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College & Career Training in Alaska

Whew!  It’s the end of the school year!  There are still some areas to work on to help you prepare for next year before you leave campus, or get too far into Summer. Whether you are transitioning to postsecondary education and training, the workforce, or moving up a grade in school, your Alaska Career Information System (AKCIS) portfolio is your one-stop resource.  Keeping it up to date will put you in a good position for school, financial aid, and work applications.

Personal Info
It happens – email addresses change, phone numbers change – so do Usernames and Passwords.  Before you leave school for Summer Break, log into your AKCIS portfolio to check and update your Account Settings.  Is your email address correct? If you have been using a school email address, it will be disabled shortly after graduation. Have you changed phone numbers (was it entered correctly)?  Verify your mailing address, too.  These pieces of personal contact information carry forward onto your resume header.  If a scholarship committee or an employer cannot contact you, they cannot share an opportunity with you.

If you are graduating, this is a great time to make sure

  • You know your AKCIS Username and Password – if you have been using PowerSchool or Clever to login using your school information, you will need a new Username and Password to continue using your AKCIS portfolio – Remember to record it somewhere
  • Transfer your AKCIS Portfolio to your Alaska postsecondary school of choice

Plans
As you transition to postsecondary education, move up in grades, or search for employment, it is a good time to look at your Personal Learning & Career Plans (PLCPs).  What has changed in your interests, likes, and dislikes?  How have your interests and work values changed?  What industry do you want to work in?  The answers to these questions shape your goals and your next steps.

  • Retake the AKCIS Assessments – compare your results to those in past years.  Review the changes and reflect on what is different now.
  • Update Goals – stay on track with SMARTER Goals.  You have probably seen ‘SMART’ goals – Smart, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based. But adding the ‘ER’ also makes your goals Expandable to grow with you, and Rewarding to be personally satisfying.

Writing Long-term Goals provides direction to your PLCP.  Your Personal, Academic, and Career Goals should support through a series of shorter goals; break them down into smaller increments.  Remember: Celebrate your accomplishments – like GRADUATION!

Financial Aid
The number one reason people do not receive financial aid is because they do not apply. So Apply!  The second reason people do not receive financial aid is because they do not accept it.  So Accept It!

At the end of the school year, here are a few things to remember:

  • Complete your FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid each year.  Remember to save the Student Aid Report (SAR) with your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for future scholarship and grant applications.
  • Save your letters of recommendation to the AKCIS Saved Files & Links to keep them ready for any scholarship application.
  • Save transcripts – official/unofficial. You can request copies of your official school transcript from your school registrar or counselor.  Official transcripts come sealed in an envelope or are sent directly to your school of choice.  Unofficial transcripts are open printouts of school credits and grades.  Unofficial transcripts can be saved to your AKCIS Portfolio under Saved Files & Links.
  • Contact your campus financial aid office – verify you have provided all of your FAFSA information, provide any statements of changes to family income, and apply for all financial aid opportunities your school or training facility offers.

Application Tracker
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could keep all of your school applications, scholarship applications, notes from meetings with counselors and campus visits, FAFSA filing info, standardized tests, and housing applications all in one place?  The AKCIS Application Tracker does just that!  You don’t have to look through a multiple email Inboxes or find that paper in your locker or backpack.  You can keep it all together and manageable year over year.

  • Save scholarships – note where you are in the application process – application status, application requirements, deadlines, scholarship contact information
  • Remember to apply for Housing at your school of choice – meal plans, too
  • Keep notes for reference for college and career fairs – are you able to waive the application fee, what is your Orientation schedule, are there special programs on-campus you can participate in
  • Track your FAFSA filings year over year – do you have everything you need to complete your next FAFSA, did you receive your SAR and EFC

Resume Creator
You never know when an opportunity will pop up.  Maybe you are looking for scholarships or a job.  Or maybe an opportunity comes when you least expect it.  Keep your resume up to date in your AKCIS Resume Creator.  By warehousing your schools, skills, achievements, and volunteer and work experiences as they happen, you will be ready for any opportunity that arises – even if the turn-around time for submission is approaching quickly.

Update your resume information in AKCIS when you:

  • Start or finish an activity or season;
  • Begin or end a school term – semester, year, or graduation;
  • Start a new job, get promoted, get new training, or end a job

Congratulations on your successful completion of another school year!  We are excited to hear about your successes and the opportunities you pursue.  If you are graduating, we hope you join in the Decision Day Alaska event at your school or in your community to share your planned adventures with students across Alaska.  Have fun Summer!  See you at your next level of Personal Learning & Career Planning.

About the Author

Julia Renfro

Julia Renfro

AKCIS Partnership Coordinator

 

A military BRAT turned military spouse, Julia likes traveling and meeting new people. Using Personal Learning & Career Plans (PLCPs), she works with students and families to plan futures that will help them enjoy life and their communities.

 

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