Thursday, February 15, 2018

Course Verification Season!

It is that time of year again where you have now received your course recommendations for the upcoming school year.  The counseling team fully believes that you should analyze how this year has gone for you and determine how to achieve a better balance in the future.  Now more than ever, you need to consider your options and what you can realistically handle in the coming school year.  It is quite important to take into consideration your responsibilities for each course.  It is equally important to make sure you are maintaining a healthy balance in your life and factoring in down-time as a part of your day.  Academics are just one piece.  

Recently, there was an article published (Children Need Balance Article) advising parents to help their children balance their lives.  They need guidance in this area.  We are seeing far too many students who are stressed, angry, overwhelmed, and feeling anxious.  Students need help making appropriate course choices for the upcoming year.  What is right for one student may not be right for another.  With that said, now is the time to begin discussing what next year might look like.

This year, the counseling office has one document that outlines the process for all courses that might require an application such as Yearbook, Newspaper, Work Based Learning, Peer Leadership, Online Classes, Dual Enrollment, etc.  There are many classes a student can take but they first must be approved.  There is a process for all of them.  You can find that information here:  Application Courses & Processes 18-19.  They are each listed alphabetically.  We encourage you to make sure you have followed the steps.

Students interested in online courses must complete the process no later than March 13th.  Applying for online classes is a two step process.  Complete the CHS Online Contract AND register for the online class. Applications available on March 1st in the counseling office. See flow chart for complete details.  Flowchart  All students who plan to take an online class must submit an online contract to the counseling office no later than March 13th and complete the online google form in the counseling office (Step 1).  If  you do not submit a contract by the March 13th deadline, you will not be approved for online learning.  Students who plan to take classes through Fulton Virtual School must register for their class between March 1 – 13th (Step 2).  Students who plan to take classes through Georgia Virtual School must register for their class between March 15-30th (Step 2).

Dual Enrollment
is equally as strict with their processes.  It is lengthy, but worth it.  The deadline is March 30th.  Students can pick up a step by step packet in our office.  There is also information at this address:  CHS Dual Enrollment Website. want free college??  Gotta jump through a lot of hoops!  You can do it!

Please note that on the course verification sheet, you cannot just scratch out a course an add a course that requires approval (see list of application courses above).  Once the application/process has been approved then the course gets added at a later date.  In the meantime, students should choose an elective from the back of their verification sheet, including some alternates in case a course becomes full or does not work logistically with their schedule.  

Students wishing to take a summer school course, please note that course will not be removed from your verification until we know you have satisfactorily completed the course.  Counselors are back early enough in the summer to make changes at that time.  What you can do is write notes on your verification form giving us insight as to what you would want to take out of your schedule once you complete the summer course.  Example:  US History is being taken over the summer in order to make room for AP European History.    US History is a graduation requirement.  We will not remove a graduation requirement to accommodate an elective.   We love you, but we want you to graduate on time.  

Summer school registration will begin on March 1st.  No paperwork in the counseling office is required to take summer classes. 

We appreciate the questions.  We are available for students to drop in for quick advising on the remaining dates:  February 20th during 4th & 5th period and March 6th during 4th and 5th period.  These are held in the Media Center.  Bring your verification form with you when you come. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Financial Aid Information Night 2017

As we all know, money does not grow on trees which is why the Counseling Office sponsors a Financial Aid night each year.  This year a speaker from the Georgia Student Finance Commission will be on hand to explain the FAFSA process and talk through HOPE/Zell Miller eligibility.  There will also be information about the CSS Profile and other pertinent information related to scholarship searching.  It will all take place on October 26, 2017 at 7:00pm in the Auditorium.  We hope you can join us.

Please take a look or print out the attached information prior to arrival.
Financial Aid Night Power Point
Georgia Student Finance Commission Presentation

You can also look at the information from last year's blog:
Financial Info Night 2016-2017 School Year

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Conquer the Application Process!

Senior Year is a busy busy year.  We have begun getting many questions about college application processes.  Please read through this detailed information and flag this page for future reference.  Also, mark your calendars for the following important dates:

August 24th at 7:00pm - a Senior Parent Meeting in the Auditorium.  
September 7th during 4A and 5A lunch - Senior Meeting to explain these processes.  


It is that time of year again when seniors are sending transcripts to colleges, asking for recommendation letters, and finalizing applications.  Let's walk through all the necessary steps!

