Guidance & College Planning
In addition to guiding the student through the course selection and scheduling process, Counselors coordinate academic accommodations for students with learning difficulties, enroll new students, and monitor academic progress. Most importantly, The Guidance & College Planning Office is a place students can come when they are having difficulty either emotionally or academically during the course of the school year.
Current American Heritage families are encouraged to visit Guidance & College Planning on the AH Portal for the latest information including timelines, guides and forms.
7th & 8th Grade: Charting Your Course
The Junior High School Guidance Curriculum focuses on helping students develop good organizational and study habits. Focus is also placed on interpersonal behaviors including bullying and self-esteem. A career fair is held annually to introduce students to career options. Evening programs for parents introduce the college admissions process and assist with high school planning.
9th Grade: Getting On Track
The focus in 9th grade is on the transition to high school. Students complete the Learning Style Inventory that helps them to discover how they learn best so that they can be as successful as possible during their high school career. Students are encouraged to think towards their future goals. To this end, the 9th Grade Guidance Counselor works with students and parents to develop a four-year academic plan. An evening program in the fall for parents provides a comprehensive view of the high school years, including curriculum options, graduation requirements and the college admissions process.
10th Grade: Staying on Course
By the time students reach grade ten, they have a good understanding of what it takes to be a successful high school student. During the first quarter, students are encouraged to push themselves academically through a presentation on study skills. All sophomores will take the PSAT in October. They will then complete the Career Interest Profiler and are guided to discover what careers might suit their skills and interests. In the spring, students are introduced to their College Advisor and guided through their first online college search. An evening career program for parents takes place in the Spring.
Boston Conservatory at Berklee
California Institute of Technology
Case Western Reserve
George Washington University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Harvey Mudd College
Johns Hopkins University
King’s College (London)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
New York University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rhode Island School of Design
Savannah College of Art & Design
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Chicago
University of Michigan
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
University of Notre Dame
University of Pennsylvania
University of Southern California
University of St. Andrews in Scotland
University of Texas at Austin
University of Virginia
Washington University in St. Louis
"College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won."-Frank Sachs
College Planning at American Heritage is a long-term process. Guidance Counselors for grades 7-10 are well versed in the requirements for college admissions, and academic requirements are tracked carefully. In addition, students are encouraged to pursue extra-curricular activities both within the school community and throughout the South Florida area. Overall, the goal is to help students get a good sense of who they are, how they learn and where their talents lie.
Starting in their junior year, students are assigned a College Advisor. Heritage College Advisors have collectively visited over 300 schools across the country. They attend national and local conferences to ensure that they stay on top of the latest admissions trends. The college planning process is comprehensive and supportive. In this nurturing environment, students learn to identify their goals and interests, to manage a complex and stressful process, and to make healthy and confident decisions about higher education. Fundamentally, we believe that each student should control the self-evaluation, research, and application writing that is essential to good college selection.
- Athletic Recruiting 101 (with follow-up workshops)
- Sophomore College Night
- Junior Workshop on College Admissions Part I
- Junior Workshop on College Admissions Part II
- Application Nuts and Bolts (for seniors & parents)
- Making Financial Aid Count
Family Connection is a web-based resource that links the counselor’s office to course, career, and college planning. On Family Connection, students are able to share plans, complete surveys, and research and compare colleges. Students may also complete college profiles and resumes, and manage their applications during senior year.
As a college preparatory school, we feel we are entrusted with the responsibility of preparing all of our students for the standardized test often required for college admission. Research has shown that steady and consistent test preparation over time is the best way to increase scores on standardized tests. At American Heritage, all students receive SAT preparation as part of their math and English curriculum. In addition, a course is offered(for an additional fee )as an elective to all high school students who want to prepare for the SAT or ACT, or to improve scores. Online test preparation is also available to all students in grades 9-12 through Family Connection.
Students who apply to competitive schools benefit from the help of an interview specialist who meets individually with students and conducts a mock interview. She then provides feedback to the students and advises them on their preparation for and participation in interviews at their selected colleges.
Colleges On Campus
Admissions representatives from various colleges are invited to our campus to share the latest information with students. Colleges and universities, such as Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Emory, The George Washington University, Brandeis, Yale, Johns Hopkins, University of Florida and University of Miami visit annually. On average, 60-70 individual colleges send representatives for scheduled visits throughout the year.
Each fall and spring, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students from both American Heritage campuses come together at the Plantation Campus in the fall and the Boca/Delray Campus in the spring to participate in the annual College Fair which features more than 100 colleges. Students gather information from admissions representatives to help in the college decision-making process. College Tours are offered each year to various areas of the country, such as New England, Pennsylvania, California, and the southeastern U.S. Students spend three to four days visiting campuses and gathering information on specific schools. Staff members of the American Heritage Guidance and College Planning Department chaperone these tours.
The Upper School Library/Media center features a “College Corner” where students can research universities through brochures and DVD’s, and meet with college representatives. College and scholarship guidebooks are available and are updated annually.
The department’s Scholarship Specialist researches funds available nationally, locally and at individual colleges and universities to effectively match each family’s needs with monies available for their college-bound student. Collectively, our recent graduating classes (05 - 10) have been awarded scholarships totaling over 100 million dollars.
Like it or not, standardized tests are often a factor in college admissions decisions. Research has shown that students who are familiar with test format and strategies do better on standardized tests. We know that students with test preparation have a tremendous advantage over those without. We are excited to be partnered with nationally recognized Princeton Review to give our students a competitive advantage in the college admissions process. Here is a breakdown of our SAT Preparation Program:
SAT Preparation in the classroom: Students in grades 9-11 spend 80 minutes per month (an average of 20 minutes per week) in their English and math classrooms honing specific test preparation strategies.
SAT Essentials: Princeton Review designed a tailor-made program for Heritage students that is not available anywhere else. This course will be offered at a considerable discount to Heritage families. The program includes 45 hours of classroom instruction, 4 simulated practice exams, and 120 days of online access to the Princeton Review website, including over 2,000 review questions and numerous additional practice tests.
We encourage all our students to build on the strategies they learn in class by taking an SAT Essentials elective course, available on campus at a discounted rate. Courses run for one quarter and offered 8th period, 9th period, and after school. To register, students must contact their guidance counselor.
SAT Foundations: This American Academy prep course is designed to build students’ foundations in the SAT and ACT subject areas and to strengthen overall test-taking abilities. American Academy students receive this offering at a discounted rate. The course runs for one semester and offered 8th period and 9th period.
Summer SAT Preparation at the American Heritage Summer Institute: Princeton Review offers a course on the American Heritage campus over the summer. This course is available only to American Heritage students and is offered at a special rate through the American Heritage Summer Institute. https://www.ahsummerprograms.