May 31, 2022

Postsecondary Counseling Newsletter

March 14th, 2024

10th graders and Families,

Yesterday during Advisory, Elliot and I worked with the Sophomores on completing their PrinciplesYou and Career Interest Inventory assessments in Scoir. Scoir is the college application and ICAP (Individual Career and Academic Plan) management application that we use at AHS. Please take a look at these slides for more information and to familiarize yourself with Scoir. All parents and caregivers should have received an invitation to join Scoir via email yesterday. I encourage you to accept the invitation and take advantage of the great supporter resources in Scoir:

  • Student progress tracker
  • Cost Calculators
  • College Search and suggestions
  • List collaboration

Students then used their results to view careers that were identified as potential "good fit" careers. Students were tasked with choosing 5 careers that sounded interesting to them and researching in Scoir what education or training is required for that career. They then used the AHS course catalog to identify which classes they could take in high school to help them explore whether or not they are interested in that particular career.

Upcoming events:

Gap Year Information Session today - Virtual @ 12:10!

Students and Parents/Caregivers are encouraged to join us tomorrow for a Gap year virtual information session! Amber Latimer from Pacific Discovery will be conducting a comprehensive information session for anyone who is curious about Gap Years. She will cover the following:

  • What is a Gap Year?
  • Benefits of a Gap Year
  • Myth busting about Gap Years
  • Resources and Q&A

Here is the link to attend virtually:

Animas High School Gap Year Event 

Thursday, March 14 · 12:10 – 1:00pm

**Students who would like to attend at school can come to Lori's room for the meeting.

San Juan College tour March 29th, 8:30am-1:00pm.

Are you interested in Welding, Automotive Technology, Building Trades, energy, or manufacturing? Come tour San Juan College's trades and technology programs!


  • Cost: NONE
  • Depart AHS (transportation provided) at 8:30, Return by 1:00pm
  • Bring a lunch or let us know in the sign up form if you will be needing a sack lunch from AHS

Sign up HERE and Erin CR will get you a permission slip.

Individual Advising meetings

Erin CR and Elliot have begun meeting with Sophomores individually. During these meetings we will discuss the following:

Sophomore Inspire Week

Our cornerstone 10th grade postsecondary preparation activity. During sophomore inspire week, we will spend 2 days of core class time on college and career prep activities including:

  • Completion of a detailed interest & aptitude assessment and reflection on the results
  • Exploration of postsecondary pathways related to the interest & aptitude results
  • Exploration of postsecondary options
  • Information on how to pay for postsecondary education and an examination of the value of postsecondary education
  • Resume creation

All of this culminates in a 3-day, industry-sponsored service project where students will have the opportunity to explore careers in action through participating in work and applying their interests and aptitudes in a real life setting.

The dates for Sophomore Inspire Week are:

April 25th & 26th (class room work)

April 29th, 30th, May 1st (service project)

AHS Application Case Study Workshop: learn about what colleges are looking for!

April 13th 9:00am-12:15pm @ AHS

What is an admissions case study? This is a workshop in which students and caregivers can learn about the holistic admissions process through the eyes of admissions officers. Participants are given applications submitted to a ficticious college by ficticious students to review as if they are the admissions officers. This workshop gives participants a better understanding of what holistic admissions means, which things are important in the application, and how to best present themselves and tell their whole story as a whole student through their extracurricular activities, work experience, interships, high school coursework, personal/life circumstances, and teacher/counselor recommendations. Students and their caregivers will also learn about institutional priorities and how they play a role in the admissions process.

This is also an extremely rare opportunity to meet college admissions officers from across the country in person, in Durango. Students interested in selective college admissions are strongly encouraged to attend.

Open to all grade levels and caregivers!

Register HERE

As juniors have been informed (many times!) now, their goal is to have their internships confirmed by spring break, which is a short 2.5 weeks away! Students have been busy interviewing professionals to develop their informational interviewing skills, and reaching out to organizations regionally and further afield to solicit internships. I would like to remind students that when they have gotten a verbal confirmation from their Mentor, they should connect me with their Mentor so they can complete the necessary paperwork. As always, students and caregivers can reach out at any time to me with questions or concerns. 

Still stuck on finding your internship? Look at the LINK Handbook found on Google Classroom Class of 2025 for some help on how to proceed and schedule a meeting with Elliot! 

Upcoming College and Career Events

3/14: Pacific Discovery Gap Year webinar (virtual) 12:00-12:45pm

3/29: San Juan College Tour 8:30am-1:00pm

4/3: 9th Grade Career site visit field trips

4/13: Admissions Case Study @ AHS 9:00am-12:00pm (9th-12th)

4/17: PSAT testing day (10th)

4/18: SAT testing day (11th)

4/19: PSAT testing day (9th)

4/24: Rising Seniors night (Spring Junior postsecondary night)

4/25-5/1: Sophomore Inspire Week (10th only)

5/1-5/21: LINK (Juniors only)

College & Career Events Calendar


Do you feel unclear on whether the SAT will play an important role in college admissions for the Class of 2026? You're not alone. Colleges and Universities are also unclear and many of them are contradicting each other when it comes to policies and the justification of those policies. For the latest on this, check out this article from Inside Higher Ed, titled: 'The Future of Testing is Anything but Standardized.'

As a reminder, there are still over 1800 colleges and universities that are test optional for admission (many of them permanently). The important thing to remember is that test optional does not always mean without consequence. While not submitting test scores won't hurt a student's chances at a test optional school, it also won't help them (the absence of testing data won't be a negative in their application file, but it also won't provide any additional information that could help in terms of creating more context about a student).

So what should we do???