There are two ways a student can send electronic copies of transcripts.
  • The first way is through PARCHMENT.  After setting up an account, a student is able to send transcripts to any college their heart desires.  Students must make sure to associate themselves with Chattahoochee High School when asked "Where would you like your transcript sent from?"  It is free to send transcripts electronically!  If you look at your "self-view copy" on parchment and it does not look correct, DO NOT PANIC.  It is correct, it only shows the view point from the time you last submitted an order.  Mrs. Jensen always send the most up to date transcript, unless you request to "hold for grades" option, then she will send at the end of the term.

  • The second way is through GA FUTURES.  Students are able to login to their account and send a transcript to any college in Georgia.  Students cannot send a transcript out of state on this portal.  

Students can also request a signed/sealed/official hard copy through Mrs. Jensen.  They must give her at least 24 hours notice by requesting this on their yellow "Recommendation Request Card".  These are located in Mrs. Jensen's office.

Home Access Center is the fastest way to get an unofficial copy of your transcript if you are needing to self report your grades to your college.

Counselors will begin accepting recommendation letter requests after Labor Day.  There are three main steps to Recommendation Letters.  If your college does not require a recommendation letter or school report, then they do not want one and you can skip these steps.
  1. Completing a Senior Profile / Student Information Sheet
    This is a one and done process.  Once you have completed the blue senior profile form and given it to your counselor you can check this part off your list.  You do want to make sure you are thorough in your responses and this is one area where we would say "more is better".  It is better to give us more information than not enough.  Please be thoughtful in your responses.  We are hoping you get into the college of your choice and are actively rooting for you - but we can't do it without your help!  This is your brag sheet!  Let us know all those amazing accomplishments your friends don't care about.  Now is your time to shine.  We can only do so much with one word responses.  Give us something to work with :)

    Here is a link for you to get started:  Senior Student Profile Form

  2. Making a formal request on the Recommendation Request Card
    Counselors do require 10 (ten) SCHOOL days to process recommendation letter requests.  In order to make the request, please come and get the yellow "recommendation request card" in our office.  You will use the same card all year and add on as needed.  This card remains in the counseling office (Mrs. Jensen's office).  You will need to get a one time parent signature allowing us to release your records.  If you need a letter for a scholarship, you must write it on here.  If you want a letter for University of Texas, you must add it on here.  If you want a letter for a military academy, you must add it on here.  For each college, you must list it!  Make sure that you write the name of the college /scholarship on the card for each separate link that you are going to send us.  Sending just the link and not using the recommendation request card is not sufficient.

    Exception to the rule!  The exception is Common Application.  If you are needing a letter to be submitted to Common App, you must add "Common App" this one time to your card.  For Common App users, you do not have to write each college on the yellow card - just a one time "common app" line so that we know to look for your invitation in our email.

    About halfway through the year, you may need a Mid Year Report or at the end of the year you may need an End of the Year Report submitted to your college.  We will not know to send one, unless you complete the Recommendation Request Card.  Please make sure you do this!  We are going to assume you do not need one if we do not get this request.
  3. Sending the link to your counselor OR attaching the paper copy
    This is the last step.  By this point, you have already turned in your blue profile form and completed your yellow recommendation request card to our office.  You now need to make sure you have added your counselor's name and email address to your application in order for us to get a secure link to send your school report and/or letter.  

Make sure you have some sort of organizational strategy to conquer your applications.  Each college may have different deadlines for admissions, scholarships, financial aid, honors college, etc.  Do not miss them!  You should keep track of what supplemental documents are needed to make a complete admission's file.  Just because you did your application, does not mean your file is complete.  You must make sure you have submitted all pertinent materials in order for them to process your application.  They will not make a decision until they have received everything.  (Application, Essays, Transcript, Test Scores, Teacher Recommendation Letters, Counselor Recommendation letter, Immunization Records, etc.)  Not every school requires everything listed, but some do.  Make sure you have what you need to make the process go smoothly.  Use your resources to get information, such as looking at the admission's website or blog for a detailed list of what is required.  UGA and Georgia Tech both have excellent blogs and have explained their processes quite well.  Check those out on their admissions website!

