Higher Education Resources

This SC2C Community Action Network (CAN) helps students successfully transition out of high school, focusing on the tools they need to make the next step to college, a certificate program, an apprenticeship, or a career.

Welcome to our College Prep Hub, your go-to for college planning. We’re all about helping Stamford youth graduate and succeed, whether in college, apprenticeships, or careers.

To do that, students need:

  • A challenging curriculum
  • Essential life skills
  • Comprehensive academic and non-academic support
  • Clear communication and well-defined paths to success.

 Get Help on the Following Topics

Making High School Count

Figuring Yourself Out


Hey there, future ….!! Welome to the “Figuring Yourself Out” corner. Here’s where you get to dig deep and discover what makes you tick. Are you ready to unlock your true potential!? Lets get started and get ready to dive into a world of self-discovery and exploration. Heres what you can expect


we offer tools to help you navigate your educational and career choices effectively. Take these quick quizzes to get personalized insights:


  • Interest Assessment: Uncover your passions and interests. Are you drawn to science, arts, business, or helping others?
  • Personality Profile: Understand your personality traits. Are you outgoing, introverted, detail-oriented, or a natural leader?
  • Career Goals: Define your long-term aspirations. What kind of work environment and job prospects appeal to you?




Five Things To Do in High School:


Choose the Right Classes:


  • Pay attention to your high school courses. Check with your counselor to make sure you’re taking the right ones to graduate and get into college.
  • Consider taking more advanced classes, like honors or AP courses. They not only prepare you for college-level work but also impress college admissions and might even save you money by earning college credits.


Get Involved in Extracurricular Activities:


  • While academics are important, colleges also want to see your extracurricular activities. These can include clubs, sports, volunteering, or joining after-school and summer programs.
  • Show your enthusiasm for being part of your community and developing your talents.




  • Volunteering is a fantastic way to give back to your community while gaining valuable experience.
  • You can tutor younger students, participate in fundraising events, or help out at places like hospitals, youth centers, nursing homes, animal shelters, or food banks.
  • The key is to find something you’re passionate about and dedicate your time accordingly.


Consider an Internship:


  • Internships allow you to explore potential career paths. They can be paid or unpaid, during the school year or in the summer, and they help you discover your interests.
  • You can reach out to organizations or companies you’re interested in, ask your school counselor, or explore online resources to find internship opportunities.


Make the Most of Your Summers:


  • Summer should be fun, but it’s also a great time to further your college goals.
  • You can explore summer school programs, volunteer, work part-time in an area that interests you, take a class at your local community college.
  • Keep challenging yourself by reading, writing, and staying curious about the world.


Looking for summer programs? You can:


  • Consult with your guidance counselors and teachers.
  • Keep an eye out for posters in your school, local library, and community centers.
  • Reach out to organizations like the YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, United Way, and community centers to see what opportunities they offer.


Search online for “summer programs for high school students in (your town or nearest city),” “youth programs (your town or nearest city),” or “volunteer opportunities for teens (your town or nearest city).”

Discover your Interest


Take some time to explore what you’re into, what you’re good at, and what really matters to you. Think about your hobbies, your talents, and what you care about. Let these things guide your decision when picking a college.


To get started, ask yourself:


  • What do I enjoy doing in my free time?
  • What am I naturally good at?
  • What skills have I developed, and what am I great at?
  • What values and principles are important to me?
  • Do I like being in charge, or do I prefer being part of a team or doing my own thing?
  • How well do I get along with others, and do I like working with people?
  • Which school subjects do I like the most?
  • What kind of lifestyle do I see for myself? Am I up for traveling a lot or working on weekends, nights, or long hours?
  • How can I give back to my community?


Once you’ve thought about these things, it’s time to consider your interests. There are tools out there that can help match your skills and passions with potential careers. Check some of them out to get a better idea of your future path.


Mapping Your Future


My Next Move


United States Department of Labor


The 16 Personalities online assessment is a tool that helps you understand your personality based on a model similar to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

Leveling Up Your Skills: SkillBuilding Tools

Picking The Right College Fit

Types of Schools: Choosing Your Path


Four-Year Colleges and Universities


  • Offer a wide range of degrees.
  • Can be public or private.
  • Provide undergraduate, professional, and graduate programs.
  • Award bachelor’s degrees.


Community and Junior Colleges


  • Offer two-year associate degree programs.
  • Often more affordable and have flexible admission criteria.
  • Ideal for students not committing to a four-year program.
  • Graduates can enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year college.


Vocational and Technical Training Schools


  • Privately operated schools.
  • Focus on specific job-related skills.
  • Programs last from five months to three years.
  • Fields include computer technology, cosmetology, and more.


