Connections Summer Newsletter


Thank you for another incredible year of exploration and congratulations to our newest graduates. We are thankful to have the opportunity to work with our TCA students by visiting classes 37 times over their four years with us, in addition to S’more topic-specific lessons, full-class guest speakers on Choosing a College and Financial Aid, 13 Career Chats, 62 College Visits, 4 Mini College Fairs with 71 colleges represented, one-on-one advising sessions, and even 24 Bingo game days! If you want to be certain you won’t miss any of our MORE THAN 100 exploration events each year, use this iCal link to import into your calendar:

Note: this is not a hyperlink that will open the calendar; it must be imported into your calendar. Not sure how?

Have an amazing summer and we’ll see you in the fall!!

CLASS 2024 - Preparing for Senior Year

As you approach your senior year, cherish every moment possible. The fights with your friends; forgiveness, and understanding are life lessons. The feeling of passing an exam without studying; not the best strategy, but sometimes it happens. Most importantly, the hugs from your family. Don't ever think that you'll have time to do everything you want senior year because it goes by quick as lightning. Be you and have a blast this upcoming year. Don't stress out about academics too much but keep your grades up.

Forge your own path and follow your true passion, whether that includes higher education or not. No matter where you end up, you will find your niche, and you will surpass the expectations that have been placed upon you. I look forward to the next, and final year working together and helping as you plan for your future.

Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts as you look forward to your senior year. Planning now makes the new school year start smoother.

The fall semester of your senior year is your last chance to put your best foot forward on college applications. The start of the year is quite busy so preparing over the summer makes the start of the year go a lot smoother. Use the summer before your last year of high school to get ahead on your college applications. Ways to accomplish that include drafting college admissions essays, updating your resume, asking about recommendation letters, planning to retake the ACT or the ACT, researching scholarship options and touring more campuses. Here is a link to help you stay on top of the process.

How to Create a College List (with tracking spreadsheet): Keep making progress. Make sure you’re excited about all the schools on your list, not just the reaches. Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be is a great read.

It is common and even expected that parents be part of visits to their children’s prospective colleges. After all, someone needs to book the trip, be a chaperone for overnight visits, and more. But how involved should parents be in activities once everyone arrives on campus? Here is a short list of what parents should and should not do during college visits.

Summer is a good time to start working on completing the Common Application. This is one application that can be used to apply to over 900 colleges. The personal statement/essay is a part of the application. We will be working on this at the start of the year. Read these tips if you want to get a head start on the process.

Getting ahead for the fall: While we will walk through the application process IN DETAIL next fall, we know some of you wanted to work ahead over the summer. Click here if you would like to complete some of these steps.

How to Write a College Essay: Wondering how to get started on your college essays this summer? Read this step-by-step guide, which walks you through the process.

IF you are applying to a college/university in Colorado, SAVE THE DATE to submit that application during 2023 Colorado FREE Applications Days on Oct. 17-19. More details will be announced in September 2023.

CLASS OF 2025 - Advisor Joanna Peters

This year has been a blast watching you connect the dots for career exploration. As I mentioned in class, this summer newsletter has the list of resources we have explored throughout this year. Once you catch up on sleep, spend a little time checking out your results (Naviance>Self-Discovery), updating your resume (Naviance>About Me), and finishing your YouScience games. Happy exploring! See you in the fall!

CLASS OF 2026 - Advisor Joanna Peters

It’s been great exploring Naviance and introducing career exploration tools with you! Over the summer, remember to update your resume (in Naviance, under ABOUT ME) and complete any outstanding tasks. I look forward to working with you again in the fall. As we continue through your sophomore year, you’ll see how each lesson builds on the next. You’ll be ready for decision time!

Community Service

Starting June 5th, students will have a new way to access X2VOL where they log their Community Service hours and papers. Instead of clicking via Naviance, students may use this link, Community Service. To sign in, they will use their msa email and password. Once in X2VOL, the steps to enter hours and papers are the same.

If you have more questions, check out this x2Vol HOW TO video - everything but the log-in steps remain the same. More information on the Community Service Graduation Requirements can be found on the TCA website on the Connections page.



