Connections Weekly Newsletter

May 25, 2023

Our best wishes for our colleague Skip Zickmund’s retirement! We’ve loved working alongside him these past 6 years and will miss him greatly!

More news about grade-level advisors will be announced in the fall. Please feel free to share our job posting if you know of any qualified applicants.

Class of 2023 - Advisor Skip Zickmund

Thank you for the past four years. The time went by fast, and now it’s time to take on a new journey. As you prepare for your future, remember you have the freedom to define yourself, find your passion, and go for it. You will have failures along the way, but don’t give up; you are too important. Life is hard work; you will be surprised at your strength. Be responsible and respect yourself, others, and this world. And always believe in yourself.

FINAL Transcripts: TCA, specifically the registrar, will send final transcripts to colleges in mid-June. Make sure you have completed your Graduation Survey and your Supplemental Graduation Survey. The information will be used to indicate your plans for after graduation. These surveys can be found in Naviance in the About Me tab, Surveys From Your School. Requests for final transcripts can be made in Naviance through June. After June, requests must be made using the TCA website.

NCAA and NAIA final transcripts: If you will be playing athletics in college, final transcripts are required. Requests can be made within Naviance.

Build a personal campus resources directory: For those going off to college, you can earn about the services available on your college campus and keep track of them here. It will serve as an important guide as you settle in on campus in the fall.

Here is a packing checklist for your college dorm.

Here is a free online course to prepare you for success in college.

Class of 2024 - Advisor Skip Zickmund

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

CLASS OF 2025 - Advisor Joanna Peters

Here are all the links for the classes you can take to explore an interest, resources to use as you consider what you want to do, and tools to discover where you can do it. You have seen all of these before, they are just in one document. Happy exploring this summer!!

CLASS OF 2026 - Advisor Joanna Peters

Have a wonderful summer. We look forward to exploring careers with you next year!

General Announcements

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.

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.

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

Another reason the Connections team teaches the importance of how to discover careers and research opportunities: The development of a universal high school scholarship program in the Office of Economic Development. Click here for more details. Look for more specifics in the fall!

Save the Date


August 23 – High School Back to School Night

August 28 – First Day to Accept College Applications in Naviance

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

September 12 – Connections Freshmen/Sophomore/Financial Aid Family Night

September 13 – Connections Junior/Senior 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

The Regional Officers of Admission of the Rockies (ROAR) will be hosting nine events throughout the Front Range as part of their Summer College Search Series. Each event will feature a panel discussing the college search and application process followed by a college fair with almost 30 out-of-state colleges participating. The dates include:

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

Saturday, September 16 from 9am-3pm - Pathfinder Aerospace Conference, Colorado School of Mines. Register for free at

September 18Christian College Fair

Sept 28 – Construction Career Days, Norris Penrose Event Center

October 17-19 - 2023 Colorado Free Application Days

November 5NACAC College Fair, Denver

Enrichment Opportunities

The University of Maryland is hosting the Terp Young Scholars program from July 10-28. Students can Learn to navigate the college experience and choose one 3-credit course to participate in.

Interested in learning how GPS changed everything? Here is a recorded presentation for you!

There are still spaces available for the University of North Carolina, Asheville Summer 2023 Pre-College Programs. Each one-week program offers deep immersion into an academic topic, challenging activities, and the opportunity to engage with industry professionals. Program dates are June 18-23 and June 25-30.

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.

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.

Looking for a GAP year opportunity? What is a GAP year? It is an INTENTIONAL semester or year of experiential learning, typically taken after high school and before career or post-secondary education, to deepen one’s practical, professional, and personal awareness.


Teen Life listings

Gap Year Association

Thinking about an internship? Check out this checklist and resources.

Apprenticeships: Search for apprenticeships at Did you know that 93% of apprentices who complete a Registered Apprenticeship retain employment, with an average annual salary of $77,000, Apprenticeships Scholarships can assist apprentices with related instruction costs, payment of on-the-job learning, and supportive services (such as transportation assistance, tools/uniforms, and more). Apprenticeship Colorado connects sponsors to their local workforce center which will assist apprentices in connecting to the Apprenticeship Scholarship and other potential workforce funding.


Looking for Aviation scholarships? Check out NETJETS and the lists at the Federal Aviation Administration and Scholarships360.

Career Focus - Engineering

Want to know about engineering? What is it? How to design a product? How to think and act like an engineer? Check out: Hour of Engineering - Home

And check out EngineerGirl, a website designed to bring national attention to the exciting opportunities that engineering represents for girls and women.

College Spotlight

Want to make a difference in our world while at college? Check out the Village Aid Project at Fort Lewis College that volunteers their time to design and construct water, sanitation, and hygiene systems in developing communities. Look for other opportunities as you research colleges!

Interested in film and digital arts? Check out the University of New Mexico’s Department of Film and Digital Arts Department. Cinematographer Barry Kirk and screenwriter Matt McDuffie will be among the professionals to teach in the department.

Santa Clara University in California is hosting a Health, College and Career Summit on Saturday, July 29. Sessions will cover topics like College 101: Pathways to College, Your Personal Health and Wellness, Public Health and Advocacy in YOUR Community, Careers in Healthcare and Healthcare Innovation, and more. Register here.

Washington University in St. Louis is hosting their fly-in program WashU Preview, designed to connect diverse students (such as underrepresented students of color, first-generation to college students, and students from limited-income backgrounds) with their collaborative, innovative, and passionate community. The program is offered July 26-28 and July 30-August 1. Complete the Getting to Know You form by June 2 to be considered.


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.

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) starting in late spring 2023. At that time, you can Download the Bluebook App and Practice.

Testing over the Summer

Both the SAT and the ACT are available over the summer. See the dates and registration links below:

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

Connections Center (Career & College)

Joanna Peters, Director

Jodi Hoffman, Office Manager - Rep Visits, Community Service