Tulare County Office of Education

Tulare County Online College Guide

Are You Prepared for College?

The earlier you prepare for college, the better. There are many things to do to make sure you are ready to attend! Here are some steps you can take (including attending our annual COOL Night and College Night events).

7-8th Grade: Choose science, math and language classes to help you get a good foundation. Take summer classes if you can. Develop talents through music, sports, drama, speech and other extra-curricular activities.  Take the EXPLORE test if offered at your school.  Begin to gather information about Advanced Placement (AP) classes offered at the high school you will soon be attending.

9th grade (Freshman): Bring your parents to meet with your counselor. Map out your high school courses and challenge yourself academically by taking the hardest courses you can. Use the career center and websites to evaluate which career field you should be pursuing.  Know different college's requirements for acceptance. Identify and learn about your strengths and talents.   If your college plans include the option of attending a CSU or UC system campus, ensure that your coursework over the next 4 years will cover the A-G General Requirements  -- they are similar (but different) for CSU and UC systems. 


1. Help your child discover their interests and aptitudes.
2. Explore educational options and investigate possibilities.
3. Evaluate opportunities and help make a decision.

For additional tips on preparing for a college career, come to the College Night event and pick up your own copy of our free College Planning Guide!

10th grade (Sophomore): Take the PSAT in October. Take the PLAN in October if offered at your school. Take AP and Honors courses as available. Start investigating colleges through the web. Volunteer or work in areas you are interested in.  Visit college campuses during Spring Break.

11th grade (Junior): Take the PSAT in October, if you haven't already. Take the ACT and SAT Reasoning and SAT Subject tests in the spring of your junior year. Finish college visits by the end of your junior year. Begin narrowing down your college choices and researching financial aid options, including scholarships.

12th grade (Senior): Take the ACT, SAT Reasoning and SAT Subject tests, if you haven't already. Know your application deadlines and make sure you meet them!  Work with your parents to ensure the information you provide about their income is accurate.  University applications are often due by the end of November.  Apply for a community college in the Fall or Spring.  File your financial aid forms in January or February.  Enjoy your last year of high school!

Virtual Career Center

Jung Typology Human Metrics Test
Myers-Briggs Personality Type Assessment
Princeton Review Career Profile and Quiz
U.S. Dept. of Labor CareerOneStop Exploration Tool
Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook
CSU Fullerton's What Can I Do With this Major?
California Career Center

Additional Goals and Suggestions

Keep a Journal: One of the most important things you will be doing when you begin applying to college is writing essays. One thing you can do now to help prepare you for that experience is to keep a journal. As you write in your journal, express your thoughts and feelings and your reactions to events in your life. Learn to write creatively and reflectively.

Want to Play Sports? The NCAA clearinghouse has a variety of qualification you must meet in order to play college level sports.  Will you meet them?  Find out!  Testing requirements have recently changed, so you need to verify...  You may want to consider applying at multiple colleges in different divisions (I,II, and III) and begin expressing your interest to play a sport with your colleges of choice.

Start a Resume and Keep it Current: As you participate in a club, hold an office, receive an award or honor, write it down. Church and community service projects should also be included in your resume. Keep your list up to date, as you will need this information when completing college applications or submitting scholarship forms.

Mind your Social Media: If the digital footprint you're building now may last a lifetime, consider this: is it one you'll be proud to share for the rest of your life? In more immediate terms, is your online persona one you're willing to share with college admissions officers or future employers? If the answer is no, don't panic. You're not alone. Better yet, be prepared: there are steps you can take to build a positive online reputation while you're still in high school. See more at: http://www.reputationmanagement.com/online-reputation-management-for-high-school-students.

Tulare County Online College Guide