College and Career Prep Programs for Military Connected High Schoolers

The whirlwinds of military life and PCSs can make time seem to move in fast forward. This can feel especially true for active duty families with dependents on their way to high school or college.

Understanding the resources available can help with making decisions as to which school will best support students in success after high school. Choosing the right school district is one challenging aspect of PCSing.

Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

Did you know, that most military children have changed schools 6-9 times by the time they complete high school?

In the works since 2006, an agreement between all 50 states and the District of Columbia has worked to address challenges related to education faced by children of military families. The compact only applies to public and DoDEA schools.

The goal is to develop consistent policies in every school district. The agreement addresses issues regarding:

  • Eligibility for enrollment and participation in extracurricular activities
  • Attendance and absence related to deployment activities
  • Placement flexibility in courses and educational programs
  • Graduation requirement flexibility including waiving requirements if comparable course work has been completed, alternative testing, and which school issues a diploma during a relocation

When a family with middle or high school students PCSs, it is important for these students to stay on track for graduation and this agreement supports just that.

DoDEA Resources for College and Career Readiness

Of the nearly 1 million military connected students, 70,000 are enrolled in DoDEA schools around the world. These schools are fully accredited and support students in learning necessary skills and knowledge to be college and career ready. Listed here are some of the programs that support success among DoDEA students.

College and Career Ready Standards

DoDEA schools support college and their career success by establishing clear and consistent standards. Consistency is key to supporting military connected students who relocate frequently.

As of 2018, these standards are assessed through an online Comprehensive Assessment System. While there are arguments for and against standardized testing, the value in these assessments is related to the information collected. This information informs parents, those who make decisions about improving educational programs, and supports student learning. Many of these tests are required for college admission and some can result in earning college credit.

Tests offered by DoDEA that prepare students for college include:

  • The ACT assesses English, math, reading, and science and (optional) writing. The test is administered by DoDEA, but paid for by families. It gauges general educational development and ability to complete college-level work.
  • Advanced Placement exams are taken in May after completing an AP course. Students can earn college credit after successfully completing these exams.
  • CCRS Summative Assessments measure mastery of College and Career Ready Standards.
  • International Baccalaureate programs, like AP exams, are taken in May. Students can earn college credit after successfully completing these exams.
  • PSAT tests are taken in the fall by middle school and early high school students. These tests help students identify areas where they need to improve to be successful on more advanced tests like the SAT.
  • The SAT Reasoning Test assesses how well students can apply their knowledge of reading, writing, and math. Like the ACT, this test is administered by DODEA, but paid for by families.

Test Prep

Test prep resources for ACT, SAT, PSAT and AP exams are available for free through MWR Library resources. These are available to any eligible student, even those not attending DoDEA schools.

Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)

Offered by DoDEA and available at 6,000 other schools nationwide, AVID strives to support students in preparing for college. The program begins supporting students as early as 7th grade. AVID provides support through:

  • Equity – create opportunities among all demographic groups
  • Teacher Effectiveness – support inquiry-based and student-centered instruction
  • Leadership – develop students’ leadership skills that they can carry into college
  • Student Learning – inspires students to control their own learning

Choices360

Offered by both DoDEA and other schools, Choices360 is an online planning tool for students to set and achieve goals related to graduation, college, and career. Students can develop a portfolio to support them after high school.

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