Preparation for College

At MCAA, we are committed to helping students keep as many post-secondary (after high school) options open as possible. We encourage all students to stay on the rigorous track of classes that will allow them to apply to four year colleges and universities during their senior year. In reality, graduates of MCAA choose a variety of post-secondary options including two and four year colleges, vocational schools, performing arts programs, military, public, and religious service, and even sabaticals to work or travel before applying to college. By integrating the creative arts with rigorous college preparatory academics, we feel we are preparing our students to be successful in whatever option they choose.

How to Prepare for College by Grade Level

Seventh Grade

  • Apply yourself diligently in your core academic classe of English, Science, and History/Social Science. Especially  try to develop your analytic reading and writing skills. Have fun but work hard.
  • Regularly ask questions in your Pre-Algebra class. Do all your homework and really study for tests. Doing well in Pre-Algebra is the key to taking and being successful in Algebra 1 as an eighth grader.
  • Use your Study Skills class productively to complete assignments and to learn and practice planning and organization skills, reading textbooks for information, and to get help from teachers and peers.
  • Take elective classes that interest you and challenge you. Learn to play an instrument. Take Painting and Drawing even though you don't consider yourself an artist. Take Beginning Choir to learn how to sing.
  • Only take a foreign language if you really feel like you can add another academic class (taught at the high school level) to your already busy schedule.

Eighth Grade

  • Continue to work diligently in your core academic classes developing the reading and writing skills you will need to be successful in college preparatory high school classes.
  • Regularly ask questions in your Algebra 1 or Algebra Readiness class. Do all your homework and really study for tests. Eighth grade students receiving an A or B grade both semesters of Algebra 1 can receive high school credit.
  • Consider taking a foreign language (French, Spanish, or Latin) this year. It's a great way to get a head start on taking three or even four years of a foreign language in high school. Eighth grade students receiving an A or B grade both semesters of a foreign language can receive high school credit.
  • Continue taking elective classes that interest and challenge you. Pay attention when the counselor talks about the Professional Pathways Certificate Program at MCAA. The Professional Pathways Certificate Program encourages students to develop a particular career focus in the Arts, Media and Entertainment field and rewards them with additional recognition at graduation.
  • Take the EXPLORE test with your class in October and review the academic and career interest results with your counselor and your parents.

