High School, College, Career

Career and College Readiness

Helping Students Prepare for High School Graduation and Become College and Career Ready

The Seattle Public Schools strategic plan outlines the goal of all students prepared for college, career and life. We continue to focus on engaging our students in experiences and courses that prepare them for the future.  College and Career readiness exposes students to challenging course work, internships, knowledge of self and guides students to create an individual plan for post-secondary success. 

Students learn about themselves, their interests and the skills needed to be successful in any career. Students take courses and engage in internship, job shadows, career interest inventories, college level course work, and a variety of other activities in order determine their post-secondary plans. For some that may include a 4-year degree, a professional certificate, military training or  an apprenticeship. Through Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses, Seattle Skills Center, advanced coursework and other learning experiences,  our district is helping prepare students for life after high school graduation. For many careers, college is a part of a students’ pathway.  There are many steps students should take to be prepared for college. From College Level  courses, or  Running Start to College Admissions requirements, we have gathered some resources to help students learn about options that have during high school.  Learn about career readiness.

School Counseling and Guidance

Seattle Public Schools’ school counseling program provides comprehensive, developmental school counseling services that address the academic, career and social/emotional development of all students. The school counseling program supports student goal setting, perseverance, knowledge of self, understanding personal and community strengths and exploring careers. Learn more about school counseling and guidance.

Graduation Requirements

Specific information about Washington state and Seattle Public School’s graduation requirements. Read graduation requirements.

High School and Beyond Planning

High School and Beyond Planning is a state requirement which helps students walk through the process of goal setting, future planning and self assessment. Students learn about their learning styles, career interests and they are asked to consider how the courses they select support their career goals. Additionally, students learn about college costs and selecting a college that meets the students needs.  Students are encouraged to change their goals and plans as they move towards graduation to include their new interests and knowledge. 

Plan Components:

  • Identify a career goal
    • Interest and Skills Assessment
  • Identify education and career goals
    • Research career goal and what it takes to get there
    • Professional/technical program options, 2-year degree options, 4-year degree options, On-the-Job training, Apprenticeships, Military or other educational training
    • Determine the right fit of the post secondary program to reach career goal
      • Does the program offer the courses, cert or degree needed? Among other considerations.
  • Determine 4 year course plan that can be updated each year
    • Addresses graduation requirements and post secondary admissions requirements
    • Work-Based Learning, Job Shadows, Internships, Service Learning
  • Resume or Activity Log
  • For students who have not yet met high school graduation standards, identify available interventions, academic supports, and courses designed for students to meet standards

As a part of our High School and Beyond Plan, our students use Naviance to explore colleges and career paths, analyze skills and talents and help them stay on track to reach academic goals. Naviance fosters post-high school planning communication and collaboration for students, counselors and families. Learn more about Naviance.

Transition Services

Transition services, mandated for students with disabilities, are services above and beyond conventional high school classes that provide extra support for students who need assistance in preparing for college, in obtaining and sustaining employment, in independent living skills, and in other areas necessary to independent and successful adult life. Learn more about transition services.

High School Option Schools with Continuous Enrollment

Seattle Public Schools offers a number of option schools with continuous enrollment where students can learn and find great educators, strong academic programs and engaged community. option schools with continuous enrollment are those other schools and services that are available to meet individual student needs throughout the year. Students may request assignment to one of these option schools and/or may be referred there and assigned individually as appropriate.

Unlike attendance area schools, students may transition into or out of continuous enrollment option schools during the school year. The annual timeline and deadlines for assignment to attendance area schools do not apply to option schools with continuous enrollment. Learn more about high schools with continuous enrollment.

Contact us


Phone : 206-252-0735

College and Career Readiness Staff

Caleb Perkins
Director of College and Career Readiness
Debra Knickerbocker
Lead Data Reporting Analyst
Terra McFarlin
Program Manager for School Counseling

Krista Rillo
School Counseling Specialist

Lisa Lucas

School Counseling Specialist

Emily Harrison
Secondary Re-visioning Project Manager