Educational Support Departments » Guidance Center » Sophomores

Sophomores

We hope you had a GREAT summer and a wonderful start to your high school experience – after all, you’ve survived the first year! That said, sophomore year is a time to think about what you COULD HAVE done better in freshman year – even Einstein said there were things he could’ve done better with hindsight! So, let’s reflect on last year together.

 

  •    What would you change?
  •    What do you want to work on this year?
  •    What are some goals?
  •  

It is not too late to “reboot” your high school experience.

 

If you’re having a problem with schoolwork, friends, relationships, or even your parents, your Guidance Counselor can help you figure it out.

 

High school can be scary, but it can also be fun and exciting. It’s also going to be your home for the next three years…so let’s get started with this handbook!

 

 

                                                                Sincerely,

                                                Your Guidance Team

 

 

 

 

Regents

Diploma

Advanced

Regents

Diploma

English

8

8

Social Studies

Distributed as follows:

    Global History (4)

    U.S. History (2)

    Participation in Government (1)

    Economics (1)

8

8

Science (including lab)

Distributed as follows:

    Life Science (2)

    Physical Science (2)

    Life Science or Physical Science (2)

6

6

Mathematics

    Including at least 2 credits of

    advanced math (e.g., Geometry or

    Algebra II).

6

6

Language Other Than English (LOTE)

2

6

Visual Art, Music, and/or Theater

2

2

Physical Education (Every Year)

4

4

Health

1

1

Electives

7

7

Total

44

44

 

As a Sophomore, you will be taking classes in English, Global History, Math, Foreign Language, Life Science, Art/Music or Theater, and Physical Education.

 

10TH GRADE COUNTS FOR COLLEGE!!!!!!

Take a moment and think back to your Freshman year to answer the following questions:

 

What classes did I do well in?

What classes did I struggle with?What should I do to push myself this year?
How can I better manage my time?

How do I respond to peer pressure?

 
 
 
Progress High School has a number of athletic teams that you can try out for, there’s:
 
  • baseball
  • basketball
  • handball
  • soccer
  • softball
  • wrestling
  • volleyball
 
Whatever you are into, there is a team for that!
Do you want more friends or better friends? If so, sports and clubs are a great place to meet a new best friend or maybe even a future prom date!
Progress also have a few clubs that you can join.  Clubs are a great way to make friends and stay involved, and they look great on your college applications.  Try out a bunch of clubs to see what you like and who you connect with.
 
 
 
Sophomore year is the perfect time to start thinking about specific colleges. You’re not a freshman anymore, and you’re getting a better idea of what you’re good at and what you might like to study.  
Do a little research online and figure out which schools have a good reputation for the subjects you’re interested in. Some colleges are better for math, some for history, and others for the arts.  
Simple internet searches and visits to the colleges’ websites can give you tons of great information. So Google it. Or Bing it. We don’t care which. Just make sure to check out www.cuny.edu and www.suny.edu to find out more about these great public school options.
While it’s still early to apply for scholarships, it’s not a bad idea to check out www.fastweb.com to get acquainted with what’s out there!
The five boroughs of New York City are home to dozens of schools, from community colleges to CUNY schools to super fancy Ivy League colleges. 
You can visit them all for the price of a subway card. Call the admissions offices for more information on visiting. Take the tour, and check out the campuses. Unable to get there? Do a virtual tour!  
 
Can you imagine yourself going to school there? 
Check off each item as you complete it: 
 
  • Check in with your Guidance Counselor 
  • Study for your classes 
  • Study for Regents 
  • Pass All Regents! 
  • Pass All Classes! 
  • Pick 3 or 4 colleges that looks interesting 
     Contact those colleges, and go visit! 
  • Start Memorizing vocabulary words – vocabulary is a HUGE part of the SAT and ACT, so if you know more words today, then less studying tomorrow!! 
  • Think about a career you like 
  • Research that Career online 
  • Try to do an internship 
  • Reach out to career mentors 
  • Take the PSAT 
  • Join a Sport – or 2! 
  • Join a club – or 2 or 3 or 4 clubs! 
 
Sophomore year is one year closer to GRADUATION! And with graduation comes adult responsibilities, like bills, independence, and of course, a career!  
 
