College & Career Planning

College planning post it notes


School Profile

The school profile is a document utilized by college admission representatives to understand who we are as a high school. Our profile gives key information about our school, curriculum, programs, and students, in an aim to make sure colleges understand the type of school environment our students have been a part of in their pursuit towards a college education. It also specifically serves to help communicate the higher expectations we have and the rigorous courses we offer. This document is created in September of each school year in preparation for Fall and Winter college deadlines.


Post-High School Planning at ICS

Just getting started on the process of looking into post-high school planning, but don't know where to start?

Check out all the neat activities your counselors will be putting on here at ICS.

Group of student standing in front of building

(Freshman) 9th Grade Meetings

Each fall, our high school counselor visits 9th grade classrooms to give a presentation on high school planning. Topics covered include a 4-year planning timeline, transcript, grades/GPA, personal health and wellness tips, Xello College and Career Readiness program overview, recommendations for study groups and time-management, and other resources to support high school success. Students receive information to bring home and share with parents/guardians.

(Sophomore) 10th Grade Meetings

In early spring, our high school counselor visits 10th grade classrooms to give a presentation on next steps in high school planning. Topics covered include, post-high school planning materials and resources, 11th and 12th grade timelines, an overview of graduation requirements and class planning, a time management activity, personal wellness and self-care, and skills and reminders for high school success. Students will be given a packet of information to bring home and share with parents/guardians.

(Junior) 11th Grade Meetings

Junior Meetings take place in January each year. These meetings are an opportunity for 11th grade students and their parents/guardians to meet in small groups with their high school counselor to learn about post-high school planning and senior-year planning. Students receive a folder of information to help them get organized around their goals and be prepared for whatever plan they are looking to pursue. Every student is required to attend the meeting. Meeting topics include, college and career researching, college application overview, the ICS letter of recommendation process, planning for senior year, and more.

(Senior) 12th Grade Check-Ins

In August, just before senior year begins, students are required to connect via email with their high school counselor to check-in on senior year planning and post-high school planning progress. Your counselor will help you prepare for next steps and share resources for support. These check-ins help ICS confirm that students are prepared for their senior year and are on-track with college and career readiness. Check-ins may include, current student planning progress, senior-year timeline, letters of recommendation, senior courses/schedule, etc. Students are also encouraged to meet with their counselor throughout the fall to get help with anything they need in the post-high school planning process.

SOHO Hours (Senior Office Hours Only)

During the fall and early-winter, our high school counselor hosts SOHO, Senior Office Hours Only. SOHO hours are drop-in times available for seniors to stop by and ask questions, get help with essays or applications, work on scholarships, etc. Students do not need to make an appointment for SOHO. Times vary year-to-year and the schedule will be shared with students in late-August/early-September.

Financial Aid Presentation

Each year, ICS hosts a financial aid presentation for students interested in pursuing college or higher educational opportunities after high school. Often held during the mid-winter, the presentation is given by a financial aid specialist from one of our local colleges. The presentation covers everything from how to get started, considerations along the way, and what you'll need to know and when. We also include some background into public and private scholarships and FAFSA information. More information on financial aid can be found on the ICS website under the “College and Career Planning” tab, under “Counseling”.

College Visits

Each fall, ICS hosts admission representatives from a wide variety of universities for visits with students. These visits give an easy opportunity for students to get to know some great universities, practice asking questions and talking to reps, and begin thinking about their post-high school goals. Please encourage your student to check out the College Visit bulleting board in the lyceum hallway each fall for updates on dates, times, and colleges that will be visiting. Students will also receive updates in their school email. We would encourage students to check-out colleges they are unfamiliar with, as well as ones they are, to get a sense of the many different opportunities available to them. Students can attend for a few minutes or visit and chat for the full 30 minute stay. Visits are usually held during specific lunches and after school times in the office conference room. We encourage all grade-level students to attend.

College Planning Day

Each year in late March, our 11th grade class attends a field trip to the University of Washington: Bothell for the Washington Council's College Planning Day. This is full-day field trip where students will choose four colleges they are interested in, from a list of Washington’s public and private colleges, and attend informational seminars. Representatives from each school are present to give presentations and answer questions.

Alumni Panel (Winter)

Every other year, our school invites previous graduates from ICS to be part of an Alumni Panel Assembly for current students. Graduates share their experiences about life after high school, current activities and goals, and tips and tricks for how students at ICS can prepare for post-high school planning and life. All students are invited and our graduates look forward to sharing their experiences. The next Alumni Panel Assembly date is TBD.

Senior Panel (Spring)

In the spring of each academic year, juniors are invited to attend a presentation and panel discussion to get the inside scoop on what post-high school planning in their senior year will look like, as it relates to college applications and admissions. The panel will consist of 5-7 seniors who will share their experiences with the college admissions process and the tips and tricks juniors should know before they get started. This event is specifically for 11th grade students and is most often held in our ICS library. Students will receive notifications in their school email when this opportunity is scheduled.

Scholarship Workshops

A few times per month, our high school counselor hosts a scholarship workshop for high school students. It is a drop-in opportunity and the presentation highlights the scholarship process, how-to’s, do’s and don’ts, resources, etc. Students will also have an opportunity to get started researching after the workshop. Most workshops are held in the main office conference room or resource classroom during lunchtime or after school from 2:30pm-3:00pm. Students will receive invites and notifications for scholarship workshops in their school emails.

Resume Building and Job Interviews

Our high school counselor, Ms. Cummings, facilitates resume building in one-on-one appointments with students. The calendar for student sign-ups can be found on the ICS website, by clicking the “Counseling” tab. Students can meet to ask questions, work on editing, get feedback, practice interviews, etc. Group resume workshops may be available in the future and students will receive updates if this opportunity is offered.

Virtual College and Campus Tours

Browse colleges and universities via virtual tours with the link below! Each school features a student-led virtual representation of the campus and what the college or university has to offer. This website highlights all kinds of college/university campuses including, liberal arts, art schools, ivy leagues, small and rural, private, public, and more.

Take a Virtual Tour Here

ICS College Planning 2020

The district has many virtual resources available at this link

Thank you to our panelists and facilitator for a great discussion in 2018. View a recording of the session.

Below is the list of resources discussed during the 2018 session:


  • The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018
  • Colleges That Change Lives-Loren Pope
  • 25 Months Until College-Judy McNeely
  • Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be-Frank Bruni
  • Excellent Sheep-William Deresiewicz
  • How To Raise An Adult-Julie Lythcott-Haims


Post-High School Planning