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Academic Guidance | Mater Dei

Academic Guidance

Freshman Year

Courses

Students take classes that fulfill graduation requirements and provide the needed foundation for their sophomore year.

Standardized Tests

Students take the EXPLORE test prior to their freshman year.

Class Advisor

The class advisor meets with students to discuss their academic progress. The class advisor is continually available to assist students. In February, the class advisor works with the students in registering for classes for sophomore year. Since some courses have pre-requisites, students are reminded to check the curriculum guide for pre-requisites before registering for classes.

Guidance Department

Students meet with a guidance counselor to review the EXPLORE test results. The results are explained and the Personal Inventory section of the test is discussed.

The counselor and students together complete a four-year course plan. This plan is critical to ensuring that students complete the courses necessary for graduation and college admission.

Sophomore Year

Courses

Students continue to take courses to meet graduation requirements and prepare for junior year.

Standardized Tests

All sophomores take the PLAN test. This test is administered at Mater Dei in September or October.

The PSAT is administered at Mater Dei in October. This test is optional and is primarily for juniors, but it is recommended for sophomores enrolled in the honors classes.

Class Advisor

The class advisor monitors the students’ academic performance. The class advisor assists students as they register for classes for junior year.

Dual Credit Classes

As students register for classes for junior year, they should keep in mind the dual credit classes available to them. These courses include Speech, Advanced Computer Applications, Accounting, Networking, and Marketing (with Small Business Management).

Guidance Department

Students meet with the guidance counselor to review PLAN test results. Their PLAN and EXPLORE results are compared, and their current GPA/class rank are evaluated in relation to the composite score on each test. The Personal Inventory on the PLAN is compared to the one on the EXPLORE. In addition, the four-year plan is reviewed by the counselor and students.

Junior Year

Courses

All juniors are required to take American History and to pass the constitution test administered by the teacher. Students continue to take courses to meet graduation requirements and prepare them for college.

Standardized Tests

All juniors are expected to take the ACT. The ACT is offered at Mater Dei in April. The ACT is also administered in September, October, December, February, and June at other locations. Many students choose to take the December or February test as a practice before the April testing.

The ACT can be taken more than once. Many students improve their score on the second, third, or even fourth attempt. In some cases, raising the composite score one or two points can increase scholarship opportunities and dollar amounts.

Mater Dei offers an ACT Prep class for interested students. Information about this class will be given to the students and will be in the Mater Dei newsletter at sign-up time.

Information Nights

Plan to attend the College Fair held at Mater Dei in October. More than thirty colleges participate in the fair which provides an opportunity for students and parents to speak directly with representatives from the schools.

Parents of juniors may also want to attend the Financial Aid Night at Mater Dei in October to get a feel for the types of financial aid available. This might be valuable information to have before going on college visits.

College Visits

It is recommended that students begin visiting colleges of interest during the summer after their junior year. Call the college admissions office to schedule a visit. When you make your appointment, ask if you may meet with the chairman or a teacher in your academic area of interest. This is sometimes possible. If you are interested in playing a sport, try to make an appointment with the coach of that sport.

Many colleges have scheduled college visit days for prospective students. These days usually include a general information session about the academic programs, housing, yearly costs, and types of financial aid and concludes with a tour of the campus.

Class Advisor

The class advisor continues to monitor the students’ academic progress and assists the students in registering for classes for senior year.

Dual Credit Classes

A number of dual credit classes are available to seniors. These classes include Sociology, Psychology, English Comp 101, English Comp 102, Networking, Accounting, Advanced Computer Applications, Speech, Physics Honors, Chem II, Building Trades and Marketing (with Small Business Management).

Guidance Department

Students will meet with the guidance counselor to review their four-year program and make changes as necessary. The students and counselor will discuss tech school, community college, and four-year college possibilities. Students will discuss possible careers and be given the opportunity to review curriculum guides indicating the types of courses taken for a specific career field.

Senior Year

Courses

Students take the remaining courses needed for graduation and college entrance.

Standardized Tests

Students may choose to retake the ACT in September, October, or December to improve their scores.

Information Nights

Students again have the opportunity to attend the College Fair held at Mater Dei in October. Representatives from more than thirty colleges will be available to provide information and answer questions.

A Financial Aid Night is also held at Mater Dei in October. Learn about the types of aid available and the FAFSA.

College Visits

Students are allotted two college visit days during their senior year. These days are not counted as days absent from school. Students need to request a college visit day through the guidance department. Please refer to the student handbook for procedures regarding college visits. During your college visit, make sure you ask about academic programs that interest you, scholarship possibilities, and financial aid.

Applying to Colleges

Students should begin applying to colleges in the early Fall. Colleges have various deadlines for applications, and many colleges have a December 1 deadline for internal scholarship eligibility.

Letters of Recommendation

Many college applications and most scholarship applications require one or more letters of recommendation. Allow enough time for the letter writer to compose an impressive recommendation. Completing a letter of recommendation form (available in the office or from the teacher) is very helpful to the individual writing your recommendation.  Remember to thank the people who took the time to write a recommendation for you.

Class Advisor

The class advisor monitors the students’ progress and reviews their transcripts to ensure they have all the required courses to graduate.

Guidance Department

The counselor will discuss post-graduation plans with the students. The students and counselor will discuss their status in the college application process. Transcripts will be sent to the schools to which the students are applying. Scholarship information is made available to students. Students should also look for business, community, and organizational scholarships available to them.

Transcripts

At the end of the school year, Mater Dei will send a final transcript to the school students designated as the one they will attend. Students need to be sure the guidance office has the correct school on record.

Students who completed dual credit classes through Kaskaskia College need to contact KC to have a transcript of those courses sent to the college they will attend.

If students plan to attend a two-year school followed by a four-year school, make sure the classes taken will transfer.


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