Here are some quick deadline reminders from your Counseling Team.  Do not wait until the last minute.  
September 28 is the recommendation request deadline for any October 15 deadlines.
October 18 is the recommendation request deadline for any November 1 deadlines.
November 10 is the recommendation request deadline for any December 1 deadlines.
December 8 is the recommendation request deadline for any January 1 deadlines

** Please note: UGA and Georgia Tech have switched to January 1 deadlines.  They are no longer January 15 for regular admission.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Georgia Southwestern State University - College Spotlight


GSW is located in one of the original top 10 cities in the state - Americus, Georgia.  It is rich in culture and history with approximately 400 acres of campus space, including an 18 hole golf course owned by the University. Americus is approximately 2.5 hours away from Johns Creek.  It is a small university with close to 3000 students.  If you are looking for a small environment, this may be the right place for you.  The student to faculty ratio is 17:1 and the average class size is 22.  There are full range of bachelor's degree programs and they are committed to shaping future leaders.  Americus is home to President Carter.  He and his wife have invested a lot of money and time to this institution. A little known fact: Habitat for Humanity was also founded in Americus.   Though it may not be on your radar there are many excellent programs to learn about.  Go visit and discover this gem! 

  • The Business program is the largest major on their campus with Education majors a close second.
  • The Nursing School is fantastic and has a pass rate on the NCLEX above the national average.  The NCLEX is the National Nursing Exam that students must pass in order to be licensed.  They have a Guaranteed Acceptance Program for students to apply to during their senior year of high school and if admitted are guaranteed a spot in the nursing program as long as they maintain a 3.2 college GPA.  This is a great opportunity because nursing programs in the state of Georgia are highly competitive and often many students do not get admitted.
  • The Art School is home to the ONLY hot glass studio in the University System of Georgia.
  • The freshman class is only 481 students.  
  • 85% of students receive financial aid.
  • 69% of freshmen receive HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships. 
  • It is one of the most affordable college options in Georgia.  

Admission Requirements

  1. Completed application with the $25.00 non-refundable application fee.
  2. Official copy of your high school transcript showing academic achievement in grades 9-11
  3. Official test score results of either the SAT or ACT.
  4. If admitted, the following requirements will need to be satisfied prior to enrollment:
    Official final high school transcript showing date of graduation.Completed health history and immunization forms. Submit a $45 acceptance deposit

    Applicants are evaluated on their academic performance in their high school CPC courses, SAT or ACT test scores, and the potential for completing the requirements for the desired degree. Georgia Southwestern's freshmen class averages in the range 985 - 1000 SAT in Math and Critical Reading and a 21 Composite on the ACT. The average GPA is 3.00 - 3.15. The University System of Georgia requires a minimum of SAT of 400 Math and 430 Critical Reading and a minimum ACT of 17 Math and 17 English for 4-year universities. Students who have taken the "new" SAT, March 2016 and forward, must meet the equivalent to the above requirements using the USG Concordance Tables. According to those tables, students would need a 24 on the "New SAT Reading Test" and a 440 on the "New Math Section" to be considered for admission to Georgia Southwestern.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Georgia Gwinnett College - College Spotlight

Located less than 20 miles from CHS in Lawrenceville is an often overlooked 4 year college. Home to more than 12,000 students, Georgia Gwinnett strives to be a public college with a private college experience. Once on campus, students are given a faculty advisor they will meet with at least once a semester, and they will receive the personal cell phone number for their professors and the College President. Class sizes are small: average is 21 students, and no class has more than 40 students. This means the classes you have here at Chattahoochee are most likely larger than the ones you would have if you attend Georgia Gwinnett.


  •       GGC is the #1 Most Ethnically Diverse Southern Regional College for the past 3 years
  •       GGC’s Tuition is capped at $1921.95 a semester, which is why GGC is ranked #2 for Lowest Graduate Debt for a Southern Regional College
  •       GGC is a member of the NAIA and are champions in Baseball, Men’s & Women’s Tennis, and Men’s Soccer
  •       GGC has 15 different majors with 38 different concentrations including Criminal Justice, Education, Information Technology & Nursing. You could also pursue a certificate in Latin American Studies
  •       GGC has over 100 organizations for ways students can get involved, whether it is a service organization, intermural sport, theater, or student government.
  •       GGC’s apartment style resident halls will make students want to live on campus (although it is not a requirement for Freshmen who live within 30 miles of campus).

