College & Career

college resources

RECOMMENDED WEBSITES FOR COLLEGE EXPLORATION - Official source for college and career planning in California - "Big Future" College Board College Exploration - California State University website - California Community Colleges Information - University of California website - Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities - One-stop Career and College Planning Website - The #1 Resource for College Majors Information - get comparisons of net price, graduation rates, average college debt, loan-default rates, and graduate earnings - Take the Free quiz to create your customized pathway to college and career readiness - Historically Black College and Universities - Information on college search and selection, test preparation, and financial aid. Petersons offers online services for essay editing and instruction. - college sites with virtual tours - Online Associate Degrees - Finding the Best Online Community Colleges


Click on the links below for quick and easy access to college and career websites.



University of California

California State University

Los Rios Community College District

California Community Colleges

Common App

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)

California Career Center

College Navigator

California CareerZone


Your high school years are supposed to be fun, but putting effort into your schoolwork and extracurricular experiences can prove beneficial and less stressful when applying to your choice colleges.  Although simple, he following steps are extremely important!

  1. Work hard for good grades.
  2. Enroll in challenging courses.
  3. Spend time preparing for the college entrance exams (SAT or the ACT and SAT Subject Tests).
  4. Polish your writing skills.
  5. Establish relationships with teachers and advisors who can write strong letters of recommendation for you.
  6. Get involved in activities, community service, or work experiences that will enable you to display your values, talents, and skills.

(Princeton Review's The Best 376 Colleges, 2012 Edition)


The process of choosing a college can be overwhelming? Below are a few suggested tips provided from the College Board website -

Identify Your Priorities

Think about who you are and what you're looking for in a college. Make a list of what's most important to you - here are some things to consider

  • Affiliation - Public or Private? Independent or Religion Affiliated?
  • Size of the Student Body - Size will affect many of your opportunities and experiences, including: Range of academic majors offered, Extracurricular activities, Amount of personal attention you'll receive, When considering size, look beyond the raw number of students attending; a large school may offers some smaller departments or learning communities. Investigate not just the ratio of faculty to students, but how accessible faculty are.
  • Location - Do you want to visit home frequently, or do you want to experience a new part of the country? Perhaps you want a city or urban location with access to museums, major league sports, or ethnic foods. Or maybe you prefer easy access to the outdoors or the culture of a small college town?
  • Campus Life - Consider what life will be like beyond the classroom. Aim for a balance between academics, activities, and social life. Consider what extracurricular activities, athletics, and special interest groups are available? Does the community around the college offer interesting outlets for students and are students welcomed by the community? Think about the geographic, ethnic, racial and religious diversity of the students. How do fraternities and sororities influence campus life? How are dorms assigned? Is Housing guaranteed - and for how many years?

Research Colleges

  • Academic Programs - If you know what you want to study, research reputations of academic departments by talking to people in the fields that interest you. If you are undecided, relax and pick an academically balanced institution that offers a range of majors and programs.
  • Athletic Programs - If you are an Athlete, which sports are offered and what Division?
  • Accreditation - Accreditation is a voluntary process of review and self-regulation by members of an accrediting agency. Accreditation ensures that the institution meets the basic standards of that particular Agency in their administrative procedures, physical facilities and the quality of their academic programs. There are many regional and national accrediting agencies with varying standards. Colleges accredited by an agency recognized by the US Department of Education meet the basic standards for college-level study, their students can apply for Federal Financial Aid and/or federal education tax breaks, and the degree you will earn at the end of your studies will be recognized by future employers.
  • Admission Requirements - Required Course work, Tests, GPA?
  • Selectivity - How many students apply each year and how many are accepted? What are the average GPA and Test Scores for those accepted?
  • Retention and Graduation Rates - Learn the percent of students who return after the first year and the percent of entering students who remain to graduate. Comparatively good retention and graduation rates are indicators that responsible academic, social, and financial support systems exist for most students.
  • If the Campus or Major is impacted due to overcrowding, what is the likelihood of getting the courses I need and what is the projected time required to complete the degree program?
  • What is the school's policy regarding Advanced Placement high school courses?
  • As a freshman, will I be taught by Professors or Teaching Assistants?
  • Is the surrounding community safe?
  • Can I Afford this College? Today's college price tags make cost an important consideration for most students. Most colleges work to ensure that academically qualified students from every economic circumstance can find financial aid.

Attend College Fairs - Pick up catalogs and brochures, talk to representatives and other students, and feel like you're officially starting the search process.

