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College and Career Planning (Grades 6-12)

It’s never too early—or too late—for students to think about what they want to do after high school. It takes time to research options and prepare for the future, but students don't have to do it alone or all in one year.

Postsecondary Planning Resources

CPS provides tools and resources to help students at every grade level engage in thinking about their future and exploring options and opportunities.

Learn.Plan.Succeed. is the district's initiative and graduation requirement for ensuring all students develop and commit to a postsecondary plan prior to high school graduation.

School Counselors and College/Career Coaches

As state-licensed, educational leaders with master’s degrees, school counselors are critical to student success at every grade level from pre-K through grade 12. All CPS schools have counselors to address the academic, social/emotional, and postsecondary planning needs of all students.

Counselors design and deliver school counseling programs that are comprehensive in scope, preventive in design, developmental in nature, and promote student achievement. Working with students, families, teachers, administrators, and others, school counselors ensure all students are engaged and on track to develop and achieve their postsecondary plans.

Some district schools offer coaches to assist students with postsecondary planning and considering options for life beyond high school. Ask your school counselor if coaching is available at your school.

Credit Recovery

CPS offers additional programs and supports to help high school students make up credits or address absences to stay on track for graduation. Learn more about credit recovery.


This graduation requirement ensures all students have a concrete plan for life after high school, whether they choose to attend college, start a job, enlist in the military, or take a gap year.


Teacher teaching students in front of a whiteboard

Financial Aid

CPS offers financial aid information, tools, and resources to help students and their parents learn how to pay for college, training programs and other opportunities that are part of their postsecondary plans. 


Teacher and high school student shaking hands

High School Planning

Choosing a high school is a challenging and important decision in every student’s life. High school is a critical time for students to grow intellectually and personally.


Five high school students walking down a school hallway

Planning for the Future – Guidelines for Students and Families

Related Links

Office of College and Career Success

School Counseling and Postsecondary Advising


773-553-3543 (Fax)

42 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602