joanna Peters

Set your plans aside. This week I met with all freshmen and asked them to consider all options. We talked about awareness of careers and how there is a rapid change in our world of work. I hope to teach them how to find a multitude of career opportunities. We are laying the foundation for how to find careers based on interests, preferences, strengths, values, and more. I asked them how many careers they knew and could write down on a list (without a computer or personal assistance). Numbers were estimated in the hundreds. And yet, Naviance has a little over 1,000 careers listed. Naviance Road Trip Nation has approximately 10,000 career exploration videos.

Freshmen completed the Career Cluster Finder Survey--an inventory that will allow them to match their interests, strengths, and personal qualities with potential career areas or clusters. Their top career clusters will be ranked based on their responses. Career Clusters are a grouping of similar careers and a great starting point to think about future careers. If you would like to complete a similar inventory, click here.

We will navigate multiple inventories and tools over the next four years to introduce them to many careers. I challenge them to ask questions, to dig deeper than the salary numbers, and to investigate what someone’s daily tasks are like within a career. Don’t know what that career is? Dig deeper! Attend college visits in Connections (whether they currently plan to attend college or not). Attend Career Chats (every Friday during flex) and special career events in Connections. Read the weekly newsletter for opportunities in the community and beyond.

Internships and Co-ops

What is the difference between Internships and Co-ops?

While the lines may blur, experts note that co-ops tend to be full-time employment over a semester, whereas internships usually require fewer weekly hours. Whereas a student in a co-op may work up to 35 or 40 hours, internships often require less than half of that time. Co-ops are typically paid positions and last anywhere from three to 12 months. For a few ideas of colleges that offer co-op programs, click here. Each institution is different, and students should look deeply into their major’s requirements and talk about the benefits of either option.

Career Chats

If you are a parent or guardian or know a TCA graduate who would be willing to share their career story with our students, we would love to have you. Many careers are welcome, but here are some of the fields our students have expressed an interest in: Healthcare, Art or Music Therapy, Biochemistry, Legal – Lawyer/Judge, Firefighters, and Interior Design.

Career Chats are held on most Fridays during Flex. Contact Jodi Hoffman at if you are interested.

Do you enjoy baking and would like to earn some volunteer hours? If so, we are looking for someone to bake cookies for our Career Chats. Stop by Connections or email Mrs. Hoffman at if you are interested.

How to Add Volunteer Hours in X2Vol

If you need a refresher on how to enter your hours into x2Vol, check out this x2Vol HOW TO video. More information on the Community Service Graduation Requirements can be found on the TCA website on the Connections page. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity or have one to share, check out the Community Service Board located in the Atrium by the stairs.


Connections, Room 1104

* Tuesday, 10/25 10:30, BINGO
* Wednesday, 10/26 10:30, S’more Session: Scholarships
* Wednesday, 10/26 10:55, Grand Canyon University
* Thursday, 10/27 9:35, Pikes Peak State College
* Thursday, 10/27 11:25, Louisiana State University
* Thursday, 10/27 2:10, Savannah College of Art & Design
* Friday, 10/28 10:30, Career Chat: Counselor, Julyn Mullenix

In the Community

Cal State will be hosting Apply Information Sessions at the following locations:

· Wednesday, October 26 from 6 - 7 pm | Shillinglaw Lecture Center at Creek High School, 9300 E Union Ave, Greenwood Village, CO 80111

· Thursday, November 17 from 6 - 7 pm | Columbine Library, 7706 W Bowles Ave, Littleton, CO 80123

Enrichment Opportunities

UCCS Pre-Collegiate Program Accepting Application The UCCS Pre-Collegiate Program is accepting applications from 7th and 9th graders in Colorado Springs who are 1st Generation, Low Income, or Military-Connected students. The application is open from now until October 28.

free access to CyberStart America, an immersive cybersecurity training game, with over 200 fun-to-play challenges, which provide a chance to discover your talent, advance your skills and win scholarships in cybersecurity.

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is the most widely used multiple-aptitude test battery in the world. The ASVAB measures your strengths, weaknesses, and potential for future success in four domains: verbal, math, science and technical, and spatial. The ASVAB helps the Department of Defense not just determine whether you are a good fit to join the service, but also which service branch you might be best for and even what military jobs you can hold after you finish basic training or boot camp. ASVAB testing is available at local recruiting offices or military entrance processing stations.

Interested in being in a collegiate circus? It’s real. Check it out!

MITRE is hosting a FREE, interactive, online event TOMORROW, October 22, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, to inform students of STEM majors, careers, and organizations. MITRE works to tackle challenges to the safety, stability, and well-being of our nation – they are equally committed to leading the way to a strong future through community involvement and STEM initiatives. Register here

Norwich University offers Future Leader Camp, a two-week, military-style, summertime adventure experience that builds an understanding of small-group leadership techniques, leadership ethics, teamwork, problem-solving, and communication. Activities include rappelling, paintball, first-aid, classroom instruction, a challenge course, and more.

Adelante Mujer, Inc. a Latina-led Colorado nonprofit, will be hosting their annual LaTEENa Conference & Advanced Leadership Symposium on Saturday, November 5, 2022, for middle school through college-age Latina students. The mission of this event is to sponsor and promote programs dedicated to the inclusion of Latina students in pursuit of higher education, professional career growth, and cultural leadership development.

