Graduation Rates Are Soaring At San Diego Schools: What High Schoolers Should do to Prepare For Their Future

San Diego high school students have many resources that can help prepare them for college. Local educators are making those resources available to all students who want help after high school. San Diego high schools are now helping schools nationwide understand how preparing middle and high school students for college can keep them ahead of the competition for college admissions and prepare them for successful careers.

According to KPBS.org, local schools in San Diego have the second highest graduation rate of nine of the largest urban school districts. The 2011 graduating class had an 83.7 percent success rate, up from the 2010 graduation rate of 80.9 percent. Drop-outs rates have also decreased from 8.4 percent in 2010 to 5.9 in 2011. Whether the numbers are the result of better teaching or better students, one thing is for sure, students are smarter than ever before and colleges in San Diego know it.

One reason the success rates have improved are the self-paced classes available online for middle and high school-age students. College Prep 101 explains that this new concept is available for 30 middle schools and 160 high schools, allowing students to choose subjects that count toward graduation credit. The more students can see that they have options for work performance, the more they will be prepared for being disciplined in life later on when they are working on projects at their Intel, Google or lifelock jobs; having an option for their work schedule can help them to make scheduling decisions on their own.

These select high schools are preparing students for collegesears before the traditional junior and senior years of high school. Students should begin preparing for college as early as 9th grade with a college plan. Here is a suggested plan that we recommend.

9th Grade Students

Make a four-year plan that includes specific subjects that will be required for college admission. Don’t forget to include school counselors and parents in the decisions. Next, include Algebra and college prep English classes. Obtain a tutor or consider online learning to stay caught up and on track. Get involved in extracurricular activities or sports. You will find other motivated students who are planning to attend college involved in these activities. You may also want to make a folder with information about interesting colleges.

10th Grade Students

Take Biology and language courses… You won’t regret it! Be sure to sign up for a preliminary PSAT test and study for the California High School Exit Exam generally given in the spring. Finally, research colleges, their programs and admission standards.

11th Grade Students

Review the four-year plan to stay on track with course requirements, and consider honors or advanced placement classes. Enrolling in chemistry or physics, college prep math and history is a good start. Now, without hesitation, sign up for the SAT usually given in the fall and take a practice exam first! Next, you can narrow down a list of campuses that interest you and plan campus visits. Finally, begin searching for scholarships and research admission requirements.

12th Grade Students

Have at least two meetings with school counselors. Determine the deadlines for scholarships, financial aid and on-campus living applications at specific colleges. Take the final SAT test. It will help to request letters of recommendation from teachers and other adults to include in college application packets. Your next step is to begin turning in scholarship and financial aid applications hopefully by early spring. Then, the time will come to sign up for college orientation classes. Lastly, get a copy of your high school transcript to present at college enrollment.

Most colleges mail acceptance letters for admission and financial aid by March or April before high school graduations begin. Meet with a college counselor before class enrollment dates. Local schools advise students to keep up the good grades and stay on track in order to have a successful college experience, which will open your options up a whole lot when you’re looking for employment later on. For more information on employment possibilities, follow LifeLock on Twitter. They give up to date information on their company and why you might consider working on their team.

Damon Adkins Damon is a social media expert and entertainment enthusiast. He studied digital journalism on the West Coast and settled in the bay area with his family.