College Preparation Opportunities

ADVANCED PLACEMENT
The Advanced Placement (AP) Program offered at Forest Lake Area High School gives students the opportunity to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. Students taking AP classes are expected to take the AP Examination at the end of the school year. Students successfully passing the AP exam MAY receive college credit and/or advanced placement at the college of their choice. Course descriptions should be checked for prerequisites.

CAREER GUIDANCE
Students are encouraged to see their dean or visit the career center for questions relating to career choices and opportunities.
Representatives of colleges, universities, technical schools and the military visit Forest Lake High School regularly during the school year to talk with interested students. Visits are advertised by school public announcements, monthly newsletters and/or posted outside the Media Center.

COLLEGE ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS
College entrance requirements in Minnesota and throughout the United States may vary. Students should become familiar with the requirements of the college or university that he/she plans to attend.

Grades and the types of courses taken are usually the most important criteria for a student’s admission to college. Studies made by colleges and universities indicate that students’ grades are an excellent indicator of success. Generally, college admission is determined by grades, quality of subjects, test scores, and involvement in school and community activities.

Most colleges and universities in Minnesota require a college admission test. Two national college admission tests are the College Entrance Examination Boards (SAT and Achievement Tests) and the American College Test (ACT). Many colleges & universities are requiring the written component for the ACT or SAT. Be sure to check with the colleges or universities of interest for their admission test requirements.
 
CONCURRENT ENROLLMENT
Forest Lake Area High School provides top-ranking students the opportunity to take designated introductory-level college courses for college credit here at the high school. Students successfully meeting enrollment standards are eligible to earn college credit through the University of Minnesota, Southwest State University, Pine Technical and Community College, or Hennepin Technical College, depending on the course. Course descriptions should be checked for prerequisites. Consult with your dean for more information. 
 
INDEPENDENT STUDY (I/S)
Independent Study opportunities are available for students who wish to extend his/her learning beyond courses offered at the high school. Independent study experiences are intended to allow a student to extend his/her learning in a particular area of study after exhausting all learning opportunities in the student’s area of interest. Independent study opportunities must be arranged with a teacher. An Independent Study is, by its definition, independent in nature with the teacher acting as a facilitator and resource. Students can expect to spend between 80 - 100 hours on the Independent Study class. 
The following guidelines govern an Independent Study:
  1. An I/S must extend a student’s knowledge and experience beyond courses offered at the high school and already taken by the student.
  2. An I/S must be designed under the direction and approval of a licensed teacher. 
  3. An I/S may be offered based on the availability of the instructor.
  4. An I/S must be approved by the student’s parents, teacher, department chair, dean, and principal prior to the start of the term of the I/S. 
LEARNING EXPERIENCES OUTSIDE OF THE FOREST LAKE SCHOOL DISTRICT
The school district recognizes the value of learning experiences outside of the high school curriculum, but does not award credit for those extra activities. Students may choose to keep records of their extra activities in the cumulative record folder, but that information will not be placed on transcripts nor sent to other learning institutions. Students could, however, choose to include them with the other college application materials that they prepare.
 
MINNESOTA CAREER INFORMATION SYSTEM -  MCIS
MCIS is an on-line tool that manages data and information relating to students opportunities after high school. It is a secure site that links students, parents, staff members, colleges and employers to find and share reliable information as students apply to college and prepare for careers.

MCIS provides free on-line ACT and SAT preparation program.

MINNESOTA PRIVATE LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGES
There are over 50 private Minnesota Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities. For a complete listing, visit www.uscollegesearch.org/minnesota-liberal-arts-colleges.html. The recommended college preparatory curriculum is similar to the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State University System.

MILITARY ROTC PROGRAMS AND ACADEMIES

Reserve Officer Training Corps: The ROTC consists of Army, Navy, and Air Force units at over 300 public and private colleges throughout the country. All three branches offer scholarships covering the cost of tuition, fees, books, laboratory fees and living expenses. 

United States Service Academies offer four years of college education leading to a bachelor’s degree and entrance into the armed services. A candidate’s academic qualification for admission to any one of the five academies is determined by SAT College Entrance Examination Board tests or the ACT, a review of his or her entire scholastic record and a cumulative GPA of 2.5.
 
MnSCU - MINNESOTA STATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
Minnesota’s community colleges, technical colleges, comprehensive community and technical colleges and state universities are organized into a statewide system known as Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, or MnSCU. 53 college and university campuses can be found throughout Minnesota, with higher education sites in 46 communities.

POST SECONDARY ENROLLMENT OPTIONS (PSEO)
The Post-Secondary Enrollment Options program, also known as PSEO, was created in 1985 as a means to "promote rigorous educational pursuits and provide a wider variety of options for students." Through PSEO, high school students receive both high school and college/university credit for college or university courses that are completed.

Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) is a program that allows students in grades 10 through 12 to earn both high school and college credit while still in high school, through enrollment in, and successful completion of, college-level, nonsectarian courses at eligible participating postsecondary institutions. Most PSEO courses are offered on the campus of the postsecondary institution; some courses are offered online. Each participating college or university sets its own requirements for enrollment into the PSEO courses. Eleventh and 12th-grade students may take PSEO courses on a full- or part-time basis; however, students may not be enrolled more than full-time. 10th graders may take one career/technical PSEO course. If they earn at least a grade of C in that class, they may take additional PSEO courses.

There is no charge to PSEO students for tuition, books or fees for items that are required to participate in a course. Students must meet the PSEO residency and eligibility requirements and abide by participation limits specified in Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.09. If a school district determines a pupil is not on track to graduate, she/he may continue to participate in PSEO. Funds are available to help pay transportation expenses for qualifying students to participate in PSEO courses on college campuses. Schools must provide information to all students in grades 8-11 and their families by March 1, every year. Students must notify their school by May 30 if they want to participate in PSEO for the following school year. For current information about the PSEO program, visit the Minnesota Department of Education’s Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) webpage.

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Students will have many scholarship opportunities to help meet the high cost of college expenses. To prepare for scholarship opportunities, courses should be planned carefully. Scholarship committees place a great deal of emphasis on grades, courses, letters of recommendation, and participation in school and community activities. Students are encouraged to contact their dean and the FLHS website for specific scholarship opportunities. 
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