Using What`s Next Illinois for High School Planning

Lynn Daguerre, MA
Professional School Counselor
Marcia Ellis
WNI Manager of Training and Support
Explanation of Product
What’s Next Illinois is an interactive
college and career planning system
that provides students with a
comprehensive , integrated resource for
charting their future path, enabling
them to reach farther than they ever
thought possible.
Who is it for
• Students in elementary through high school and
all levels of post-secondary.
• Parents and guardians assisting their students in
college and career planning
• Counselors, teachers, administrators, coaches,
and others to help manage the students career and
college plans.
Benefits to Students
 Students can plan for high school,
college, and career
 Students can study for “free” for the
Benefits to Counselors
and Teachers
Counselors and teachers can access several lesson
plans that will assist them in utilizing What’s
Next Illinois as a high school, college and career
Counselors and teachers and can use What’s Next
Illinois reporting tools to assess whether students
have completed career plans, developed high
school course plans that are compatible with the
students’ career plans
Benefits to Counselors
and Teachers
• Counselors can use data to support the
Career Development Domain of the
process to show how their work has
affected student achievement positively.
• Utilize worksheets to assist students in the
process of developing college and career
What’s Next Illinois
High School
Planning Tab
 Create plans for goals
 Create transition plan
 Develop portfolio
 Create a High School timeline
 Timeline covers 7th grade through the
college freshman year
Planning for Goals
Students have to provide answers
for the following
 Your favorite school subjects:
 Your most challenging school subjects
 Which of your classes support your career
 Which of your school activities support your
career goals?
 What community activities do you
participate in that support your career goals?
High School Transition Plan
 High School student plans to attend
 Support required to successfully execute the
 Personal benefits from executing the plan
 Program student intends to follow
 Career Planning
 Send and receive messages
 Review and manage calendar
 Track usage of guideways
 Merge accounts
 Transfer information from Choices
 Complete journal entries
The High School Timeline
 Allow students to develop a timeline that
will help them to be successful in high
 The timeline can be used as a checklist or
 Help students with helpful hints on
grade timeline
 Work at developing good study habits.
 Maintain good grades.
 Start saving for college.
 Talk to people who have attended
college to learn about their
grade timeline
Start thinking about which jobs interest
What kinds of work would suit your interests,
abilities, aptitudes, values and learning styles?
 Get involved in extracurricular activities
like clubs, student organizations, sports
and volunteer work.
grade timeline – cont.
 If you're given opportunities to pursue
academic subjects and extracurricular
activities that are new to you, take them!
It will help you to expand your outlook.
 Look into additional academic options that
may be available in your area, such as
magnet programs and school enrichment
 Check out summer programs available in
your community.
grade timeline – cont.
 Practice your time management skills.
Learning to make the most efficient use of your
time can help prevent you from getting
 Improve your reading, writing and math
These basic skills will serve you well in both
college and career.
grade timeline
 Counselors, teachers, parents and friends
are all good sources of information.
Ask them any questions you have about college,
in addition to doing research on your own.
 Study hard!
Make sure you use good study habits and keep
your grades up.
grade timeline
 Start saving for college.
You might want to consider signing up
for a college savings account.
 Start thinking about the courses
you'll take in 9th grade.
grade timeline – cont.
 Find out about academic enrichment
programs, including summer and
weekend programs, available through
your school or local colleges.
 Don't forget about extracurricular
activities like sports, performing arts,
volunteer work or other activities that
interest you.
grade timeline – cont.
 Investigate Advanced Placement (AP),
International Baccalaureate (IB), and other
honors-level courses you can take in high school
to help you prepare for college.
 Take the ACT EXPLORE test to evaluate your
skills in English, math, reading and science
It's good practice and your scores won't count towards
your college application.
grade timeline – cont.
 Find out from your guidance counselor what
you can do now to start getting ready for
If you have a choice of classes in junior high, take
ones that will challenge you and prepare you for
college. Ask about the classes you'll need to take
in high school to meet college admission
requirements. In Illinois, it's recommended that
college-bound students take at least the
following high school courses:
grade timeline – cont.
 four years of English
 three years of mathematics, including algebra and
 three years of laboratory science, including biology
and chemistry
 three years of social studies, including history and
 two years of electives, chosen from foreign
language, music, visual arts, theater, dance and
vocational education

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