Ninth Grade

  • Make sure you take the required courses to meet the CSU/UC eligibility requirements for admission: English 9 or Honors English 9, Biology or Earth Science, and Algebra 1 or higher math class. Consider also starting or continuing a foreign language, and an approved visual or performing arts class.
  • Continue taking elective classes that interest and challenge you. Pay attention when the counselor talks about the Professional Pathways Certificate Program at MCAA. The Professional Pathways Certificate Program encourages students to develop a particular career focus in the Arts, Media and Entertainment field and rewards them with additional recognition at graduation.
  • Aim for A and B grades in all of your classes. Focus on your class work and your homework to develop the study skills you will need to succeed in college.
  • Use all your resources: regularly ask questions in class; get help from teachers and peers through tutoring and study sessions. Use a planner or calendar to organize your time, reduce your stress load, and complete long term projects on time.
  • Paticipate in school and community activities: performances, exhibits, contests, clubs, leadership, sports, and community service.
  • Use your Careers class (usually taken in the ninth grade) to explore colleges, college majors, and the careers they lead to.
  • Consider taking a summer class at Yuba College. It counts as both college and high school credit.
  • Visit a college campus or two on a summer vacation trip with your parents.
  • Explore colleges online at  http://www.onlinecollegesdatabase.org/
Tenth Grade
  • Make sure you take the required courses to meet the CSU/UC eligibility requirements for admission: English 10 or Honors English 10, Biology, Earth Science, or Chemistry, World History, and Geometry or higher math class. Consider also starting or continuing a foreign language, and an approved visual or performing arts class.
  • Continue taking elective classes that interest and challenge you and that complete requirements for the Professional Pathways Certificate Program.
  • Aim for A and B grades in all of your classes. Focus on your class work and your homework to develop the study skills you will need to succeed in college.
  • Use all your resources: regularly ask questions in class; get help from teachers and peers through tutoring and study sessions. Use a planner or calendar to organize your time, reduce your stress load, and complete long term projects on time.
  • Paticipate in school and community activities: performances, exhibits, contests, clubs, leadership, sports, and community service.
  • Take the ACT PLAN test that helps you prepare for the ACT and gives you valuable information on career interests. Be attentive when your counselor reviews your results with you. Share what you learned with your parents.
  • Take the California High School Exit Exam in March with your class. Passing both sections, Mathematics and English/Language Arts is a California high school graduation requirement.
  • Consider taking a summer class at Yuba College. It counts as both college and high school credit.
  • Visit a college campus or two on a summer vacation trip with your parents.
  • Explore colleges online at  http://www.onlinecollegesdatabase.org/
Eleventh Grade
  • Make sure you take the required courses to meet the CSU/UC eligibility requirements for admission: English 11, Honors English 11, or Advanced Placement English, Chemistry, Physics, or Advanced Placement Environmental Science, United States History, and Algebra 2 or higher math class. Consider also starting or continuing a foreign language (a minimum of two years is required), and an approved visual or performing arts class.
  • Continue taking elective classes that interest and challenge you and that complete requirements for the Professional Pathways Certificate Program.
  • Aim for A and B grades in all of your classes. Focus on your class work and your homework to develop the study skills you will need to succeed in college.
  • Use all your resources: regularly ask questions in class; get help from teachers and peers through tutoring and study sessions. Use a planner or calendar to organize your time, reduce your stress load, and complete long term projects on time.
  • Paticipate in school and community activities: performances, exhibits, contests, clubs, leadership, sports, and community service.
  • Take the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test), a practice exam for the SAT in October. The PSAT is also required for several national scholarship programs. Results arrive in December. Study and utilize the results and free test preparation programs provided by the College Board to prepare to take the SAT in the spring of your eleventh grade year.
  • If taking Advanced Placement classes, register to take the AP exams in the spring. Scoring well will give you credit for college-level courses.
  • Consider also taking the ACT in the spring of your eleventh grade year. Both the ACT and SAT are generally accepted by all colleges as admission tests. Some students will do better on one test format. Taking college admission tests in your eleventh grade year helps you determine if you need to retake one or both tests in the fall of your twelfth grade year.
  • Complete the Early Assessment Program (EAP) questions on the English/Language Arts and Mathematics sections of your CST (STAR) exams in the spring. Doing well on these tests can place you directly into college level classes rather than having to take individual college placement exams.
  • Consider taking a class at Yuba College during the fall or spring semester if your schedule will allow it, or again during the summer. It counts as both college and high school credit.
  • Visit a college campus or two on a summer vacation trip with your parents. It's time to begin to narrow down your college possibilities into no more than five or six.
Twelfth Grade
  • In August, plan your senior year expenses with your parents. Consider and plan for the cost of: college admission tests (SAT, ACT); college applications; yearbook; class ring; senior trip; prom; graduation (pictures, cap and gown, announcements); college visits; AP test fees; etc.
  • Make sure you take the required courses to meet the CSU/UC eligibility requirements for admission: English 12, or Advanced Placement English, Chemistry, Physics, or Advanced Placement Environmental Science, Civics/Economics, and Advanced Math or Calculus. Consider also continuing a foreign language (a minimum of two years is required), and an approved visual or performing arts class.
  • Continue taking elective classes that interest and challenge you and that complete requirements for the Professional Pathways Certificate Program. Certificates are awarded at graduation and help with college and scholarship applications.
  • Aim for A and B grades in all of your classes. Senior year grades do count! College admission is not secured until the final transcript is submitted.
  •  Take the SAT and/or the ACT at least one time in fall of your senior year. Most colleges accept scores even from the December administration of the tests.
  • Begin applying for four year colleges in October. CSU applications are accepted in October and November. UC applications are accepted in November only. Most private colleges and universities begin accepting applications in November.
  • If you plan to apply under "Early Action" or "Early Decision" talk to your counselor first so you know what the implications are.
  • Visit college campuses on MCAA field trips and on your own. Attend presentations at school and in the community by college representatives.
  • Sign up for a free scholarship service like www.fastweb.com or www.collegeboard.com. They will notify you of scholarships that fit your profile. Also visit the scholarship page on this web site.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in January and submit final tax information by the March 2nd deadline.
  • Check the financial aid web pages of the colleges you apply to for opportunities and deadlines.
  • Check your e-mail regularly for questions regarding your college applications, FAFSA, housing deadlines, placement tests, etc.
  • Apply for community colleges (Yuba, Butte, Sierra, etc.) in early February. See your counselor for assistance.
  • See your counselor for assistance in applying to Vocational, Technical, and Art schools.
  • See your counselor for assistance in applying to the military or national service programs.
  • Make a final decision for college no later than May 1st.
  • Take part in summer orientation programs for incoming freshman.