Guidance Counseling Resource Center
Counselors are available from 7:25-3:25 Monday through Friday. The following is a break-down of counselor assignments by graduating class and alphabetical order (by last name).
|Peck||A - K|| 9th Grade (2021)
10th Grade (2020)
11th Grade (2019)
12th Grade (2018)
|Lothschutz||L- Z|| 9th Grade (2021)
10th Grade (2020)
11th Grade (2019)
12th Grade (2018)
Welcome to the Guidance Counseling Resource Center! We hope you find the information we have assembled and published helpful.
Please consider this your 24/7 resource for information connecting your son or daughter to their personal, educational, and career development. Browse freely through our site and see all that is available to you in the comfort of your home but remember you are always welcome to visit our guidance office.
Our Counseling Staff is a vital link to academic, career, personal, and social development for all students. We work closely with students, parent/guardians, teachers, and administrators to ensure that all students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for success.
Andy Lothschutz, the Guidance Director, has been working at VHS since 2000. He started here as a social studies teacher and has been working in the guidance office since 2003. He graduated from Western Michigan University in 1996 with his undergraduate degree with a major in Sociology and a double minor in Psychology and Social Science. He then received his Masters degree in Counseling in 2004. Andy has worn many hats at VHS and is very glad to be working as the head of the guidance department.
Jessica Peck Joined the VHS counseling office in November of 2016 and she is excited to be here. She looks forward to getting to know all of the students and families.
Denise Berry: Guidance and Financial secretary Staff Phone numbers:
Important Dates for 2017-18
Mark these important dates on your calendar...
- October 4 Parent Teacher Conferences 5-8 pm High School Gym
- October 9-13, 2017 College and Career Readiness Week
- October 10 Senior WMU field Trip
- October 11 Financial Aid Night 6:30 pm PAC
- FAFSA night at the High School 4-7 pm Room 103
Whatever a student's plans are after high school, whether it's enrolling in a four-year college, a two-year community college, the military, or vocational training, it's vital to keep an eye on future goals when choosing a high school class schedule.
To help you get started you can view the current course descriptions in the HELPFUL DOWNLOADS section at the bottom of the page.
Parents can best help their children by understanding their child's high school curriculum, how scheduling works, what the requirements are, and then working with their child, his or her counselor, and teachers, to assure the student's strengths and weaknesses.
Our counselors help students plot their futures by preparing individual educational development plans. These plans are based on each student's standardized tests, past grades, abilities and goals.
Here are some scheduling tips for students and parents:
- Spend time assessing your strengths and interests and write down the goals you plan to pursue after high school.
- Work with your counselor to develop a four-year individual educational development plan based on your academic progress and future career goals.
- Learn the requirements for graduation, and which courses that will best prepare you for college, if you plan to attend one.
- Don't choose classes just because your friends do, but rather, because the classes fit your personal goals.
- Don't blow off your senior year. Instead, maximize its value by taking advanced placement courses if you are heading to college, or vocational training courses in a career field that interests you.
Parents can play a vital role in helping their children stay on track during the high school years. Working together as a team (student, parent and counselors) will result in the academic success of your student. Here are a few guidelines for scheduling:
- Get Involved.
- If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions, don't hesitate to contact the appropriate school official, whether it's a teacher, principal, counselor or superintendent.
- Help your child look for balance among academic, extracurricular, work and social activities in his or her schedule.
- Know your child. A college preparatory curriculum isn't for everyone. Many students flourish with a mix of academic courses and training in a vocational area that interests them.
- Don't be satisfied with the status quo. Ask about courses that may move your student onto a new academic path if he or she shows exceptional ability in a certain subject.
- Work cooperatively with teachers and counselors to help your child prepare his or her schedule.
Career Pathway Planning
Career Pathways are clusters of related occupations that require different levels of education and training. People working in a career path share similar interests, abilities, and talents. Career paths help students identify a career focus without being locked into a specific occupation. By exploring career paths, students expand future choices and help them develop an understanding of how education and occupations relate. Pathways also provide a clear path for students to follow when scheduling classes now and after graduation.
The State of Michigan has developed a six-career pathway program that covers 99% of the work force:
- Arts, Communications & Media
- Business, Management, Marketing & Technology
- Engineering/Manufacturing & Industrial Technology
- Health Sciences
- Human Services
- Natural Resources & Agri-Science
Based on these categories, students can select an appropriate curriculum of study. For more information on creating an academic schedule which matches a career pathway, select from one of the file downloads in the Helpful Downloads section of this page.
Tutoring & Homework Help
Looking for free homework help? The teachers and counselors at VHS want everyone to succeed in school! We've assembled a list of web pages where you'll find free homework help in math, science, reading and more. Additionally, our own National Honor Society members provide tutoring services to fellow students in need. Contact your counselor for additional information.
Career Information on the Web
- Career Moasic
- Career College
- The Fun Works
- My Future
- Occupational Outlook Handbook
- Peterson's Education Center
- The Princeton Review
- U.S. News Colleges and Career Centers
- Career Net
- Career Web
- NCS Career Magazine
- Learning Express Library Test Prep and Career Exploration
For more information on Pathways and Vicksburg High School Graduation requirements, we have provided the following documents as PDFs:
State assessments, are ever changing and we are in transition to the SAT as our state test as well as other assessments that will be used to measure the success of our students.
