Ninth Grade Planning Checklist
The following ninth grade planning checklist was adapted fromFirst in the Family: Advice About College from First-Generation Students – Your High School Years,
by Kathleen Cushman.
For a start, write down the names of the ones you trust or admire most:
- Let your teachers know you plan to go to college.
- Are your courses considered “college prep?” If you don’t know, ask your guidance counselor to make sure they are.
- Colleges like to see challenging courses on your record, even if you get lower grades in them.
- If you want to play sports in college, you should know that college athletic teams have requirements about what high school courses you take.
- Let your teachers get to know you better.
Write down the names of the ones you trust or admire most:
- Do you know other students like you who are planning to go to college? It helps to share your ideas and plans with them.
Start a list of the books, periodicals and genres you enjoy reading:
- Read as much as you can this year. It will give you new ideas, make you a better thinker, and build your vocabulary.
List the ones that most appeal to you:
- Get involved in activities you care about—at school and after school (including sports, clubs, community service, church group, jobs, etc.).
- Think about your current interests. What career fields might match up with them? Use College Board's MyRoad to find careers that match your skills, goals and personality. You can also use the New York State Department of Labor’s Career Zone, the U.S. Department of Labor site or Mapping Your Future to search for jobs and careers. As you get new ideas, write them here:
- Start to look for information about colleges that fit with your interests. The guidance office will have books, catalogs, and posters, or you can check out colleges on the Internet. The New York State Higher Education Services Corp. (HESC) Web site has an array of links to sites such as MyRoad and Mapping Your Future to help you find colleges to match your interests. When you find any that appeal to you, list them here:
- Use a folder or large envelope marked “Grade 9 Portfolio” and save your best work in it, so it won’t get lost. This should include class assignments, but don’t forget to include poems, artwork, awards or evidence of other things you do outside of school. Make a new folder each year.
- Use your summer to have fun while you learn. Ask your guidance office about enrichment programs (camps, summer courses) that help students like you prepare for college.