Now is a great time to think further about what you may want to be when you “grow up.” Remember the careers showcased last year? A few are featured again this year, while we introduce you to other new jobs. Most importantly, we show you what you need to do in order to get those jobs.  
 
Let’s go, future teacher/nurse/lawyer/doctor/journalist! 
 
Teacher 
Do you remember your fifth grade teacher’s name? How would you like a generation of children to remember yours? If you think you have what it takes to inspire young people, from kindergarteners to high school students, then you might want to consider a career as a teacher.  
 
Teachers have the opportunity to help shape people’s lives. Talented teachers get their students excited about learning and can help put them on a path of academic success that could lead to a great future. Plus, they get summers off. Score!  
 
If you’re thinking about being a teacher, you’ll have to graduate from a four-year college. You can take classes on education and youth development. 
 
Afterwards, in graduate school, you’ll delve even deeper into the theories behind learning and the skills it takes to communicate with students. 
 
By the time you’ve graduated and earned your Master’s degree in education, you’ll be a seasoned professional, ready to take on and inspire a whole classroom of students! The starting salary in NYC for a teacher with a Master’s degree is $45k, and can go over $100k! 
 
Lawyer 
Another profession that needs little introduction… 
Lawyers have an extremely important role in today’s society. They help put criminals behind bars, help defend the innocent, and make sure that the rights of every citizen are being upheld, no matter what background they come from. 
 
To become a lawyer I the United States, you need to follow these steps: 
  • Graduate from Progress H.S., preferably in 4 years and with a Regents Diploma. 
  • Attend a 4-year college where you receive a Bachelor’s degree. 
  • Take your LSAT in college (this a similar to the SATs, but is much harder and focuses on logic and reading) 
  • Apply to and get into an accredited law school, which will take 3 years to graduate from 
 
Afterwards, you can begin working immediately in a bunch of different settings, including courts, law firms, non-profits, the government or at a ton of different companies who need lawyers to make sure they are following the rules.  You can even work for the NYC Department of Education! 
 
 
Legal Professions 
Does becoming a lawyer sound like a TON of school? Do you want to start making money soon after college? There are many jobs in the legal field where you don’t need a law degree. Do any of the following sound interesting to you? 
 
Paralegal 
Help lawyers draft documents, interview witnesses, and research facts! 
Need at least 2-year degree, preferably a 4-year Bachelor’s  
Average Salary range: $50k – 65k 
 
Court Reporter 
Record the entire trial on a nifty machine called the stenograph! 
Need a certification and vo-tech, 2-year or 4-year college degree 
Average salary range: $35k - $65k 
 
Jury Consultant 
Help lawyers gain insight into what the jury is thinking! 
Need at least a bachelor’s degree in psychology 
Average Salary: $60k - $100k, sometimes over $500k with PhD! 
 
Doctor 
Does this profession even need an introduction?!?  
There are many kinds of doctors out there: veterinarians who work with animals, dentists who work with teeth, and of course, people doctors who work with, well…people!  
 
To become a doctor of any type, you need to follow these steps: 
 
  • Graduate from Progress H.S., preferably in 4 years and with a Regents Diploma 
  • Attend a 4-year college where you major in pre-med and receive a Bachelor’s degree 
  • Take your MCAT in college (this is similar to the SATs, but is much harder and focuses on science) 
  • Apply to and get into an accredited Veterinarian School / Dentist School / Medical School – all these schools take another 4 years  
 
Depending on the type of doctor you hope to become, you may need more on-the-job training, know as residency, followed by fellowship, which is a highly specialized form of training.  However, don’t worry – once you become a “Dr.” after graduate school, you get PAID during training! 
 
Other Health Professions 
Does becoming a doctor sound like a TON of school? Do you want to start making money soon after college? Well, the good thing is that the healthcare field is projected to grow by 10% over the next 10 years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means tons of jobs that are just as respectable as doctor, but take a bit less time! Take a look at the following: 
 
Nurse 
Work at a hospital, clinic, nursing home, or doctor’s office 
Need a nursing degree (ADN – 2 years, or BSN – 4years) 
Average salary range: $50k to 60K 
 
Physician’s Assistant (PA) 
Write prescriptions, order tests, diagnose and treat illnesses 
Graduate from 4-year college with pre-med science classes 
Take a 3-year PA program 
Average salary range’$90k to 100k 
 
Optician 
2 years of classes, 2 to 4 years of paid training 
Average salary range: 35K to 60K a year. 
 