Here is a Naviance Quick Guide on how to set up a parent/guardian account and use Naviance tools.

Naviance College, Career and Life Readiness Curriculum: Families, many of you have asked questions about learning what your children are learning as it relates to college, career, and life readiness. Within the Naviance tool, there are short lessons that align with our lessons in the classroom. Working through these short lessons together might be helpful to launch family conversations about finances, scholarships, or career exploration. Here is a short video that introduces these lessons: Naviance College/Career/Life-Readiness Curriculum

Student Readiness Reports were run on May 18 and are available for viewing. Click here for an overview of how to view your 9th-11th student(s)’ reports.

Other Resources

Check out the links below for specific interests:




Exploration Links

Federal Internships

Financial Aid

Gap Year




Short-term Training

Summer Internships


At Planet Fitness teens between the ages of 14-19 can work out for free now through August 31st. Teens who register can help win a grant for their school and participate in a video contest for a chance to win a scholarship.


AP Testing: Testers have until June 20 to sign into My AP and send one free score report to the college, university, or scholarship organization of your choice. Once you sign in, you’ll be prompted to make your selection. Scores will also be available to all students on the student AP scores website starting on Wednesday, July 5.

Testing over the Summer

Both the SAT and the ACT are available over the summer.

Next ACT Test Date 7/15/2023 with registration by 6/16/2023 ACT Registration ACT Test Prep

Next SAT Test Date 8/26/2023 with registration by 7/28/2023 SAT Registration SAT Test Prep

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. Register by paying the optional fee in Infinite Campus by the September 8 deadline. 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.

The 2023-24 PSAT/NMSQT exam will be digital. Currently, you can complete full-length practice tests.. Per College Board: PSAT/NMSQT practice tests will be available in Bluebook (the digital platform) you can Download the Bluebook App and Practice.

Free test prep: If you’re planning to test in late summer into the fall, take advantage of these resources:

Official SAT Practice Tests (College Board)

Khan Academy (SAT Free Official SAT Practice Tests | College Board)

Official ACT Practice Tests

ACT Academy

How to Improve Your ACT Score by 2 Points in 20 Minutes

Save the Date


August 23 – High School Back to School Night

August 28 – First Day to Accept College Applications in Connections

September 8 – Deadline for payment in IC for AP and (optional) PSAT/NMSQT exam

September 12 – Connections Freshmen/Sophomore Family Night

September 13 – Connections Junior/Senior/Financial Aid Family Night

September 18 – Mini-College Fair – Extended Flex

September 25 – Mini-College Fair – Extended Flex

October 5 – PSAT/NMSQT exam for pre-registered 10th and 11th graders

In the Community and Beyond this Summer

The Regional Officers of Admission of the Rockies (ROAR) Summer College Search Series.

Thursday, June 8th: 6:00p - 7:30p | Colorado Springs - Library 21c (1175 Chapel Hills Dr)

Friday, June 9th: 1:30p-3:00p | Lone Tree - Lone Tree Library (10055 Library Way)

August 16 – CTCL College Fair, Colorado Convention Center, Denver

Coalition for College is offering a series of 30-minute workshops on topics like the college essay, letters of recommendation, building a smart college list, and more. Each brings the expertise of their members together to help students and their supporters understand the admissions process.

BigFuture and LinkedIn Career Week: Join BigFuture and LinkedIn for this series of free, virtual events to learn about the most in-demand jobs, how to build your network, and how to craft your own LinkedIn profile. Get all your career questions answered, and listen to guest speakers from TikTok, Deloitte, and more. Click here to register for events.

In the Community next Fall

September 16 - Pathfinder Aerospace Conference , Colorado School of Mines.

September 18Christian College Fair

September 28 – Construction Career Days, Norris Penrose Event Center

October 2 - Greater Denver Fair, Southern Colorado

October 5 - Greater Denver Fair, Denver South High School

October 7 - Greater Denver Fair, Mountain Vista High School

October 17-19 - 2023 Colorado Free Application Days

November 5NACAC College Fair, Denver

Connections Center (Career & College)

Joanna Peters, Director

Jodi Hoffman, Office Manager - Rep Visits, Community Service