Career and College Advisor Notes...June-July-August 2024

Hello, Students and Families:

Summer is nearly here! We heard moving and funny speeches and celebrated the incredible Class of 2024 during their commencement ceremony last Friday, and now students are turning in their last assignments, teachers are calculating final grades, and we’re all looking forward to a change in routine for the next couple months.

As many of you know, my personal last-week-of-school tradition is to leave you all with a few ideas for post-high school planning. Obviously your first priority for the summer should be to de-stress, decompress, and be outdoors as much as possible! But summer is also a great time for students to: take on a part-time job where you can learn new skills, reflect on your learning experiences and think about goals for next year, and dream about what the future holds. These are just a few resources to help you along the way...

Local Summer Job Opportunities

Many employers in the valley are still looking for seasonal help in food service, retail, housekeeping, construction, farming, and more. A lot of students find jobs by word-of-mouth or through friends and family, but the Methow Valley News Classifieds can also be an excellent way to see what jobs are available! Either find a paper copy of this week’s paper or use the link above and select “Employment” from the drop-down menu to see the current list of open positions at local businesses.

Rising Seniors

The summer months are a good time to get a head start on post-high school planning tasks. 11th graders (a.k.a. rising seniors!) and their families are encouraged to review the attached slideshow, which contains suggestions and links to resources related to planning for senior year and beyond.

The list below is basically a condensed version of the slideshow; all these things can be accomplished on your own time, at your own pace!

❏ Complete the Game Plan survey using your Naviance account (to log in, click the “Student” icon and then choose the “Continue with Single Sign On” option to sign in with your Google account).

❏ Make a list of potential careers and the education/training you’ll need to achieve your goals (use Naviance, paper & pencil, or whatever app works best for you).

❏ Brainstorm topics or even write a rough draft of your personal essay. Your summer work will make early scholarship/college application deadlines more doable in the fall.

❏ Gather information related to financial aid—the 2025-26 FAFSA should be available on October 1, 2024, and we’ll plan a financial aid night for families around the time of its release. Note: you’ll use 2023 tax data to complete the 2025-26 FAFSA application.

If your plan includes applying to 4-year colleges...

❏ Create a Common App account and start entering some of the basic information.

❏ Read “The Checklist for College-bound Juniors,” by Patrick O’Connor – good (and brief) advice for navigating the 4-year college application process. You can also consider whether test prep will be on your list of summer tasks. There are many test-optional colleges and universities, and if you choose to apply without submitting test scores you can focus your energies on excelling in rigorous coursework and writing stellar essays. However, the decision to test or not to test is ultimately personal; Ms. Anderson and Mrs. Spellman are available to discuss your options. We are planning to offer another School Day SAT in October 2024.

TIps for using Naviance Career Exploration Resources

Both Erika Spellman and I recommend that students do one or two assessments of their strengths and skills during each year of middle/high school in order to notice how their interests evolve over time – the Self-Discovery tab in Naviance has a number of options, and most of the assessments can be repeated as many times as a student wants. Students have used Naviance during Advisory this year, and the summer is a great time to look back and reflect AND do additional career research.

Our student Naviance link is: All LB & ILC students in grades 7-12 have accounts associated with their Google login, so they need to click the "Student" backpack icon and then click the "Continue with Single Sign On" button rather than creating a new account (even if it’s the first time they’ve used Naviance).

Virtual College Admissions Resources

Both 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities offer a number of virtual resources to help students navigate the admissions process. Here are links to those offerings for a range of schools:

Washington Wednesday Webinar Series - specific to the UW, exploring a range of admissions topics

Whatcom Community College Information Sessions - learn more about specific programs at WCC

Reed College Virtual Admissions Events - helpful for understanding selective college admissions

Montana State University Virtual Visits - explore MSU’s degree options or meet with an admissions rep

Renton Technical College Virtual Welcome Center - great workshops & links to online advising

8 of the Best Colleges Virtual Programs - virtual dates coming soon; good resource to interact with a

number of selective liberal arts college admission representatives in one place

The University of Chicago Virtual Events - range of admissions topics, some involve other universities

ReadyWA - Career Exploration Resources for Students & Families (Grades 7-12)

Ready Washington is a coalition of more than 20 state and local agencies, associations, and advocacy organizations focused on providing career planning resources for all students in Washington state. Click these links to see their suggestions for having conversations with high school and middle school students about high school and beyond.

Whether you’re a graduating senior or a continuing junior high or high school student, feel free to email me with any questions or concerns or interesting updates about your lives, even after this school year ends and before the next one begins. :)

Have an amazing summer!

All the best,


Beth Anderson

College and Career Advisor, Methow Valley School District

Career & College Advising Webpage, email:

About the College and Career Counseling Program

The goal of our College and Career Counseling program is to provide students and their families with the information and resources necessary for them to make well-informed choices about their post-secondary education. Liberty Bell recognizes the diversity in our families and understands that what might be right for one student may not be a good fit for another.

Therefore, we work individually with students and their families to help them successfully develop and achieve their post-graduation goals – whether that is applying to a 4-year, 2-year or technical college, designing a productive Gap Year plan or entering the military or workforce. Some of the specific services that we offer include:

  • Educating students and parents about the post-secondary educational choices available to them.

  • Meeting individually with juniors, seniors and parents to help them with their college lists, the application process, college essays and financial aid needs, including the FAFSA, the Profile and College Bound Scholarship, as well as with SAT/ACT prep and registration.

  • Holding college information evenings for students and parents to make sure that they have all the resources and support they need to reach their goals.

  • Working with the guidance counselor to ensure that 9th and 10th graders take the necessary classes to be eligible for college admissions.

Applying to college should be a fun and exciting process; but at times it can be a bit overwhelming. If you find yourself feeling stuck, or if you have questions about any part of the application process, contact our office at (509) 996-2215.

We would like to thank the Public School Funding Alliance for their generous support of this program.