College & Career Planning
The GCIT guidance department has created videos and PowerPoints to assist students and parents navigate through some of the tough issues with career and college planning. Click on the links below to learn some valuable information!
Counselors are available to assist students with their college search. It is never too early for students to schedule an appointment with their counselor to discuss their future career goals. By junior year (11th grade), students should be researching and if possible, visiting various technical schools, colleges or workplaces.
The Internet is an excellent source of college information. Visit the Links tab for more information.
Keep in mind that family, friends, and neighbors can also be a valuable resource in the college search process.
Counselors can help students learn about and choose careers that would be fulfilling to them. When choosing a career, first and foremost, you must ask yourself two questions: “Will I really enjoy that kind of work?” and “Do I think that I have some ability to do that career?” Additional considerations include: working hours; day work/night work; weekend work; indoor versus outdoor work; seasonal work; salary; health insurance; pension/retirement benefits; work primarily with things, people or ideas; opportunity to be creative; ability to become a leader; etc. As you can see there is much to consider when choosing a career.
Students can also receive printed copies of information on several careers from their counselors.
What to Do If You Plan to Apply to Colleges, Technical Schools, and Trade Unions
It’s been said that timing in life is everything and that certainly is true about applying to colleges and trade unions. Though it all starts before your senior year concerning your grades, attendance, and overall preparedness, senior year is the time to act on making a successful transition from high school to work or further education. For those of you who have a plan of action and for those who are starting to think about a plan, here are some guidelines.
Guidelines for Applying to a Four-Year College
Basically, there are four steps to follow in applying to four-year colleges. Decide which colleges are for you. Find out what is required for application. Send in the required materials (by mail and/or on-line) before or by the deadline date. Fill out the FAFSA form to be eligible for financial aid.
- Decide which colleges are for you. Do college searches on www.collegeboard.com under the My Colleges tab. Go straight to the college’s website. Take a virtual tour of the college. Better yet go there and visit in person. Talk to your teachers, counselors, coaches, employers, pastors, family members, neighbors, and friends. They can help you in making decisions.
- Find out what is required for application. College application requirements usually include: test results; the college application; a personal essay; transcript; and recommendation letters. Here’s some info on each of them. Take the SAT or ACT tests in your junior year or early in your senior year. You can take it more than once. College applications can be done on-line or on paper. Remember that there is a fee to apply to colleges. Ask your counselor about the fee if you are on free or reduced lunch. Many colleges require you to write an essay on a specific topic or about yourself. Prepare now to write this essay. Remember to include your skills, good things about your personality, and positive accomplishments. Think of two or three people (not a family member) who you would like to ask for a letter of recommendation. Give your references enough time to write the letter and some information about your accomplishments (use Recommendation Request Form-Guidance Office). A transcript is a record of all your courses and grades. Colleges look to see if you are keeping up your grades and taking challenging courses.
- Send applications in by the deadline date. If you are applying on-line, you need to make the deadline date. However, even when you are applying on-line certain parts of your application packet; for example, the transcript needs to be mailed by your counselor. Important! Give your counselor plenty of time before the deadline to mail your college application materials.
- Fill out the FAFSA form to be eligible for financial aid. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Financial Aid starts with this form. You need to complete the FAFSA for both the two year and four-year colleges. It is done on-line. This year, the FAFSA is filled out after October, 2016. Earlier is always better. Go on www.fafsa.ed.gov/ for more info.
Guidelines for Applying to a Two-Year College
There are four basic steps to follow when applying to two-year colleges. Fill out the application either on-line or on paper. Take the required test at a two-year college. Fill out the FAFSA form in order to be eligible for financial aid. When accepted and have your test results, register for classes. The test given at most two-year colleges in the area is the Accuplacer, copyrighted by the Collegeboard. It covers math, reading, and writing. Check it out on the internet. At Gloucester County College’s website, you can click on Testing & Tutoring and then Placement Test and see sample questions for the Accuplacer and Compass Test. Remember also to ask your counselor to send your high school transcript. Some programs, such as Nursing, have additional requirements. The GCC staff comes over to GCIT and helps students with the admissions process. It makes applying easier. The Guidance Office will let you know about “GCC on-site admissions.” Sign up if you’re interested.
Guidelines for Applying to a Trade Union
Talk to your teacher first. Your trade/career teacher will be able to provide you with the best information and guidance. Attend field trips to the unions to learn more about how to apply for membership, apprenticeships, and employment opportunities. Talk to your school-to-careers coordinator, school counselor, employer, family, friends, neighbors, and people in the career field that you are interested in. Your County Apprentice Coordinator, at (856) 468-1445 Ext. 2516 is another good person to contact. Check out the Labor Union’s website. Each union’s requirements are different. However, here are some possible application requirements for unions. You will have to fill out an application. There are deadlines! Some unions only give you a few weeks to fill out an application during a certain time of the calendar year. If you miss that time period, you may have to wait a whole year to apply. Other possible requirements include: a minimum age requirement, usually 18 or older; a valid driver’s license and birth certificate; a high school diploma or equivalent; a passing grade in one year of high school algebra (electrical); a high school transcript ( a record of all your courses and grades); and testing. You may have to take the NJATC (National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee) aptitude test battery, which covers math and reading. Prepare now for this test while you are in high school. Your career, math, and English teachers can help you. Also maintain good attendance. Union representatives like to see good attendance. A union apprenticeship is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable work experience and earn college credits.