Sophomore Planning Guide

Harlan High School


Sophomore year is a keystone year. Decisions and choices you make are more important than ever before. It is time to fine tune your curriculum and continue developing expertise in your abilities and talents.

Reflect on experiences from freshman year and identify academic and personal goals for the remaining years. What were your triumphs and successes? What were your struggles?.

Educational planning is critical now. As a sophomore, you face crossroads and choices. It is a time to determine the right degree of rigor in the curriculum, commit to developing personal interests, and devise a plan for your remaining high school years that will ensure growth and reward.


  1. _____ Plan your curriculum: Every sophomore created a four-year plan during their freshman year to stay on track for graduation. Review it in HAC. It is important to determine the degree of rigor, and think about strengths and challenges as you consider Pre-AP classes, AP courses, dual enrollment, or OnRamps.
  2. _____ Conduct an interest/values assessment: As you move through your educational journey, your interests and values often change. Take an interest and values survey to make sure your endorsement path and courses align with your interests/values. Click on career interest assessment .
  3. _____ Review your courses: Carefully review your course selection. Seek out a trusted adviser, such as a teacher or counselor to help you align your strengths and weaknesses with your endorsement path and course selection. Are you in the classes that support your career interests? Can you handle more rigorous classes? Should you level up and take AP, Dual Credit or OnRamps courses?
  4. _____ Meet with your counselor: When you meet with your counselor during individual planning, be prepared to discuss your findings.


  1. _____ Increase your focus on academics: Go to classes. Engage in classes. Get everything you can out of your educational journey. This is the year to read voraciously, acquire great skill in writing, and speak up in class. By exercising your strengths and developing insight about the challenges you face, you will find your voice. Articulating and discussing your thoughts and ideas will bring clarity to the direction you want to take. Study. Invest in good sleep habits.
  2. _____ Join a school club: Get involved with a club at school. You feel more connected with your school and it looks good on a college application. Click on Harlan Clubs for a list of clubs at Harlan.
  3. _____ Become a leader: Take a step in the direction of leadership and become a future standout in your chosen interests.


  1. _____ Visit the College, Career and Military Readiness Center (CCMRC): The College, Career and Military Readiness Center can help you along your journey. Visit it before school, during your lunch or after school and/or go to CCMRC to get more information.
  2. _____ Attend College Fairs: NISD and Harlan have college fairs. Listen to morning announcements and/or go to the CCMRC to get information. Be prepared to ask the college representatives questions. Click on Questions to Ask College Reps.
  3. _____ Study for your PSAT/NMSQT: You will take the PSAT this year. It is practice for the SAT and will determine your eligibility for National Merit Scholarships. Start studying for it early. Click here to review and start a study plan.
  4. _____ College essay: Most colleges require a college admissions essay. Start planning for it and practice writing it. Go to college essay writing for tips.
Understanding Your PSAT/NMSQT Score Report


Please see Ms. Pettis in room B100 for information regarding dual credit.



Education research confirms that learning loss over the summer months is a reality. The decline of academic knowledge and skills over the summer happens, but the good news is that it is preventable. The solution? Stay plugged in with an exciting, beyond-the-classroom experiential experience, and seek opportunities that will stimulate your mind.

  1. _____ College Prep Programs for High School Students: Many colleges offer academic programs to high school students. Program guidelines may vary and include academic or age specifications, so read the application instructions carefully. The courses may be designed to introduce disciplines, such as engineering, medicine, creative writing, or they may offer multidisciplinary options. The duration of classes can range from one week to the entire summer.
  2. _____ Internships and paid work: An internship or a job may provide a brilliant opportunity for applying knowledge while gaining significant work experience. Internships and paid positions often require a resume and interview, both of which provide useful practice for the college application process.
  3. _____ Volunteer and service: Volunteering may help you get a foot in the door of a business for a potential internship. It also looks great on your college admissions application. Think about opportunities that will take advantage of your strengths and appeal to your sense of adventure. If you enjoy the type of volunteer work asked of you, you will provide a better service to others.


Earn money now by doing well in school. is a program that allows high school students to start earning scholarship money for college. The money is tied to a students' individual achievements. The better you do in school, the more engaged you are with the community, the more money you can earn from college partners. Go to the link below for more information.