Academic Career Planning

Educational and Career Planning is a Lifelong Learning Process.

Young people learn about occupations and careers from their parents, relatives, friends, and neighbors. The media–the Internet, television, radio, videos, newspapers, and magazines–also shapes their thoughts, beliefs, goals, and concepts about the purpose, value, and nature of work. In the middle and high school years, students choose courses and explore areas which provide the foundations for lifelong learning.

They quickly learn that not everyone will become a professional athlete or a lawyer. They also learn that they should use their interests, abilities, achievements and feedback from significant people in their lives to enhance their self-esteem, to refine their educational/career choices, and to develop the lifelong learning strategies and employability skills needed in today's complex world. The resources on this page are compiled to assist middle/high school students and their parents in their search for careers and education.

Caution and Disclaimer: Before using these websites, students and parents should determine which Web sites are secure and decide what personal or private information, if any, you wish to disclose.

Occupational Outlook Handbook
The OOH is a nationally recognized source of career information designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future occupations and careers.
Making It Count
Get information on test taking skills, parent resources, and planning ideas for high school, college, jobs and careers.
Take a Guest Tour to search for occupations and education. All KUSD middle and high school students have access to WISCareers. Ask your school counselor, librarian, or media technology specialist for your KUSD registration login.
PreCollege Programs
Wisconsin offers over 400 precollege programs for students in K-12. Many of the academic programs offer scholarship assistance for low-income students. Parents and students may search for programs based on subject, grade, and campus.

Local Pre-College Programs include:

  • UW-Parkside's Upward Bound for first-generation students and/or low-income minority students
  • UW-Parkside's DOC, Summer STARS, and ACT Prep programs.


Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) INTEREST INVENTORIES for Grades 8 and 10

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction no longer provides written copies of the Self-Directed Search (SDS). Consequently, KUSD middle school 8th grader and high school 10th grader will be taking the SDS by Dr. John Holland on the computers at school or at home through WISCareers. When the students complete the SDS, they will receive a listing of occupations that match their interests. Students can, then, search for occupations, the corresponding educational pathways and the institutions of higher education that lead to those occupations.


High School Career Centers

KUSD High school students also have access to Career Centers which provide current career and educational information. The following web sites showcase a variety of careers:


Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Career & Technical Education

Career & Technical Educational (CTE) Pathways

The U. S. Department of Labor sponsors CareerOneStop

An excellent resource to explore careers, learn about resumes and interviews, people & places to help.

In the 8th & 10th grade Individual Learning Plan, use CTE Educational Pathways

Wisconsin DPI Career Clusters & Educational Pathways

Wisconsin Pathways & Programs of Study

Career Clusters
Pathways to College & Career Readiness

Excellence for Hispanic Americans
The White House Initiative

Find colleges and careers

Find Colleges & Careers by using Petersons Resources

Individual Learning Plan (I.L.P.)

The Individual Learning Planning Conference is a key ingredient of the individual student-planning component of the Wisconsin Comprehensive School Counseling Program Model.

Resource: Wisconsin Comprehensive School Counseling Programs: Individual Learning Plans

During 2010-2011, the Middle and High School counselors piloted the Individual Learning Plan Conferences in grades 8 and 10.

Conferencing is a process that involves activities planned and directed by school counselors, assisting students in planning, monitoring, and managing their own learning, as well as, their personal and career development. Students, their parents/guardians, and their counselors will meet to discuss interest surveys, career searches, course selections in the career pathways leading to employment and higher education. Students are encouraged and given opportunities to set and evaluate their educational and career goals and to connect them to activities that will help them achieve their goals.

Students may also use WISCareers which allows the students to save their ILP, to create resumes, to collect letters of recommendation, and to maintain an ePortfolio. Please contact your school counselor for additional information.