Scholarships and Incentive Programs

If you are a military family and would like to chat with a higher education admissions officer about tuition benefits, check in with our Office Manager, Jodi Hoffman for contact information.

The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is an agreement with 160+ participating public colleges and universities to provide steep nonresident tuition savings for Colorado students. Click here for the full list of participating WUE schools! Through WUE, eligible students can choose from hundreds of undergraduate programs outside their home state and pay no more than 150 percent of that institution’s resident tuition rate. WUE increases affordable higher-education choices for students and minimizes the adverse impacts of student loan debt.

The Indigenous & Native Peoples’ Grant is designed to provide funds for tuition and fees for undergraduate students who are Colorado residents and enrolled in one of 574 federally recognized Native nations. Click here for more information.

Jefferson Scholarships provide the entire cost of attendance at the University of Virginia and many supplemental enrichment experiences. All candidates must be nominated; see Ms. Peters for more information.

Loyola University Maryland is expanding the availability of Loyola-granted application fee waivers. Any student who attends an on-campus or virtual admission event will be eligible to have their application fee waived.

Silicon Valley Power Sustainable Futures Program provides scholarships and fellowships to up to 35 future leaders in sustainability, clean energy, and related fields. Selected students will use the funds to attend and receive advanced opportunities at Santa Clara University and its award-winning environmental and sustainability curriculum.

The University of Rochester offers the Alan and Jane Handler Scholarship to qualified candidates who are academically high-achieving students with substantial levels of financial need (as demonstrated on their FAFSA and CSS Profile forms) and who have overcome significant obstacles in their lives.

The 2023-2024 scholarship application is now open for both the APIA Scholarship and AANAPISI Scholarship - one application, two scholarship programs! Join thousands of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander students by applying today to earn scholarships from $2,500 to $20,000! Deadline to apply is January 19, 2023. Please email with any questions or inquiries!

Montana State University offers several scholarship opportunities

  • Non-resident students that apply to MSU are automatically considered for a scholarship through their Achievement Award program, based on academic merit.
  • The Presidential Scholarship is a prestigious and competitive opportunity for students who are interested in joining the Honors College. This scholarship consists of a full tuition waiver, plus an additional stipend for housing.
  • The Western Undergaduate Exchange (WUE) is one of their most competitive scholarships. If awarded the WUE scholarship, a student's tuition will be brought down to roughly 150% of in-state tuition.
  • Various departmental scholarships are available through the academic colleges each year a student is at MSU.

Career Focus - Dental Therapy

A dental therapist is a licensed oral health professional who practices as part of the dental team to provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic patient services. Dental therapists provide basic preventive and restorative treatment to children and adults, and extractions of primary (baby) teeth under the supervision of a dentist. Click here for more info. The University of Minnesota has a great landing page for its program.

College Highlights

If you are interested in a “Sportcentric” Major or Minor, check out this affordable small college list from Peter Pitts, owner of

There's no better time to visit Cornell College than during their upcoming Visit Week (Oct. 31—Nov. 4). Students and their families who register for an individual visit any time during that week will be reimbursed for part of the cost to travel to campus with gift cards for gas or $300 vouchers for airfare.

Here is a great link to learn more about the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture.

Rice University’s Department of Sport Management is expanding with their newest major in Sports Analytics. This interdisciplinary major created in partnership with the School of Engineering will offer students training in a rapidly growing field. Those who have an interest in sports and possess an analytical mindset have the unique ability to turn both of these passions into an exciting and rewarding career. For more information, click here.

The University of Toronto Scarborough has a new Specialist (Co-Operative) Program In Conservation and Biodiversity (Science) program. This program presents a foundation for understanding how ecology and evolution shape organismal features (from morphology and physiology to behavior), and the structure and function of communities and ecosystems.

St Edward’s Goal Is for 100% of Students to Participate in Experiential Learning. On the hilltop, exceptional teaching and practical education go hand-in-hand. Students team up with professors on advanced research and present their findings at national conferences. They build career skills through impactful internships and field experiences in Austin and beyond. They study abroad to explore different cultures and dive into innovative creative projects that contribute to scholarly and artistic knowledge. And they participate in local, national, and international service experiences that give back to communities. These activities connect students to mentors, new perspectives, and endless possibilities for their future.

Interested in Aviation? Check out Florida Tech, Southern Utah University, Jacksonville University, Arizona State University, Central Washington University, Metro State University, Purdue University, Western Michigan University, Bowling Green State University, Embry-Riddle, and more!

UCCS has approved a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, a Bachelor of Arts in Music, and a certificate in Substance Use and Recovery Counseling.

NYU Silver School of Social Work empowers students to make a difference as they gain a degree with broad applications. NYU Silver’s undergraduate programs teach you how to advocate for people of all backgrounds and facilitate positive change. The curriculum features experiential learning that immerses you in real situations.

Skills Improvement

Dive deeper into Your Passion for IT, Design & Coding with Unlimited Access to 1000+ Courses. Get lifetime access to StackSkills Unlimited for $69.

Do You Have an Unwanted Graduation Gown?

Here at Connections, we collect and save mementos for class reunions. We are looking for a few graduation gowns to add to our collection. If you have discovered there is no other use for your graduate’s gown, would you consider dropping it off at the high school? If so, email Jodi Hoffman at


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