Sophomores will take the PSAT 10 on April 17th. I will distribute Sophomore's PSAT 8/9 scores on April 2nd during Physics and we will discuss the follwing: what their scores do not represent (their potential to enroll in and succeed in college), and how their scores could help them. We will look at how to prepare for the SAT through Khan Academy as well as the Bluebook app using their PSAT 8/9 scores to determine what they should be focusing on in the their practice. Students should prepare for the SAT with the goal of setting themselves up for success in achieving the highest score they can. We want their SAT score to be a plus in their college application file. However, the decision to send the scores to colleges will be an individual one that I will provide advising around when the time comes.

Slides: Importance of the SAT

Sunday, March 24, 2024, 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM

2024 Spring March Virtual College Fair  More Info

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM

2024 Spring April Virtual College Fair More Info

Summer planning

Please take a look at these slides for answers to these questions and links to lots of summer opportunities.

Also see below for several local employment & internship opportunities!!

March Resources for Sophomores from the College Essay Guy:

Financial Aid, Scholarships & paying for college

This podcast episode from the College Essay Guy on the basics of paying for college is an excellent introduction - give it a listen!

Podcast: A Crash Course in Paying for College & Common Affordability Myths

Also check out these other two episodes on colleges that are most generous with financial aid:

What Colleges Want Podcast Series

Listen: What Colleges Want: A 9-Part Podcast Series on the Factors Colleges Deem Important

 In this 9-episode podcast series, you’ll learn: 

  • Which factors in admission decisions are most important to colleges?
  • What are the main things for students to keep in mind when planning high school courses?
  • What exactly are "positive character attributes” and how do students show them in their application?
  • How has the emphasis on essays changed and how can students stand out in 2024?
  • Demonstrated Interest: What is it, which colleges care about it, and how do you show it?
  • Crash courses on recommendation letters, extracurricular activities, and more

Interested in or curious about a Gap Year?

Attend this virtual session (open to Parents and Caregivers too!) during lunch on March 14th with Amber Latimer about Gap Years and opportunities.Use this link to access the meeting

This show is a great way to build your knowledge bank about colleges!

The wait is over! The much-anticipated Season 9 of The College Tour is now available on Amazon Prime Video. This season celebrates diversity and inclusivity, showcasing students with unique backgrounds and goals.

The viewers will explore majors like Business Administration, Life Science, Civil Engineering, Literature, and more, all while taking campus tours of outstanding colleges and universities across America and hearing students share their authentic stories and the impact that higher education had on them.

Join our host, Alex Boylan, on this exciting journey through the vibrant world of modern college life.

The College Tour



Check out this rad video for a glimpse of the fun

Rotary Club of Durango Daybreak

RYLA Coordinator (John Angst, 252-639-0770, [email protected]) - Email for an application!

Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA) is a FREE program to assist high school students in developing leadership skills. The program centers on an intense, professionally led, 3-day leadership training retreat. Rotary District 5470 (covering the western and southern portions of Colorado) holds its retreat weekend in early June and will be hosted in Leadville, Colorado this year from June 13-16, 2024. 

What Happens at the Leadership Retreat Weekend? The RYLA Retreat weekend provides a series of professionally developed presentations and activities that takes participants through a process of assessing their personal leadership characteristics and behavioral styles, and understanding the ethics of leadership and setting personal goals. The activities also focus on building interpersonal skills by asking participants to work effectively with diverse peers to resolve conflict and to build consensus through collaboration. There will be many hands-on activities in addition to some traditional classroom style training throughout the event. 

How much does RYLA Cost? RYLA is free to all participating students. The RYLA program is sponsored by the various Rotary Clubs and local businesses from around District 5470.  Transportation is also provided to and from RYLA.

How are students selected to participate? Students are competitively selected by their local Rotary Club and awarded the opportunity to attend based upon their academic, extracurricular and service-based accomplishments.  Nomination forms can be  provided by your local Rotary Club. Most clubs sponsor between two and four students each year. 

Who should attend RYLA? RYLA is designed to take students who have already shown a commitment to excellence and service, to the next level of leadership capacity.  Successful applicants are in good standing at school and are actively involved with clubs, sports teams, or community groups. 

What else is RYLA? The RYLA program is an opportunity to meet other kids and to build friendships with fellow student leaders from around the state, as well as getting to know the Rotarian leaders in your community. Rotary is based on a foundation that Fellowship and Goodwill creates opportunities for service that will make our communities and the world a better place. An important part of RYLA is building these relationships – and most clubs will meet with students after the retreat to follow-up on what was learned at the retreat and how to apply that leadership in school, family, and friends.

Apply at

Interested in Health Care?

Register for the Colorado AHEC HOPE program! Montly virtual education sessions that culminate in the opportunity to attend a free, week-long summer institute in Colorado Springs or Denver! You only have to attend 3 sessions total to qualify for the summer institute. Register HERE

Interested in playing sports in college?

Last month, the Eligibility Center hosted a series of webinars. Staff provided overviews of NCAA requirements for high school counselors and administrators and initial-eligibility requirements for student-athletes. Click below for the specific webinar you would like to watch or share.

Erin Cummins-Roper (she/her)

Dean of Career & College Counseling  

Animas High School |Tel: (970) 247-2474 | x2272 | Cell: 970-903-1617 

Schedule an appointment with me!

Office hours:

T/TH 1:00pm-3:00pm

Fridays: 9:00am-12:00pm

Financial aid and scholarship help every Friday 12:00pm-3:00pm

Animas High School prepares all students for college and postsecondary success by creating critical thinkers and engaged citizens through an innovative, student-centered, project-based curriculum. We accomplish this through:
Rigorous academics, where all students are prepared for college success
Culture of excellence, where students are held to high expectations
Strong student-faculty relationships, where students are well known.
Engaging learning, where students see the relevance in their education

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