Make High School Count
Your child may already have an idea of what to do after high school. This idea may be realistic, like going to a two- or four-year college or entering the workforce. Or, it may be more of a dream, like becoming a professional athlete. Whatever future your child dreams about, the decisions that both of you make now and during high school can be very important.
To help your eighth grader use the next four years wisely, we developed the Make High School Count booklet. Mapping Your Future has partnered with ACT to provide the Make High School Count program online. This Parent Guide has been developed to give you a better understanding of what is in the student guide. This Parent Guide has also been developed to give you a better understanding of what is in the student booklet. Together, they can provide a wonderful opportunity for you and your eighth grader to talk openly about the future.
Make High School Count and this Parent Guide are the result of the work of many people who care about your eighth grader's future. We hope you will use these materials to guide both of you through the next four years. Good luck!
Work together and plan
We suggest you read this guide first, and then go over Make High School Count - A Guide for Students with your child. In particular, here are some topics that you may want to discuss together:
Many young people do not enjoy going to school. They may feel trapped in classrooms and may be embarrassed to ask for help. Tips for overcoming some of the barriers to learning and understanding how to be a better student are included in the student guide.
Since education after high school is necessary for many careers, it is important to make sure the high school courses your child takes will be appropriate for college. The student guide includes suggested courses and a course planning chart your student can use to plan them.
Often, a good student is merely someone who has certain habits that help make learning easier. The student guide suggests some of these habits that are fairly simple to develop. Talking with your child about what the family can do to support good study habits may be very helpful.
Now is the time for your child to explore all the options - whether that's going to college, working right out of high school, or joining the Armed Forces. Check with your school counselor about career and educational planning programs that can help students explore different options. The student guide gives some pointers on how to prepare.
There are many types of financial assistance offered by schools and the government that may help make college possible for your child. Be sure to check your state department of education to see if your state offers a savings plan for college. The student guide includes some general information about outline some financial options.
There are many people and organizations that really care about how well your child does in school and in life. Some helpful, free resources are listed on the resources page of this guide.
The following terms are important to know when planning for high school!
Class Rank: A rating which compares your cumulative grade point average to other members of your class. Class rank is often used as a basis for college admission and scholarship determination.
Elective: A course that is not required but which you may choose to enroll in
Graduation Requirements: Established by your local school
Prerequisite: A course which must be taken before you enroll in another related course (Example: French 1 is a prerequisite for French 2.)
Required Elective: A course you may select to meet a graduation requirement (Example: You may choose to enroll in College Prep English or Business English to meet an English requirement.)
Unit of Credit: Granted upon successful completion of a 36-week (2-semester) course, which meets at least 7,830 minutes a year. Half- and quarter-units of credit may be earned for courses meeting proportionately fewer minutes.
Mapping Your Future has partnered with ACT to provide the Make High School Count program for students, parents, and middle school counselors. The program provides information about planning for education after high school - beginning in eighth grade.
- Print the Make High School Count Parent's Guide (PDF)
- Make High School Count Student guide
- Download the High school course planning chart (fillable PDF)
- Make High School Count Counselor tools
- Where to get your questions answered
Mapping Your Future has partnered with ACT to provide the Make High School Count program.