Junior Planning Conferences prepare students for life after Central


Michaela Malec

Junior Planning Conferences take place throughout the school day.

Junior year is filled with college planning, standardized tests, and heavy coursework. Although it can be stressful to navigate these college preparations, there is help available for all junior students.

Each year during second semester, juniors see their guidance counselors for meetings known as Junior Planning Conferences, in which they discuss college options and opportunities available beyond high school. Parents are encouraged to come as well so that they can provide additional input.

This year, Junior Planning Conferences are taking place from Wednesday, Feb. 21 to Wednesday, Apr. 25. The topics discussed in Junior Planning Conferences are colleges, careers, how to use Naviance, standardized test information, and graduation credit status.

“[Guidance counselors] hope that the Junior Planning Conferences are helpful in getting students to think more about what their future plans might be and where they can realistically experience that,” said Mr. Ed Formanski, guidance counselor.

Michaela Malec
Students meet with their parents and guidance counselors to discuss college planning and schools they are interested in.

Each meeting lasts about an hour and allows students to gain insight into what colleges they might be interested in or which major they might want to pursue.

“During my Junior Planning Conference, my mom and my counselor and I talked all about college options,” said Elizabeth Floersch, junior. “We discussed the different schools I’m looking at and what I’m interested in doing when I get to college.”

Prior to attending Junior Planning Conferences, both students and parents are required to fill out surveys regarding the college admissions process. The student surveys contain questions regarding the type of school students think they are interested in, while parent surveys ask parents to contemplate what type of person their child is and what their best traits and characteristics are. The surveys are helpful to guidance counselors and teachers later in the year and into the summer, when students begin asking them for recommendations.

“I actually found it very helpful to fill out the student survey before I went to my Junior Planning Conference,” Floersch said. “While I was filling it out I had to reconsider what types of colleges I’m looking at, and why I’m interested in them. Completing the survey made the discussion with my counselor go really smoothly.”

While many students have some idea of what they would like to study in college by junior year, there are also a large number of students that are unaware of which direction they should go in regarding the college search. Regardless of whether or not students are aware of what they want to pursue after high school, Junior Planning Conferences are available to offer guidance to students who are looking for help.

“I definitely feel more prepared for college after my [Junior Planning Conference],” said Kaylee Haff, junior. “I’ve never really put very much thought into what I want in a school regarding size, location, or majors, but the meeting really helped me narrow down my options and figure out what I’m interested in. It was very productive.”

Junior Planning Conferences can be scheduled by calling the Guidance Office, and student and parent surveys and checklists can be found attached in an email sent to all juniors or on the school website.