What Do You Do Before
High School Graduation 2017
William Jackson, M.Ed. – Edward Waters College
These suggestions are to help as graduation gets closer.
Graduation, an end to an educational journey from Day
Care to High School. Before this momentous occasion
parents need to make sure all the I’s are dotted and
T’s crossed to make a smooth closure to a long journey.
These are just a few suggestions from my experiences as
a parent and a teacher.
Parents make sure your child has enough credits to
graduate and has a “diploma” not a “certificate of
Make sure your child understands that their journey
in public education maybe coming to a conclusion,
learning does not end there. It is a continuous
life-long process, ask anyone that is successful,
successful in their career and working in a “real”
career not just a job.
1. Make sure you obtain the most recent high
school “official” transcript to send too schools
or potential employers. Many organizations,
schools and groups require a transcript to see
if academically students are “qualified” to be
eligible. The world is highly competitive and
education is the key to achievement and
2. Make sure you have current and up to date
medical and dental records. Even after graduating
from high school students are still dependent
on their parents for certain medical services.
Parents must understand “their” graduate is not
an adult yet, they are still maturing, learning
There is some information and documentation only
parents can obtain until children are 21 or even
25. As a parent of a 25 and 21 year old, I still
in some cases support my children outside of
3. Make sure there are boundaries and expectations
on behaviors, actions, and even responsibilities
in the home for the soon to be graduates. There
should be mutual understanding on everyone’s duties
and responsibilities and always respect. Stop
telling your child they are “grown” until they are
out of your house and working independently.
Even that is not a guarantee that they will not
need some support until they are established and
able to support themselves.
4. Talk to your child’s teacher(s) about internships,
scholarships, summer employment and community
projects. Do not accept the words, “I got this,”
as being responsible and accountable. Parents end
up paying more in the long run, keep informed and
stay on your child unless they show responsibility.
5. Make hair, nail or beauty appointments months
before May to avoid the rush and chaos of getting
your child ready. Young men need to also reserve
haircuts, shaves, and clothing appointments.
6. Remind your child of the two institutions that want their
attendance Correctional (Prison) and Instructional (Higher
Education) and to make wise decisions even after graduation.
The closer it get to graduation sometimes kids lose touch
with reality and get “stupid” and maybe even “ignant” as
some seasoned seniors would say.
7. Check your child’s academic (Cumulative) folder for items
that may delay graduation or entrance into college, trade
school or the military. You have a right to see their
records and ask questions and if not provided seek an
attorney for help. Don’t wait for the last weeks to make
demands. It makes that person look like a fool because
there are 180 days in the school year, why did you wait.
Check for discipline referrals, changed grades, teacher
notes, etc. All documentation is important.
8. Make sure all deposits and fees are paid in full
before graduation. Check for lost books, needed forms
and other items that should be completed. Do not trust
your child unless they show they are responsible.
“I got this” are the words that put gray hairs
in more parents hairs because something will be
undone that costs money.
9. Know what your child’s GPA is, weighted or un-weighted.
10. Make sure your child takes or has taken the SAT
and the ACT several times.
Many schools only require one, but better safe
11. Check on Bright Futures scholarship information.
Many HBCU’s accept ACT scores that show your child’s
academic success and potential for future success.
Use whichever gives you a better chance of getting
into college and this may affect monies. Check athletic
scholarships, make sure it is a full ride or partial.
Does it cover books and incidentals?
12. Work on your child’s Marketable skills to help
them network and grow. Get them involved in community
events before they need community service hours, not
rushing to beg people to help and the child does not
learn anything from their experiences.
13. Set Academic, Professional, Monetary and Career
goals now so your child will have a flexible plan
of attack when they graduate.
14. Have your child volunteer consistently, stay
involved in your community, and church. Volunteer
hours can still help with networking and build
marketable skills to use later.
15. Search online and inquire with local businesses
about summer internships paid and unpaid. Your time
is valuable so unpaid is important also.
19. Join local business organizations like
Chamber of Commerce to gain marketable skills
and get a jump on career goals.
20. Participate in church events and activities
helps build your resume or CV curriculum vitae.
21. Take college tours, visiting the school
environment to make sure you are familiar with
college or even the military.
22. Social Media entries; post POSITIVE content,
pictures, text and video. Your e-Reputation and
e-Personalities tell a story about you. Social
Media content will define you and may be your
first representation of you to others.
23. Register with LinkedIn to start networking
and connecting. There is a NEW LinkedIn for
24. Continue to research educational options
and inquire even now about Masters and
25. Make sure you and your child understand
what type of diploma they will have. It is
painful to expect a High School Diploma and
receive a Certificate of Attendance,
Certificate of Completion, an ESE Diploma or
26. On Social Media unfriend and even block
those that are openly using drugs, weapons
and involved in criminal actions. You may be
“guilty by association” by having them part
of your network.
27. Have a “real” Social Security card, and Birth
Certificate, and if necessary a Visa to travel
abroad. Many high school students and those going
to college are even getting passports.
28. Check with your local police department to make
sure there are no records of mistaken criminal
activity from someone impersonating you or looks
29. Financial Aid and Scholarship Information can
be found online.
@prepforcollege (Twitter) #CollegeChat,
30. Google and Hashtag yourself to “see” what is
online about yourself to be prepared for questions
of activities and events that your involved in.
31. Contact teachers and other professionals that
you may need letters of recommendations from them.
This is one reason why children need to be
taught to respect and honor adults because it is
the right thing to do and they WILL need their help.
32. Teach your children to be humble, approachable,
honest, responsible and accountable for their
actions. The world is sometimes an unforgiving
place and if mistakes are made sometimes an
apology is accepted, but if one is not given
that can be counted against them.
Parents sometimes it is hard to accept that the
apple does not fall far from the tree. So take
extra care to support your child to build
their confidence, to be proactive and
The world has changed, being prepared means
being a well-rounded individual with people
skills, confidence and that understanding that
the world is based on global competition.
Teach your children early about the value of
having an education and being a life-long learner.
If interested in getting into business for girls,
young women and adult women Xplosion 2017
is for you…