High School and Beyond
Lesson #7 Grades 7-9
Mapping Your Future
► How high school credit is accumulated for high school graduation
► Link between high school credits, graduation requirements, and entry requirements for
postsecondary options
Students will be able to:
► Develop an effective High School and Beyond plan that considers all options including CTE
► Power Point
► School or School District Course catalog
► Student Worksheet
Time with students to plan high school schedules is often very limited. This workshop is designed as a
support to the work already done by counselors around course selections. It is intended to help students
see that they need to read the High School/District course catalog very carefully. Ideally this workshop is
presented in advance of the specific work on course selections.
Make two columns on the board or document camera so that all students can see the information. Ask
students what they know about the requirements for high school graduation. List what they know on the
board in the first column. Next ask students what they know about the requirements for getting into
programs of study after high school including apprenticeships, technical programs, community colleges or
four-year universities in the second column. Stop and ask students if they see any matches or links
between high school graduation and getting into postsecondary programs. If students do not see the links
or lack the information for this step, the facilitator will need to be prepared with the information. Encourage
students to consider that the decisions they make about courses now are the first steps in developing their
You will need to adjust pace of the PowerPoint depending on the background knowledge students have
around high school courses. Be prepared to stop and answer questions or add information as needed if this
is new to most students.
1. Slide 1, Opening Slide: Share with students that this workshop focuses on learning more about
what courses to choose to set them on the path to the careers that interest them most.
2. Slide 2, Mapping Your Future: Ask students if they have already heard the myth that you need to
take easy courses in high school or the fewest courses possible. Challenge the students to think
why this might not be the best strategy. Encourage them to think about setting the bar high!
3. Slide 3, Credits: Ask students to turn to a neighbor and share ways that people are recognized for
their achievements. Some examples would be MVP awards in sports or recognition of batting
averages or judges opinions and public votes on TV talent shows. Share with students that the
recognition a student has successfully completed a course is an award of a course “credit”.
Make sure students know this is different than a “grade”. A grade shows how well you have
completed the course. If you receive an F, it shows that you have NOT completed the course at a
satisfactory level.
4. Slide 4, Credits: Share with students that one semester of work equals one-half of a credit.
Before turning to the next slide, have students guess how many credits the State of Washington
suggests for graduation.
5. Slide 5, Required High School Credits: It is important to know that while the State of Washington
requires 20 credits for graduation, the state also highly recommends that students take at least 24
credits to be career and college ready. Point out that high schools do vary in how many credits are
6. Slide 6, Let’s Do the Math: When students look at the list of courses the number required that may
seem like a lot. Use this slide to have students personalize the number of classes they will be
taking each semester. Compare this to the number of classes they are taking in middle school now.
7. Slide 7, Two Kinds of Credit-bearing Courses: Explain to students that there are areas of study and
specific classes that will be required for graduation and those that the students may choose. Give
examples of courses from your course catalog of the required courses and electives.
8. The next slides are “text-dense” in order to give students across the state consistent definitions.
Share with students that there are four different ways that they can specifically begin to work on
their careers and prepare for college while they are still high school students. A good way to open
this section before showing the slides is to have students think about what they bought in the
grocery store that was a 2:1 offer.
Slide 8, Career and College Options
o Two-for-One 2016: Share with students that all high schools in Washington State require
students to complete occupational courses. There will be courses in their high schools that
allow students to complete an academic requirement and a career/technical or
occupational requirement at the same time. Encourage students to discuss how this can
open up their schedule for a greater diversity of courses and/or a deeper concentration in
an area they want to study.
o College Tech Prep: Explain to students that College Tech Prep (there is an entire
workshop on this available) helps students to accelerate their college career and begin to
work on a specific area of study while they are still in high school. These Tech Prep
courses offer “dual-credit” or both high school and college credit if a student earns a “B”
grade or higher in the course. Share with students that the average of a 5 credit course at
the local community or technical college is $350.00 plus books, lab fees and parking. This
same course in a Tech Prep, Dual-Credit program will cost students a one-time only $25
per college application fee. Give examples:
Culinary arts
Auto Tech
Computer Software
Fisheries Technology
9. Slide 9, Career and College Credit Options
o Advanced Placement Courses: Be sure to know the school’s or school district’s policy on
who can take Advanced Placement courses. It will important for students to know the
admissions requirements for these courses early. Share with students that Advanced
Placement courses require extra work, often extensive reading and homework, in order to
pass the course. College credit is awarded after students take a national test.
o Running Start: Again, be sure to know what is available to the students in your area. Share
with students that upper level students, juniors and seniors, often elect to take courses at
area technical or community colleges to get a “running start” at their college degrees.
Make sure that students know that while the tuition is paid by the state, students will be
treated like college students and will need to complete the work at a satisfactory level in
order to receive high school and college credit.
10. Stop at this point and go back to the three lists from the opening of the workshop/lesson. Ask
students to add additional information and/or additional questions. The previous steps are very
information and text dense so allow enough time for students to ask questions and discuss what
they are learning.
11. As time allows in this workshop or even in a second workshop, now allow students a hands-on
exploration of the course catalog. Use the student worksheet and Slide 10 from the Power Point to
help students become much more familiar with what their high school offers. One way to do this is
to divide students in small groups that will each “research” one of the areas in the course catalog
and report out what they’ve learned to the class. These areas would be:
Social Studies
World Language
Health and fitness
Occupational Education
Career Concentration
12. Allow adequate time for each group to share what they have learned from their “research”.
Ask students to share what they’ve learned that will now influence their selection of courses in high school.
What do they see as the challenges and the opportunities of selecting courses?
Student Worksheet: Mapping Your Future
Area of Research/Course of Study (Circle one)
World Language
How many credits
are needed in this
area for graduation?
Is the number of
credits for
different than if
you want to go to
a four-year
What variety of
opportunities are
What courses
might be most
helpful if you are
looking at a
What courses are
offered that would
allow you to
acquire college
What did you
notice about this
area that every
student should
Social Studies
Health and Fitness
Occupational Education
Notes and Answers