Connections Weekly Newsletter

February 3, 2023

AP Classes

We get a lot of questions regarding honors and AP classes. This article talks about the differences, disadvantages, and advantages to help you decide your best path.

Class of 2023 - Advisor Skip Zickmund

SOME Schools might request you to send your mid-year or semester transcripts. Check your Common Application school homepage or the school website to see if these are needed. You can request your mid-year transcripts through Naviance>Colleges>Apply To College>Manage Transcripts>Red Circle>College Application Transcript.

Financial aid can be one of the more confusing aspects of the college admission process. Most students hope to receive some form of financial aid to help pay for the high cost of college. Unfortunately, no two award letters are created equal. It would certainly be helpful if they were, but every college has their own format and it’s often hard to compare one to the other. Here are five examples that will help you understand financial aid awards.

Class of 2024 - Advisor Skip Zickmund

Some students have an accurate vision for their future, including their college and career path. For others, selecting a career and college path might be a burden. This article highlights data, research, and big-picture advice that should alleviate some of your/your teen’s angst about this major selection.

This article is a checklist of some of the things that juniors and their families should be thinking about, discussing and doing over the next few months.

There are seven SAT test dates and six ACT test dates throughout the calendar year. Colleges accept test scores from any test date, taken at any point in high school. This article helps you to understand when to schedule test dates and test prep so that your child will reach his or her full potential without interfering with the other pieces of a college admissions profile like grades and extracurriculars.

Class of 2024 and 2025 - Advisor Joanna Peters

Next week, we will be in classes working with students on their 4-year course plans. This step is NOT registration but intentionally looking at course options based on future careers and goals. As we have reiterated with students, we are trying to set a foundation for career exploration. We want them to be able to pivot and move along options as they go through their lives. Your support in encouraging them to explore and delve into the lessons will encourage them to continue through the process. As I talk with my career advising colleagues, they typically have a 20-minute one-time appointment with their advisees and utilize only one career exploration tool. We want our graduates to be able to self-explore.

Thank you for reading this weekly newsletter as we use this resource to communicate opportunities to students. There are so many free courses, career videos, summer programs, job shadows, clubs, internships, and more. EVERY student should be looking for an opportunity to connect with their options. I love a quote from a webinar yesterday: “If the ‘WANT TO’ is Strong Enough, the ‘HOW TO’ will come.” We hope to guide students toward their “WANT TO” in 9th/10th grade so they can pursue their “HOW TO” in their junior and senior years.

Fastest Growing Careers

Every student should now be able to answer the question:

“Why is it important to know the job outlook for a career you are considering?”

Answer? Because you want a job available at the end of the training, education, etc.

Here is a list from the U.S. Department of Labor of the occupations that are expected to have the largest rate of growth from 2021-2031: Fastest Growing Careers

Community Service Hours

Need to log your Community Service hours? 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 in the Class of 2023, your 30 hours and 3 papers need to be entered into x2VOL, and if applicable, Green Cord forms need to be turned in by the end of the 3rd Quarter, March 20. If you have any questions about graduation requirements, stop by Connections. For questions about Green Cord, contact Kim Voicu or Cade Cheshire.

Career & College Visits


Next Week in Connections, Room 1104
* Tuesday, 2/7 10:30, BINGO

* Friday, 2/10 10:30, Career Chat: Christy Holliday, Airline Pilot

STEAM Takes the Spotlight Virtual Field Trip on Thursday, February 16 from 11:00-11:30 am Students are introduced to a variety of key STEAM professionals working behind the scenes at the CMA Awards in Nashville, TN. Watch announcements for location.

In the Community

The UCCS Department of Visual and Performing Arts is hosting an Open House on Saturday, February 4 from 9am to 12pm at the Ent Center for the Arts. Attend to learn about programs, degrees, and opportunities. RSVP HERE

Save the date for Spring RMACAC College Fairs: March 4, 2023, from 9:00-11:30 at Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs and March 5, 2023 from 1:00-3:30 at Cherokee Trail High School in Denver.


Save the Date for Spring 2023 NACAC Virtual College Fairs on February 19, March 19 and April 23. All fairs will feature College MatchMaking which matches students to specific colleges and universities based on the criteria they provided. Register here.

Join this free webinar, What Every Student Should Know About Picking a Major or Career Path, on February 16 at 5pm to gain insights from Dr. Victor McGuire as he shares the key lessons he’s learned about finding the “right” career path for each student. Register here.

GoToCollegeFairs is hosting a virtual Learning Differences Fair on February 23 from 10am – 12pm and 4:30pm – 6:30pm. This fair is specifically to help students with learning differences understand options and services that are available in college. Registration will open February 8.

Can You Help? BINGO Prizes or Volunteer to Bake Cookies?

BINGO Prizes: We love hosting BINGO games on Tuesdays but are running low on prizes. We give out 12 prizes each day. Students love snacks! If you are so inclined, please send in some snacks for prizes to our center. Small bags of chips and candy are popular. Thank you!

Students: If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity and you like to bake, we would love to have you bake cookies or other treats for our Friday Career Chats. Stop by Connections for more information.

Enrichment Opportunities

FREE Professionalism 101 Course in PPBEA. The purpose of this course is to give you the basics of how to successfully get a job and keep a job using these professional skills.

The University of Alabama is hosting a Summer on Campus UA Early College program. Students will experience campus life and take two college courses per summer term. Deadline to apply is May 1 for May 30-June 30 term, and June 1 for July 5-August 4 term.

