Guidance
Contact:
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Mrs. Cathy Lankford Phone Icon 256-389-2910 Email Icon Email
  Ms. Audrey Smith Phone Icon 256-389-2910 Email Icon Email

Deshler High School Offices of Guidance and Counseling

Counselors Cathy Lankford and Audrey Smith are available to assist students with their academic, social/emotional, and career growth and exploration.  Students are able to visit the counselors during the school day with a pass or referral from their teachers or before/after school hours.  Parents will want to call or schedule a meeting to ensure counselors are available.  Mrs. Lankford will be assisting the 11th and 12th graders and is located to the left of the main office.  Ms. Smith will be assisting the 9th and 10th graders and is located in the rear of the library.  

Please email us with any concerns or questions.  

Mrs. Cathy Lankford (11th & 12th Grade Counselor): clankford@tuscumbia.k12.al.us

Ms. Audrey Smith (9th & 10th Grade Counselor): asmith@tuscumbia.al.us

 

FAFSA information: See "Links" for Pell Grant news.

ACT and SAT practice and websites:  see "Links."

Scholarship information: see "News" and "Links." 

 

New Testing Schedule

The Alabama State Department of Education has instituted a new direction for testing. Using the ACT College and Career Readiness system as a road map to student success, Alabama public schools have begun the series of curriculum -based assessments. The ACT Readiness system is divided into four tests for educational and career planning: Explore will be given in the 8th grade; the PLAN will be given in the 10th grade; the ACT will be given in the 11th grade; and Work Keys may be given in the 12th grade. Each of these assessments will be given one time per year at the local school. As the new testing system progresses, additional end-of-the course test will be given at the end of the school year.  These tests will be introduced to the schools as the state department develops these.

 

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PSAT/NMSQT October:  This test will not change; it remains as the National Merit scholarship competition entry test for juniors. It is governed by The College Board.  The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a multiple choice test that measures verbal, writing, and mathematical reasoning abilities important to doing college work. The PSAT/NMSQT gives students the unique opportunity to assess their verbal and mathematical skills, forecast SAT scores, discover whether they would be successful in Advanced Placement courses, participate in the Student Search Service, and qualify for scholarship and enrichment programs (Merit Scholarships, Achievement Scholarships, and National Hispanic Scholar Awards). It must be taken in their junior year to qualify for the awards. The PSAT will be offered to 10th and 11th grade students who register to take it for practice. The test is in mid-October, a nationwide date, at Deshler High for three hours on the morning of the test date. The cost is approximately $15.00, payable in cash or check made payable to DHS. This test is similar in format to the SAT (see below) and is composed by the College Board. Over 3.5 million students take the PSAT each year.

ASVAB:  Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (in the fall for juniors) The ASVAB is the most widely used multiple aptitude test battery in the world. It assesses a student's ability to learn new skills and is a predictor of success in training and education programs.  The ASVAB Career Exploration Program offers more than just a test.  It includes an interest inventory and other activities and resources designed to help students explore the world of work and gain confidence in making career decisions.  Deshler juniors will take the ASVAB at school in the fall as they start a career exploration program which will continue throughout their junior year. Individual career options will be considered; a resume will be built. There is no charge. Students will receive a booklet to share with parents after the program is underway. For more information or practice test, go to http://www.asvabprogram.com/.

AMERICAN COLLEGE TESTS (ACT) The American College Tests are offered six times during the school year to students, usually juniors and seniors, who plan to enter college. The ACT is given off site on Saturdays. The months for testing are September, October, December, February, April, and June. Locally, the test is given at both UNA and NWSCC on specific Saturdays and other local sites on some Saturdays. Preregistration is required about one month before the testing date (see website for guidelines); ACT prefers online registration with a Visa or MasterCard, but a few forms will be in the Guidance Office for use. The ACT Assessment assists eleventh and twelfth graders in the transition from high school to postsecondary education by providing information that can be used for admission, course placement, advising, and planning. It is recommended to be taken in the late spring of their sophomore year, and other times during their junior year. Registration information is available in the guidance center.   The ACT is 4 hours long with an extra half hour if you plan to take the optional writing component, which we suggest. Many colleges (A&M, UA, Auburn) require the writing for admission.  It is comprised of four tests: English, Math, Reading and Science Reasoning with the optional fifth test, writing.  These tests are scored on a scale of 1-36, and the scores are then averaged to a composite overall score of 1-36.  For more information, practice tests or to register, go to http://www.actstudent.org/.  Two fee waivers are offered either in the junior or senior year for students participating in the federally funded lunch program (however, a fee for the writing is not included in the waiver; a check or credit card can be used for the additional writing charge). 

NEW REQUIREMENT: Students must upload a 2" x 2" picture to the ACT site as they register online. There is also a way to mail the picture to ACT. Once mailed or uploaded, the "mug shot" will be valid for two year. It will not be returned. The picture will be placed on the admission ticket. Students must also have a government issues photo ID along with their picture-enhanced admission ticket to be admitted to the testing site.

THE COLLEGE BOARD:  Scholastic Aptitude Test (not to be confused with the Stanford Achievement Tests taken in the lower grades). Perhaps the most widely used college admission test in the nation, the SAT is offered seven times during the year on Saturdays at local sites. The test is composed of Verbal, Math, and Writing sections. The test is scored from 1-2400 with each section being valued at 800 points. To register, go to sat.org/register. The SAT offers resources for practice with an official question of the day, a free practice test, SAT Skills insight, My SAT Online Score report to view your strengths and weaknesses, My College QuickStart (based on your PSAT score), Score Choice, and Student Search Service. SAT also offers specific SUBJECT tests which many selective colleges require for admission.  SAT requires the picture to be uploaded to the registration site so that it will appear on the admission ticket.

National Collegiate Athletic Association Clearinghouse: NCAA   The NCAA website is http://www.eligibilitycenter.com/This organization checks academic eligibility, including ACT and/or SAT scores and transcripts, of prospective college-bound athletes for both Division I and Division II sports. Parents and students interested should log on to the website during the student's eighth or ninth grade to see core course requirements, check the core courses/credits approved by NCAA for Deshler High School, and other guidelines set by NCAA.  A printable copy of the NCAA Guidelines is online; DHS suggests that parents and students print a copy, study, and highlight it. Please know that parents and students should consult the guidelines each year because the NCAA may revise a requirement and update the website. Guidelines that should never change include the following: prospective college bound student athletes must take college preparatory core classes, receive good grades, talk with their counselors and coaches about the NCAA requirements each year, and have ACT/SAT scores sent to the NCAA. At the completion of a student's junior year, he/she must register online with the Clearinghouse (cost in the $60-$70 range) and request that the counselor send a copy of the current high school transcript. The student must complete and turn in a "request-to-send-transcript" form to the guidance office. (Early registration is not recommended; a transcript with six semesters is preferred.) NCAA payment is done online with a credit card. The Clearinghouse requires that the student request ACT and/or SAT send copies of scores. The student must make that request as he/she registers to take either test by including the NCAA code of 9999 as one of the choices to receive the score. If the student participates in the federally funded lunch program and has used an ACT or SAT fee waiver, the NCAA application fee can be waived. The senior counselor must verify that information; therefore, the student should alert the counselor to expect a verification notice from NCAA. A copy of the final transcript will be sent in early June, after graduation, so that the NCAA can verify completion of high school requirements.