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College Readiness Checklist for Cyber School Students

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    College Readiness Checklist for Cyber School Students

    college readiness checklist

    High school students should begin exploring their college, trade school, university, and technical school options as soon as their freshman year. The earlier they start defining their interests and goals, the more prepared they’ll feel to finish high school and begin their next educational journey.

    As your child progresses through high school, work with them to craft a college preparation checklist to ensure they stay on track to reach success. Here are the essential items you need to add to their list to guide them seamlessly through high school and beyond.

    Consider Career Interests

    Getting your child to think about their career interests early can aid them through their academic journey. They can ensure they take meaningful classes and invest their education at high-quality institutions when they have an idea of what they want to do after graduating high school and beyond. Career training should begin early so your student can scope out the institutions that will most benefit them.

    As your student investigates different success pathways, they may discover that some education options are better for them than others. For example, your child may be more interested in completing an associate nursing program at a community college or seeking a welding or mechanical career through a tech or trade school rather than investing four years at a traditional college or university.

    Choose the Right Classes

    Through our CCAWorks® initiative, we provide a varied selection of curricular options customized to students’ specific professional objectives. Students can take advantage of opportunities like Advanced Placement (AP) courses, participate in internships, and various extracurricular activities. 

    All these opportunities are geared to help them improve their talents and stand out in their respective industries. Moreover, our Career Pathways program serves as a framework for students to explore and develop the information and skills required for their selected careers. 

    Explore our course catalog to learn about the various options available — including dual enrollment courses offered through agreements with post-secondary institutions. This allows students to earn both high school and college credits.

    Additionally, CCA offers College Planning 12, a career readiness course that helps seniors prepare for life after high school by introducing topics with a real-world focus, such as resume-building, budgeting, and workplace norms. 

    The majority of high school courses at CCA are authorized by the NCAA eligibility center. Our experienced school counselors work closely with kids who intend to play Division I and II sports in college, ensuring that they enroll in courses that match NCAA eligibility standards.

    This proactive strategy ensures that student-athletes are academically prepared for their collegiate ambitions so they can pursue their sports goals while prioritizing their education. 

    Get Involved

    Extracurricular activities and clubs can help your student stand out on applications. Students who can show they can collaborate, manage their time, learn new skills, and foster new interests are excellent candidates for higher education institutions.

    CCA offers more than 50 engaging clubs and activities to choose from each year, and we evolve this list regularly to ensure our students can connect with like-minded peers and form lasting connections. Colleges and post-secondary schools want to see your child as a unique individual with complex desires and interests. Joining sports teams, debate clubs, student government, competitive academics, special-interest clubs, and other activities will help them stand out against other students.

    take advantage of school programs

    Take Advantage of School Programs

    School programs, like CCAWorks®, are designed to guide your student to success. Take advantage of these programs to ensure your child stays on track. At CCA, you know your child will be ready for college and their careers because we use a personalized learning approach to tailor curricula to each student. When your child enrolls at CCA, they’ll build essential 21st-century skills and engage with hands-on experiences to prepare them for their future.

    Prepare for College Exams

    As your child draws closer to graduation, they could benefit from college prep, like the SAT, PSAT, ASVAB, and ACT exams. These career-related assessments can help students build confidence in their skills and define their strengths.

    Some schools offer test prep courses, where your student can interact with questions likely to show on the exams and build their skillset to overcome them. CCA provides College Prep ACT and College Prep SAT courses to ensure students are prepared for success in their college admissions quest.

    Brainstorm College Essay Ideas

    It’s never too early to begin crafting college essays. These personal statements will be another opportunity for your child to display their unique interests, skills, and desires. While GPA, extracurricular activities, and standardized test scores will play a role in your child’s school admittance, their college essay will enable them to show their voice. You can have your child practice writing these essays beforehand to refine their voice and stay on top of the application process.

    College essay ideas could include:

    • Overcoming barriers or obstacles
    • Sharing a personal growth story
    • Reflecting on beliefs or challenges
    • Describing a problem your child has solved
    • Depicting a subject or topic your child is passionate about
    • Answering why your child wants to attend the desired school

    Request Recommendation Letters as Early as Possible

    Recommendation letters are personalized statements that reflect a student’s abilities, knowledge, and qualities. Teachers, coaches, school administrators, and other trusted figures can write recommendation letters, but requesting these as early as possible is wise. Some people won’t write recommendation letters close to the end of the school year because they don’t feel they have enough time. Additionally, some teachers may not feel they know the student well enough to do their letter justice, so it’s wise to have a few backups.

    Encourage your student to follow these tips when looking for recommendation letters:

    • Decide who they want to write them early to give that person time to craft a meaningful statement.
    • Prepare a resume so the letter writer can refer to their abilities and experiences.
    • Speak with the writer beforehand and ask in person if they would write the letter.
    • Craft a written recommendation request to give each letter writer.
    • Thank whoever wrote the letters by leaving a short thank you note expressing appreciation.

    Tour Colleges

    Before deciding on a college or school, you should visit different institutions with your student. Your student should feel comfortable walking through the campus, in the classrooms, and around other students and staff. This institution may become their home away from home, so it’s important they love what they see and experience.

    Evaluate transportation, meal plans, housing, and program efficiency when you’re touring each school, and have your child keep a detailed list of their thoughts about each one. CCA offers virtual and in-person tours of post-secondary schooling options around the Commonwealth and the nation.

    Apply for Financial Aid

    Applying for financial aid and seeking scholarship and grant opportunities is an excellent way to bring college costs to an affordable price point. You should begin filing for financial aid as early as possible in case you need to provide additional information about your income or taxes before your child begins higher education.

    At the start of your child’s senior year, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can help your student access federal grants and loans and help institutions determine how much aid they can provide your child.

    As your child progresses through senior year, ensure they’re looking for scholarships to use towards their higher education. Some scholarships may only apply to specific schools, while others may be valid for particular programs, so the more sure your student is of their college and career path, the better. 

    Get ready for college at CCA

    Get Ready for College at Commonwealth Charter Academy

    College and career readiness is our forte at CCA. We’re a public cyber charter school in Pennsylvania that dedicates our efforts to delivering students across the state an enriching and dynamic learning experience.

    At CCA, students gain access to more than a unique education — they form lasting connections, experience personalized learning, and develop college and career readiness skills they need to succeed after high school. Help your child learn how to prepare for college by enrolling them at CCA.


    Commonwealth Charter Academy


    April 29th, 2024


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