Career and College - 10th Grade

Tenth grade is a banner year for most kids. For the most part, the classes your child takes this year will determine the courses your child will be qualified to take in grades 11 and 12. In terms of preparing for college, it's an important time, since College in the High School courses that are available in 11th and 12th grade require a 3.0 GPA. You and your child should have an open discussion and strategically map out classes together for their 10th grade year.

10th Grade Career & College Planning

College Planning:

For this year, you’ll want to stay on track with your high school classes and activities and begin to narrow down the plan for your future.


Stay on track with your courses

Work with your school counselor to make sure you’re enrolled in the courses you need to prepare you for college or a career. Move on to the next level of classes in the core subjects (English, math, science, history, and a foreign language).

Begin learning about the college admissions process

Get familiar with general college entrance requirements. The school counselor’s office, the library, college Web sites, and Naviance are all good sources of information.

Continue exploring potential careers

Explore your career options in more detail—research possible careers to learn about the tasks, education, and training necessary for each occupation. Use Naviance to help you find areas of interest.


Take on new roles

Stay involved with your extracurricular activities and work toward leadership positions in the activities you like best. Become involved in community service and other volunteer activities.

Read, read, read

Developing your reading skills will help prepare you for tests and make you a well-rounded individual. Read as many books as you can and read the newspaper to learn about current affairs.

Practice your writing

You’ll need good writing skills no matter what path you pursue, so work on those skills now to get prepared. Find a teacher or another adult who can advise and encourage you to write well.

Get advice from your counselor

Meet with your school counselor to make sure you’re staying on track.


Keep your grades up

There’s probably a lot competing for your attention, but it’s important to remain focused on doing well in your classes. Remember that your grades affect your GPA.

Start your college search

Attend college fairs and read the material you get from all types of schools—you may see something you like.

Get a summer job

Finding steady summer work will look good to prospective colleges and employers. Putting the money you earn away for college will also help you get a head start on a personal savings plan.

Kelly Sobolik

Parents of 10th Graders Career & College Readiness


Get a head start

It's also time to start checking out college fairs and possibly meeting with school representatives that come to town. Encourage your child to start investigating schools by attending one fair and a session or two with representatives that visit the College and Career Center at school. But don't push it - this might be way too early!


Keep talking

Just as you've been doing all along, make sure that your child's classes seem to be an appropriate fit. If grades are slipping, perhaps the course levels are too high or study habits are poor.

Stay active

Take a look at extracurricular activities as well, not just from the standpoint of whether or not they're going well, but if they are having a negative impact on your child's studies and need to be cut back.


Plan for the coming school year

Testing aside, gently oversee registration for next fall's classes and activities. Urge your child to select (or continue) the most challenging classes possible and to participate in at least one community service activity. Finalize any summer plans, and, just as you did last year, devise a summer reading list together that will help the transition into junior year.

Make the break a productive one

Your child should have a job or be participating in constructive activities throughout the summer. Summer study, jobs, and volunteer work always rate high with admission officials. If your child has a career goal in mind, see if you can help arrange a day where he or she can "shadow" someone who works in that field.

Do some early research

Naviance provides great college entrance information, as well as online applications to many institutions. Summer is a great time for you and your child to check start getting some initial information about colleges and the various types of colleges out there.

Kelly Sobolik