High School Graduation Requirements

Academic credits shall be awarded for mastery of standards in grades nine through twelve. A student must earn 23 with a maximum 28 high school credits as described in Rule 6456 to graduate from the Kenosha Unified School District and a student must also complete one of the following:

  1. Earn a score of basic or above in three of five subtests on the high school Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam (WKCE)
  2. Earn a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 1.5 on an unweighted scale through the seventh semester of high school; i.e., January of senior year
  3. Meet one of the following test scores requirements:
    1. ACT Assessment – 18 or above
    2. SAT I Exam – 870 or above
  4. Successfully complete an approved Individual Education Plan (IEP), Limited Language Plan (LLP), and/or Section 504 Plan.
Specific Credits Required out of 23 – RULE 6456
ENGLISH 4 credits
1 credit – U.S. History
1 credit – World History
* ½ credit U.S. Government & Politics
½ credit Behavioral Science
SCIENCE 3 credits
HEALTH ½ credit
COMMUNITY/SERVICE LEARNING Required of all students  (10 hours)
ONLINE LEARNING EXPERIENCE Participate in an online course or participate in a course with a high quality online component. (class of 2016 and beyond).
DIPLOMA WITH HONORS DISTINCTION 4 Advanced Placement credits

* Note: Students selecting the Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics option will be required to satisfactorily complete the entire course. Failure to do so will require students to take either U.S. Government and Politics or U.S. Government and Politics – Honors in order to satisfy the requirement. In the instance where a student successfully completes one credit of AP government and politics and has completed one credit of U.S. History and one credit of world history, the student has met the required 3 credits of social studies for graduation. Students planning on attending an institution of higher education are encouraged to take a behavioral science course.

Note: Economics can be applied towards satisfying the consumer education requirement.

**Unless exempted pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes, exemption shall be granted for medical reasons upon presentation of a physician’s statement. Students excused from physical education for all four years of high school for medical reasons shall be required to make up ½ credit in another elective subject for each semester excused from physical education.

***Waived for students who successfully complete ½ credit Honors Economics, ½ credit Economics, 1 credit Advanced Placement Economics, or 1 credit Marketing.

Admissions information, financial aid guide, scholarships
COLLEGE FAIRS, Career Council College Fairs, National Hispanic College Fairs, Student Athlete College Fairs College View
College search, financial aid, application process
National Collegiate Athletic Association – guide for college-bound student-athletes
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes – Champions of Character
University of Wisconsin Help
Information on the University of Wisconsin System, apply online
Iowa Universities & Colleges
WISCONSIN TECHNICAL COLLEGES Michigan Public & Private Colleges & Universities
University of Minnesota, Public EdRef College Search Directory
A search for over 7000 higher education institutions
Minnesota Private Colleges Yahoo Education Directory
A comprehensive directory on education
Online resource for Black college students
What Will They Learn?
Find out what the College Rankings DON’T Tell You!
College search made simple
Braintrack College & University Directory
You will find WORLD, U.S., & ON-LINE Colleges & Universities.

Know Your Tests

Students and their parents should know the different types of standardized tests that students will take in high school and to apply for college/university, technical college and/or the military. Students who take and pass the core subjects, who know about the structure and content of these standardized tests are better prepared and more likely to achieve higher scores.

EXPLORE KUSD freshmen take the ACT's EXPLORE tests in November. These subject-based tests are closely aligned with the achievement tests in the ACT Assessment Program and help prepare them for the college-admission tests in junior year.
PLAN The PLAN is an optional test that sophomores may take in preparation for the ACT, college-admission test, in junior year.

WSAS-WKCE Sophomores are required to take the WKCE (Wisconsin Knowledge & Concepts Exam), which is part of the WSAS (Wisconsin Student Assessment System).

This exam is also an important part of the KUSD high school graduation requirements as well as the State of Wisconsin's means of complying with the ESEA (Elementary & Secondary Education Act) No Child Left Behind ACT. It is extremely important that ALL sophomores take this exam in November.