·       High School GPA of 2.0
·       SAT:  Reading 24; Math 440 (taken after March 2016) OR
·       ACT: 17 English & 17 Math OR
·       Accuplacer- taken at Georgia Gwinnett College
·       Students are not required to take 2 years of the same World Language in high school for Admissions

It’s not too late to apply! Application deadline for Fall 2017 is May 1, so submit yours today!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Gwinnett Technical College - College Spotlight

If you think that Gwinnett Tech doesn’t have anything to offer you, think again. There are two campuses, the main branch in Lawrenceville and the new Alpharetta campus, located across the street from Avalon. Gwinnett Tech educates over 10,000 students through their 150 degree, diploma, and certificate programs. Most programs can be completed in 2 years, and with tuition at only $89 per credit hour and fee, this is an extremely affordable opportunity just down the road from Chattahoochee. They have a 99.3% job placement rate within 6 months of graduation, and Gwinnett Tech helps their students find internships and practicums while they are in college.

  • The HOPE Grant will cover a portion (about 87%) of tuition for students pursuing a diploma or certificate programs with no minimum high school GPA. For more information on the HOPE Grant, click here.
  • There are more than 35 transfer articulation agreements with 4-year colleges for students wanting to continue their education beyond Gwinnett Tech. For more information, please visit Gwinnett Tech’s Articulation Agreement page here.
  • Additionally, there are 27 individual courses taught at Gwinnett Tech that schools within the University System of Georgia will automatically accept from schools within the Technical College System of Georgia.  For a list of these courses, click here. 

·       Programs at the Alpharetta campus
o   Accounting
o   Business Management
o   Computer Programming
o   Criminal Justice
o   Cybersecurity
o   Data Center Specialist
o   Early Childhood Education
o   Game Development
o   General Education
o   Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management
o   Logistics
o   Marketing Management
o   Networking Specialist
o   Patient Care Assistant
o   Website Design/Development

  •       Complete the essay-free application and pay the $25 fee
  •       Submit official records including high school transcript and test scores

o   Gwinnett Tech accepts the SAT, ACT, and ACCUPLACER (can be taken at Gwinnett Tech)
Meet additional requirements for your program area, if any
Application deadline for Fall 2017: June 30, 2017

See Gwinnett Tech in Action
·       The Lawrenceville Campus will be hosting an event called “Science Works” on Thursday, March 30, 2017, from 4-8 p.m. You can see every program in action, explore interactive projects, and check out everything Gwinnett Tech has to offer you. Register here.

·       Call 678-226-6751 to schedule an on-campus visit

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hooch Madness is Here!

You may have noticed the giant map of colleges in the main hallway and are wondering what that is all about.  This is a showcase of all the colleges & universities the faculty and staff of CHS has attended.  Over 30 states and 11 countries spanning 5 continents are represented on the board – make sure to check it out and see some of the options you may have for the future!  The Counseling Office is so excited to announce the 3rd annual Hooch Madness program March 20th – 31st! For the next two weeks, we will be hosting a variety of events promoting college awareness.  Be on the lookout for college spotlights on the Counseling blog, teacher questions of the day, and Twitter Challenges (#CHSHoochMadness), as well as the events featured below.

  • Advisement door decoration contest:  Winners will be decided on Friday, March 30th, and the Advisements selected will receive a pizza party when we return from Spring Break!  Get creative!  The theme is “college” so it doesn’t have to be limited to one specific school.
  • Move on When Ready Support Day:  March 20 in G125.  If you need help with any part of the Move on When Ready process, please drop in to see a Counselor during your Advisement.
  • Instant Decision Days: Seniors, if you still need to figure out where you will be attending school in the Fall, we have some great options for you!  Gwinnett Tech will be here on March 23rd, Georgia Gwinnett College on March 27th, and Valdosta State on March 28th.  Come sit down with a representative and receive an admissions decision on the spot! Space is limited, so sign up for an appointment in the Counseling Office.
  • “I’m Accepted. Now What?”:  This event is for Seniors who have been accepted to Kennesaw (on March 21st) or Georgia College (on March 23rd) to find out what next steps they need to take.  You can ask questions about orientation, housing, financial aid, and more!  If you haven’t been accepted but have started your application, you can also submit any of your missing documents at this time.  Sign up on Eventbrite:
  • Financial Aid Workshop for Juniors:  Wanting to get a jump start on scholarships and financial aid?  Sign up for the workshop on March 28th in G125 during 4B and 5A.  Space is limited, so be sure to sign up:
  • Spring College Fair:  March 24th in the gym during all Advisement periods.  Over 40 colleges will be represented including Albany State, Embry-Riddle, Georgia Southern, Miami, Ole Miss, Toccoa Falls, and more! See the flyer below for the complete list.
  • College Gear Fridays:  Join in on the fun & show your support for your favorite college by wearing college gear on March 24th & 30th!