Service Academies and Senior Military Colleges


  • Offer military instruction alongside academics.
  • Competitive admissions.
  • Full scholarships at service academies.
  • Graduates become commissioned officers.
  • SMCs offer financial aid for eligible students.


Online Learning


  • Allows students to earn degrees online.
  • Offered by traditional colleges and fully online programs.
  • Ideal for working individuals.
  • Maintain a flexible schedule.


What to Look for in a College


When choosing the right college for your future, there are several important factors to take into account. Here are key considerations to keep in mind:


1. Curriculum:

Ensure the college offers the courses and facilities that align with your academic interests. For science, check for up-to-date labs and essential resources.


If you’re undecided, look for schools with broad-based liberal arts programs.


2. Academic Standards:

Understand the admission requirements, including average class standing, grade point average, and admission test scores for accepted students.


3. Cost:

Consider the total cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, room and board, as well as additional expenses like transportation and books.


Most colleges provide a net price calculator on their websites to estimate the actual cost.


4. Location:

Decide if you prefer a college close to home or in a distant location.


Think about factors like the surrounding environment, accessibility to outdoor activities, or the appeal of urban life.


5. Size:

Look beyond student body size and consider the faculty size, student-to-faculty ratio, and faculty accessibility.


Choose a size that aligns with your comfort level, whether it’s a smaller, more intimate setting or a larger institution where class sizes may decrease over time.


6. Diversity:

Explore the geographic, racial, and religious diversity of the student body and how it can enhance your understanding of the world.


7. Religious Affiliation:

If religious orientation is important to you, research the availability of campus-based religious activities and places of worship.


8. Sports & Activities:

A vibrant social life is a vital part of the college experience. Learn about clubs, sports, arts, and extracurricular activities.


Strive for a balance between academics and activities, especially if you plan to participate in varsity sports.


9. Retention and Graduation Rates:

Consider the percentages of students returning after the freshman year and graduating within four years. This reflects the strength of the college’s support system and student satisfaction.


10. Financial Aid:

Be aware that financial aid is available at every college, but the amount may vary.


Private colleges often offer more financial aid. Reach out to college financial aid offices for detailed information.


11. Campus Visit:

Visit different colleges to get a feel for each campus. Take a guided tour and use a campus tour checklist to gather information.


Many colleges offer open houses and weekend visits, and you can also explore virtual tours on their websites.


12. Student & Alumni Insights:

Speak with current students and alumni who can provide valuable insights into campus life, academics, and career outcomes.


Alumni can share their experiences and how their degree from the institution impacted their careers.


These considerations will help you make an informed decision about which college aligns best with your academic and personal goals.


College Fairs


At the college fair, you’ll have the chance to explore academic programs, campus activities, financial aid options, and admission requirements. It’s a valuable opportunity to engage with college representatives, so here’s what you should do:


  • Connect with College Reps: Make a point to have conversations with college representatives. They are eager to answer your questions and provide insights into their institutions.
  • Take Notes: Bring a notepad and pen to jot down important information and details that catch your attention.
  • Stay Informed: Sign up to be on the mailing lists of colleges that pique your interest. This will keep you updated about their offerings and events.
  • Collect Brochures: Pick up brochures from colleges that intrigue you and take them home to review at your own pace.
  • Attend Information Sessions: If there are information sessions available, consider attending them to gain a deeper understanding of specific colleges.
  • Come Prepared: To make the most of your time, arrive at the fair prepared. Bring your list of questions and materials like paper and a pen to stay organized and maximize your experience.


Engaging with college representatives and collecting information will help you make informed decisions about your future education.


Resources for picking the right college fit

CAMPUS VISIT TIPS(title of the link https://myfuture.com/college/campus-visit-tips)

https://www.ctcollegefair.com/( 2024 Spring Southern Connecticut College & Career Fair)

From Freshman to Senior: The Complete College and Career Planning Checklist

Additional Resources


“It was a great constant reminder to check the status of my application and make sure everything was completed, otherwise I would have forgotten all summer and waited till the last minute to do anything.”

– 2023 Stamford High School Graduate

“The counselors are really accessible. It takes the pressure off of this summer which is really crucial for the rest of our lives but often forgotten and because of that, many teens don’t know what to do during it. Plus it offers a ton of important resources.”

– 2022 Stamford High School Graduate

“It helped me stay on track with deadlines I may have forgotten about (like looking into textbooks and financial aid deadlines). Also, if I asked a question they actually responded and gave their opinion.”

– 2020 Westhill High School Graduate

Action Plans

To effectively measure and identify effective practices while aligning resources, we have designed and developed a detailed Action Plan process. The process and the related template were created in close partnership with Stamford Public Schools and the Superintendent’s team. This process is consistently followed by all CANs. Each CAN is at a different stage of action plan completion, depending on the complexity of its objectives and the available data.

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