The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a program cosponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). Juniors take this test in October to qualify for certain business and higher education scholarships. The PSAT is an optional test for high-achieving sophomores.
AP *
Advanced Placement courses are offered in high school to juniors and/or seniors. AP tests are taken in May and students scoring 3, 4, or 5 on the AP exams typically earn college credit. Students should contact the colleges & universities about their AP credit policies.

The ACT is a college-entrance subject-based exam taken by juniors in April or June. Subtests are: English, Mathematics, Science Reasoning, and Reading. The highest score is 36. The ACT is accepted throughout the country and is the preferred college admissions exam in the Midwest.

ACT Writing Test
The ACT Assessment Plus Writing* will be introduced February 2005. Juniors should check with the colleges/universities to determine if the Writing Test is required. Currently over 100 colleges/universities are requiring a standardized writing test.

Register for the ACT at

The SAT I is a college-entrance verbal, non-verbal (mathematical), and writing exam taken by juniors. Perfect score is 2400. East and West Coast Schools and many private colleges require the SAT I. Check with the colleges or universities to determine if you need to take the SAT I.

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is available at no cost to students who are interested in the military. This test may be taken by high school students at any level.
SAT II / SAT Subject Tests *
The SAT II's are subject tests required by some colleges to determine mastery level and placement in college courses. Seniors should check with the colleges or universities to determine if these tests are required.
COMPASS is an untimed, computerized test that helps technical colleges evaluate applicants skills and place them into appropriate courses. COMPASS offers tests in reading, writing, math, writing essay, and English as a Second Language (ESL).

*Note: TEST FEE WAIVER may be available for low-income students.
See your high school counselor for details.


Financial Aid is either based on NEED or on MERIT.

Need-based financial aid is primarily determined by assessing the students' and parents' financial status.

Merit-based financial aid is determine because of scholastic achievement, community service, test scores, athletic performance, the quality of an essay, and/or some other special or unique combination of attributes.

Financial Aid includes grants, scholarships, tax deductions, loans, gifts, and/or cash payments.

The following sites will help you understand the process of obtaining financial aid and the differences between scholarships, grants, loans–both subsidized and unsubsidized.

ATTEND the Financial Aid Nights for Seniors at your high school during December or January.

Wisconsin Covenant: A Pathway to Higher Education for Wisconsin Students
In 2011, this program is terminated in the Wisconsin State budget and will sunset with the high students who signed up by the September 30, 2011 deadline. Students who maintain a B average throughout high school and who complete the Wisconsin Covenant Pledge (e.g. maintaining a B average throughout high school and complete all aspects of the pledge) will be recognized as Wisconsin Covenant Scholars, accepted to Wisconsin Public, Private, and/or Technical Colleges and provided financial aid according to the established guidelines and timelines.
The Best Financial Aid Page/
Many KUSD scholarships are listed on Fastweb.
Scholarships on SchoolSoup
NextStudent Scholarship Search FRESCH!-Free Scholarship Search FAFSA
Free Application for Federal Student Assistance–to be completed in January of the senior year
Federal Student Aid
In English and in Spanish
Scholarships for Hispanics Scholarships for African Americans
CollegeBoard – CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE
Some colleges and universities use PROFILE to help award nonfederal student aid funds.
Wisconsin Educational Opportunity Programs
This site describes the Wisconsin scholarships: Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarships, Herbert Kohl Excellence & Initiative Scholarships, Wisconsin All-State Schools, TIP Grants for low-income students, the Wisconsin Federal Talent Search Program Grant for first-generation students with academic potential from multicultural and disadvantaged backgrounds.
Sallie Mae provides federally guaranteed student loans under the Federal Family Education Loan Program.

Scholarships Listed with Kenosha Unified School District

Contact your school counselor or visit your high school's Office of Student Support or Career Center for additional information on scholarships.

In addition to using and reviewing these sites, students and parents should discuss the Educational and Career Planning process with middle school and/or high school teachers and counselors.

"Make the most of these years because what you learn is forever yours."

Roberta Akalin, Kenosha Unified School District Counselor