The M-step also provides teachers with important information about how their students are doing and assists teachers in getting struggling students the academic support they need. All of this will help students get a better education and succeed in college or the workplace.
Testing for statewide assessments will take place shortly after spring break.
- April date TBD
- make-up dates TBD
Each October, VHS offers an opportunity for students to practice taking a high-stakes, standardized test. The PSAT is a preliminary SAT and is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship. For more information, please visit the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test Web site
The SAT is a college entrance exam that is being used as a part of our State testing program. This test will be taken by all of our Juniors.
SAT Testing Dates and registration deadlines can be found at the SAT website.
All juniors in the state of Michigan will take the SAT in the spring of their junior year as part of the Michigan State Assessment. Seniors who wish to retake the SAT during their senior year should see their counselor.
Visit www.actstudent.org to view the dates and registration deadlines for ACT if you are interested in taking that exam. If you are not sure please see your counselor.
SAT Preparation Workshop
Each Spring the district provides a preparation seminar. Dates and times will be determined, please see your counselor for details.
Testing Resources Online
- College Board Online (SAT)
- ETS Net: The Educational Testing Service
- The American College Testing Service (ACT)
- Kaplan Center
- Test Preparation
Applying for College
Applying to college is relatively easy, getting accepted by the college of your choice – not so easy, especially if you are trying to get into a highly competitive school or major!
All colleges will want an official copy of your academic transcripts as part of the application package. Most colleges will require that your school send your transcripts directly to their admissions office. The process is a bit easier these days since Vicksburg participates in a program called Parchment, which is a secure transcript service that stores and delivers transcripts at your request. Instructions for using this program can be found at the end of this page.
Once you complete your college search and have your list of colleges in hand, you'll need to determine how the application is submitted. Many schools now work with what's called the 'The Common Application', a not-for-profit organization that serves students and member institutions by providing an admission application (online and in print). This list of colleges and universities using this system is a 400+ and growing. If the college you want to apply to does not use the Common Application, then visit the school's Web site for application information and application materials. Even if using the Common Application, it is best to study a school's Web site for application specifics (the requirements vary and you'll want to know about test scores, minimum GPA, transcripts, specific course work, interviews, etc.).
Dates to keep in Mind
Colleges and universities all have specific deadlines for application packets. Generally speaking, most are due almost before January 1 of the year you want to attend the college. Some schools allow early applications for early decisions on the part of the schools – this deadline is generally November 1.
Most colleges will need a copy of your college test scores from the SAT test or ACT test . When taking the test, you can request that they be sent to up to four different colleges. Otherwise, maybe if you're a junior, you can request that the scores be sent closer to when you actually apply to a college.
Any student who wants to participate in Athletics at the College Level must visit the Official Eligibility Web site of the NCAA. NCAA Divisions I and II initial-eligibility requirements and required registration criteria is available. Go to www.EligibilityCenter.org
All Federal financial aid for college starts with establishing a student's eligibility. That is done a program called Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. All students interested in financial aid for college need to complete this online application process. The information provided is used to determine your eligibility for Federal Aid, including grants, work-study and loans. The program determines a student's expected family contribution (EFC) or the amount of money a family can be expected to contribute to college costs. The prospective college then applies a simple equation to decide how much financial aid a student will receive.
The process of completing the FAFSA can be a bit overwhelming. Parents of Juniors and Seniors watch for a letter in the mail inviting them to our annual Financial Aid Workshop. It is highly recommended that those who are unfamiliar with the FAFSA attend this work shop. Here are some tips to make the FAFSA process easier to navigate.
- The FAFSA can be submitted after October 1. You will need to fill the FAFSA out online at www.fafsa.ed.gov
- Submit the FAFSA whether or not you think you qualify for aid. Sometimes being rejected for federal aid is a prerequisite for receiving private awards.
- Review all your data on the FAFSA every year. Your eligibility can change from year to year, depending on your family’s circumstances.
- Apply for aid as soon as possible after January 1. Early completion maximizes your chances of receiving financial aid.
- Contact your prospective college’s aid office for additional information. Your school may require forms besides the FAFSA or may have earlier submission deadlines.
- Read your Student Aid Report (SAR) carefully. You and your prospective college will each receive copies. Report any errors to financial aid officer.
- Call the federal processor at 1-319-337-5665, if you do not receive your SAR in 4-6 weeks. Be ready to provide your Social Security Number and date of birth for verification.
- Note your Data Release Number (DRN). It is the four-digit number on the upper right-hand corner of your SAR. You will need this to apply to additional colleges or universities.
- Check to see if your SAR has been selected for verification. Look under the date for the letters EFC followed by a series of numbers. If there is an asterisk (*) after your EFC, your SAR has been selected.
- If asked for SAR verification, submit the information requested to your prospective college’s financial aid office as soon as possible. Your aid may be delayed or decreased if the materials are not provided promptly.
Financial Aid and Scholarship information on the Web
- Fast Web (scholarship search)
- Financial Aid Information Page
- Free Scholarship Search
- Kalamazoo Community Foundation
- MI-Search (scholarship search)
- Pell Grants
- Save, plan & pay for a college education
- Michigan Colleges Foundation
- Paying for college in Michigan
- Affordable Colleges
Resources you can download