Attend "College Preview Days" or "Open House" Events and Information Nights - Generally held in the Fall (for seniors) and Spring (for Juniors), these events provide prospective students and parents the opportunity to obtain information and get answers to questions about institutions, their admissions process, financial aid, programs and much more. Preview Days and Open House Events are held at the individual campuses. Information Nights are generally held at a location (such as a Hotels, Public Libraries and Selected High School Campuses) and typically are given by Colleges and Universities located outside of our region or state. Many of the Information Nights are held in the Sacrament and San Francisco areas.

View College Websites and Guidebooks - These resources provide a wealth of information about majors and programs offered, activities, campus life and often Virtual Campus Tours.

Attend Presentations by visiting Admissions Representatives in the Sheldon Career Center - See Ms. Hobart in the Career Center for a calendar of which campuses will be visiting Bear Creek. Presentations generally begin in late September and continue through early November.

Schedule Campus Visits - You've heard the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words." Well, a campus visit is worth a thousand brochures. Nothing is better than visiting and walking around a campus to get a feel for it. Campus visits are a chance to see the campus and its dorms, libraries, and other facilities in person, talk to admissions officers, observe classes, talk to students about student life (clubs, fraternities, sororities, etc), and much more. Visiting may even make you think of needs you didn't know you had.



A great choice if you want to serve your country, learn a skill while you earn, work in any of 4,000 occupations, save for college or attend college.

The military may be a good first job choice for you and/or a way to put aside money for college. The Armed Forces offer many training programs which prepare young men and women for civilian jobs. Pamphlets describing the variety of military training programs are available in the Career Center.

An Opportunity

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is available annually at no cost to students. It can be used alone or as part of the ASVAB Career Exploration Program to assist you in discovering your skills and possible career choices. Visit or ask your counselor about it.

See Ms. Mam to register for the test in advance.

Your Responsibility

Draft Registration: Upon reaching 18 years of age all males are required to register for the Selective Service. Register at any Post Office or online at

General Information: Today’s Military Jobs in the Military

Branch of Service Information:

U.S. Army 1-800-USA-ARMY

U.S. Air Force 1-800-423-USAF

U.S. Navy 1-800-USA-NAVY

U.S. Marines  1-800-MARINES

U.S. Coast Guard 1-800-423-8883


Army National Guard 1-800-GOGUARD

Air National Guard 1-800-TOGOANG

Enlistment Options:

Regular Enlistment Program

Qualified young men and women have a wide choice of assignments and guaranteed training, free room and board, and an opportunity for travel. Salaries start at approximately $1,100 a month; benefits include 30 days paid vacation, complete medical and dental coverage. The criteria to qualify are becoming more selective. High School graduation is particularly important.

Reserve Enlistment Programs

All reserve enlistment programs require active duty time, recruit training, and technical schooling in a military specialty or occupation. The active duty period varies among the different branches (Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marines). All programs are open to enlistees 17 years of age. Enlistment offices are listed in the telephone directory under United State Government.

College Options (ROTC and Academies):

Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force ROTC (Reserve Office Training Corps)

ROTC enables a college student to earn an academic degree in their major, as well as an officer’s commission at the same time. When your obligatory service is completed, you can select a military career or leave the service for a civilian career. Those who elect to stay may qualify to pursue graduate studies at government expense. ROTC programs are available at selected colleges and universities. Nursing scholarships are also available. For information, contact your counselor early in your junior year.

Get the Basics on ROTC

The purpose of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) is to prepare young men and women to serve in the military. ROTC offers scholarships in each branch—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Cost Guard—although scholarship requirements are different for each. But all ROTC scholarships allow you to go to school first (rather than serve in the military before receiving tuition aid), and require you to take ROTC coursework for credit. After you finish college, you must complete a period of service in the military.

Who is eligible for a ROTC scholarship?

You can apply for four-year ROTC scholarships while in high school, or two- to three-year scholarships once you've started college. The scholarships are based on merit, not need. To qualify for a ROTC scholarship, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be between the ages of 17-26
  • Have a high school GPA of at least 2.5
  • Have a high school diploma
  • Meet physical standards
  • Agree to accept a commission and serve in the military on active duty or in a Reserve component after
  • graduating

How much time do I owe the military after I complete ROTC?

Most cadets incur a four-year, active-duty commitment, but the amount of service time you incur can vary. For example, pilots in the Air Force incur a ten-year active-duty service commitment after successfully completing their training. Army ROTC students who receive a ROTC scholarship, or enter the Army ROTC Advanced Course, must serve full-time in the Army four years for four-year scholarship winners, and three years for others. Selected Cadets may choose to serve part-time in the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard while pursuing a regular career.