Engineer 
Let’s take a quick quiz: 
Do you like to make things with your hands? 
Do you like to create or invent new gadgets that make your life easier? 
Are you good at math, science, or computer? 
If you answer “yes” to two or more of the above questions, then you should consider a career as an engineer!  
 
Engineers are people who design all the things that make this world work. They design cars to improve gas efficiency and increase engine torque and speed. They make computers smaller and more powerful. They create tiny surgical equipment that can enter the smallest blood vessel to conduct life-saving surgery. Engineers work in all different industries: 
 
  • Computers 
  • Social Media 
  • Mechanical (Cars, Airplanes, Trains, etc.) 
  • Biomedical 
  • Chemical 
  • Materials 
  • Construction 
 
Engineers need at least a 4-year college degree, after which they can work for a company.  Most engineers will also get a 2-year Master’s degree while they are working, because most large employers will PAY for this Master’s! 
 
Notice a pattern? If you want a cool, interesting job that makes a lot of money, you should try to graduate high school in four years and go to college or a respected votech/certification program. 
 
It’s also never too early to start college planning by researching the job of your dreams and finding out which colleges are strong in those areas. Be prepared. Have a plan. 
 
Protect your goals by protecting yourself.  Only YOU have the power to achieve YOUR Goals and Dreams. 
 
As a sophomore, you’re a bit older.  Once you’re a bit older, you may have more options to “get in trouble.”  DON’T!! it will limit your opportunities for success, when your future is still unfolding!! 
 
Don’t Cut Class 
Seriously. Going to class is really important if you want to maintain a competitive average and pass your classes. Think of it this way – if you stay in class, you’ll have a higher chance of graduating in just 4 years. By age 21, you can be off at college and working towards a job you want! 
 
Stay Away From illegal Activities 
You know what these are…things that can land you in the hot seat with the police! Having a police record makes it much harder to get into college, and you’ll have to explain each time you go for a job interview. Not breaking the law is an easy way to make sure your future stays as bright as it can. 
 
Resist Negative influences 
We’ve all been there – a best friend, neighbor, maybe even family member who does something we wouldn’t personally want to do.  You may feel pressured to join, but you know in your heart what’s right.  Trust your gut and trust your heart to resist negative influences. 
 
Don’t Give up 
Sophomore year is hard – it’s a lot harder than freshman year and things really matter now for college acceptance and future careers.  Sometimes it may feel overwhelming, like you can’t do it all, but remember that even a 1,000-mile journey begins with a first step.  Your guidance counselors are there for you – if you need encouragement or someone to talk to, their doors are open to you!!!! 
 
IEP stands for Individualized Educational Program. It’s a plan put together by your parents and educational specialists to make sure that you get all the academic support and resources you need. 
 
In New York State, more than 1 out of every 6 students has an IEP – in some schools, it’s around 1 out of every 4! 
Tons of famous people would qualify for IEPs if they were in school today – actor Tom Cruise, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, chef Jamie Oliver, and President John F. Kennedy, to name a few. So if you have an IEP, you’re in good company! 
 
Having an IEP does not hurt your chances of getting into college. An IEP can give you extra time on tests and SATs, and it may help explain lower grades or test scores. 
Helpful Links for Families of English Language Learners: 
 
¡Colorín Colorado! 
 
A Bilingual website for families and educators of English Language Learners: 
 
United States Department of Education Toolkit for Hispanic Families 
 
Provides information about how you can help build your child's reading and language skills during the early years of life. Reading well is at the heart of all learning. Without the ability to read, children can't succeed in school. 
 
 
Roadmap to College for English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners 
 
This website delivers a guide for English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners on how to prepare for college and the steps required to achieve the desired goal.  
 
New York Immigration Coalition 
 
The New York Immigration Coalition aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all. The New York Immigration Coalition promotes immigrants’ full civic participation, fosters their leadership, and provides a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.