Cornell University is offering the Cornell University Precollege Studies Program - online courses taught by top Cornell faculty. Students choose from dozens of three- and six-week online undergraduate Cornell courses in the arts, business and hospitality, international relations, science and technology, veterinary medicine, and more. Limited financial aid is available. Apply early, most of the courses fill before the deadline.

Clarkson University is offering its Horizons program for students who love to discover how things work. This is a week-long, overnight summer camp experience for middle and high school students to explore STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) concepts. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Register here. Deadline to apply is May 21.

Carleton College is offering Carleton Liberal Art Experience (CLAE), a one-week, fully funded summer program intended for students who identify as Black or African American, or those interested in African American studies. They also offer a three-week Pre-College program from July 9-28, find out more here.

The Buckeye Precollege Summer Institutes is a two-week, residential enrichment program for academically ambitious and intellectually curious students at Ohio State University. Students are enrolled in a single intensive course, designed especially for precollege students. Deadlines to apply are February 1 (early round) and March 1 (regular round).

The John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State is hosting Democracy Camp, a free, one-day conference packed with engaging conversation and education about local government engagement, voting, civic leadership, and hot policy topics, on Wednesday, July 12. They also offer summer public service internships for seniors, more information here.

The Summer Linguistic Institute for Youth Scholars (SLIYS) is a weeklong summer language program for high school and pre-college students organized by the Department of Linguistics at The Ohio State University. SLIYS introduces students with an interest in foreign languages to the scientific study of language. Applications due by May 9.

The Ohio State Philosophy and Critical Thinking (PACT) Summer Camp introduces high school students to the exciting world of philosophical thought. This weeklong camp develops participants’ reasoning skills through fun and engaging learning activities.

The Humanities and Cognitive Sciences High School Summer Institute at Ohio State is a week-long summer day camp that provides a critical thinking forum for rising high school students to explore the big questions at the intersection of the humanities and cognitive sciences.

iDTech offers virtual and in-person tech camps at over 75 universities including the University of Denver. Camp topics include coding, game development, robotics. and more.

The University of North Carolina Wilmington offers MarineQuest Summer Program. Three scuba dive programs are offered, from the three-week Oceans-17 for rising seniors to the one-week Dive Hawks session, which requires no previous dive certifications and is open to students ages 14 – 17.

Thinking about applying to a service academy? Did you know that the fitness test is one of the requirements? Check out this 4-year plan to meet the fitness requirements for West Point.

Applications to the United States Military Academy at West Point will open for Juniors on February 1st. In addition to the application for the Class of 2028, candidates can apply to the Summer Leadership Experience (SLE). Each year, West Point invites 1,000 outstanding rising high school seniors from around the country for a six-day immersion into the West Point experience. Deadline to apply for SLE is March 15. More information here.

Colorado College’s Pre-College Block (July 10-26, 2023) includes an array of academic courses, all taught by CC professors and for college credit. Need-based scholarships are available until the priority application deadline on March 31.

Girls Who Codes is offering two free summer programs. Their 2-week Summer Immersion Program hosts current 9th-11th graders in live virtual classrooms led by industry-leading companies. Their Self-Paced Program gives current 9th-12th graders the flexibility to learn to code through independent study and real-world projects. Apply by February 15 for priority consideration or March 24 for the general deadline.

Scholarships and More

Are you interested in Optometry? Check out Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP) Through PSEP, a student can save $34,100 to $133,600 on tuition throughout a health degree study. Find out more here.

Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP) also provides an affordable pathway to healthcare education for students pursuing careers in 10 health fields – ranging from optometry to dentistry to veterinary medicine. Find out more here.

Carleton College announces a revolutionary funding partnership with the Schuler Education Foundation to dramatically increase access for low-income Pell-eligible students. Over the next 10 years, the Schuler Education Foundation will fund the financial need of each incremental low-income Pell-eligible student the college enrolls up to $50 million.

Whether you’re just getting started exploring colleges or have been accepted and are now comparing financial aid offers, the Coalition for College has free events planned to help you navigate your journey to college. Learn more and sign up: here

Feb. 16: Building & Refining Your College List

College Highlights

Are you a current junior and interested in visiting Swarthmore College but may not be able to visit their campus in person without financial assistance, or have other obstacles on your path to college? Stop in to see Ms. Peters and talk about their fall fly-in programs.

Boston College continues its commitment to the sciences with the introduction of the Global Public Health and the Common Good program. The program will enroll 15 majors and 50 minors per year. Prospective students with an interest in the major should apply to the Morrissey College of Arts & Sciences.

The University of Virginia School of Architecture welcomes prospective students and their families to engage with them through a variety of opportunities. The experience of visiting them in-person or online will help to bring to life the dynamic community that they colloquially refer to as the A-School.

Check out these majors offered at Ohio State:

Mathematics and Actuarial Science


Political Science

Sociology and Criminology

Speech Pathology and Audiology

Earth Science


Career Focus - Mental Health Counselor/Meteorology/Art

Interested in becoming a Mental Health Counselor? Consider working for the Colorado Department of Corrections. In addition to salary of $5,221./month, they participate in several loan repayment/forgiveness programs.

Interested in Meteorology? Check out these programs.

The Meteorology Club at Ohio State is hosting the 27th Annual Severe Weather Symposium. This annual event brings together meteorologists from across the country to give presentations and network with students.

Interested in pursuing an art degree? Here are some recommendations for the process.

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