How much money do ROTC scholarships offer?

Scholarship amounts vary, but can go up to $18,000 a year. This money must be used to pay for tuition. You are not allowed to use it for room and board. You also receive money each year for books and a monthly allowance.

Can I reapply for a scholarship if I don't get one at first?

If you don't win a ROTC scholarship while applying in high school, you can still take ROTC classes in college. If you decide you like ROTC, you can reapply for a two- or three-year scholarship.

What if I don't like ROTC?

If you've been awarded an ROTC scholarship, but decide this path is not for you, you can quit the program after your first year without any obligations.

What kinds of courses and training does ROTC offer?

The courses you take depend on which branch you enroll in.

Army ROTC, for example, offers a Basic Course during your first two years in college. The Basic Course includes one elective class or lab each semester that teaches military and leadership skills. If you do not have a scholarship, you can take Army ROTC Basic Course without promising to join the military upon graduation.

Then there is the Advanced Course you can elect to take during your junior and senior years of college. The Advanced Course includes one elective class or lab each semester plus a summer leadership camp. The classes teach you advanced military tactics and give you experience in team organization, planning, and decision-making. To register for the Advanced Course, you must commit to serve as an Officer in the U.S. Army after you graduate.

Where is ROTC offered?

To find schools that have a ROTC program use Select "Find A College" and then "College Matchmaker - Start Here". Set your criteria under the various headings and under "Housing and Programs" select "ROTC". "See Results" will provide a list of Colleges that match your criteria.

Military Academies (College/Universities)

All candidates (except those interested in the United States Coast Guard Academy) must secure a Congressional nomination. Candidates for admission to the military academies must be citizens of the United States; must have reached their 17th, but not their 22ndbirthday; and must meet rigid scholastic and medical qualifications. See your counselor for application procedures

U.S. Air Force Academy Colorado Springs, CO 80914

U.S. Coast Guard Academy New London, CT 06320

U.S. Military Academy West Point, NY 10996

U.S. Naval Academy Annapolis, MD 21402

Merchant Marine Academy Kings Point, NY 11024

Before signing any contract for military service, discuss the terms of the contract with your parent/guardian .



Look beyond colleges and universities for scholarships. Educational funding in the private sector has increased dramatically in recent years. Many organizations offer scholarships, including:

  • State & local governments
  • Businesses
  • Employers
  • Clubs
  • Associations
  • High schools
  • Civic Groups
  • Church & religious organizations
  • Trade associations
  • Labor unions
  • Political parties
  • Military Associations
  • Private foundations
  • Private charities
  • Ethnic organizations

Monthly scholarship lists are posted on the Scholarship Board in the Career Center and can be accessed on the Bear Creek Schoolloop website through the provided links. Lists are continually updated.

Students can print out applications that are available online by going to the individual scholarship websites posted on the monthly lists, or request printed copies of scholarship applications in the Career Center.

Please note that new scholarship opportunities arrive every week.

Check the Scholarship Board in the Career Center or the school website on a regular basis to keep current on available scholarships.

Online Scholarship Directories Scholarship Search The largest free database of scholarships SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid Asian and Pacific Islanders American Scholarship Fund United Negro College Fund American Indian College Fund Association on American Indian Affairs Latino Scholarships Latino Scholarships Latino Scholarships Latino Scholarships Hispanic Scholarship Consortium Gates Millennium Scholars Military Scholarships



High school graduates may decide that they want to find full-time employment and start bringing home a regular paycheck. Certain things should be done before beginning the job hunt.

  1. Discover your interests. Reflect on past part-time jobs, volunteer work, and everyday tasks that were enjoyable.

  2. Explore job options. Find out what types of jobs are available to high school graduates who have little or no further training.

  3. Conduct informational interviews. Sit down and talk to someone who is currently working in a job that might be of interest.

  4. Network. Ask friends, family, and neighbors if they have any connections to help find a job. This may be the best way to find employment, because the majority of jobs are not advertised.

With some of the initial work out of the way, it is time to start getting organized.

  1. Write a resume. Be sure to stress education, part-time and summer jobs, clubs, and awards.

  2. Locate job openings. Use a combination of the following resources:

  • Local newspaper

  • Internet

  • Local library

  • Employment centers

  • Family, friends, and neighbors

  1. Apply for a job. This usually means submitting a cover letter, resume, and job application.

  2. Prepare for the interview. Research the company and job before going on the interview. Also, rehearse some answers to possible interview questions.

  3. Follow-up. Write a thank you note. This helps remind employers who you are and lets them know that you are still interested in the job.