GET TO KNOW YOUR SCHOOL COUNSELOR. Let your school counselor know that you are interested in attending college and want to take college-preparatory classes.
FIND OUT IF YOUR SCHOOL OFFERS any special programs for college-bound students, such as California Student Opportunity and Access Programs (Cal SOAP), Early Academic Outreach Programs (EAOP), Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Achievement (MESA) programs, Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) classes, or REACH programs. If you qualify for these programs, enroll and participate!
TAKE ENGLISH CLASSES, including writing and literature classes.
STRIVE TO TAKE PRE-ALGEBRA by the 8th grade. Find out if your school offers mathematics diagnostic testing (sometimes called "readiness" or "placement" testing). If so, let your school know that you would like to participate in any test preparation programs available and that you would like to take the diagnostic exam.
SIGN UP TO TAKE the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT) in the 8th or 9th grade. The PSAT is good preparation for taking the SAT, which is required for admission to many universities including the University of California.
CONTINUE TO EXERCISE THE GOOD HABITS you formed in elementary school. Get to school on time, practice good attendance, and complete your homework assignments.
WHENEVER POSSIBLE, sit up front in class or ask to be assigned a seat up front. Participate in class discussions, answer questions, and learn to ask questions when you need clarification.
WORK ON YOUR STUDY SKILLS, reading comprehension and vocabulary skills (read, read, read!), and note taking and time management skills. Form study groups with your friends.
ASK COUNSELORS about appropriate summer programs offered at your school, in the community, or at local colleges and universities. For example, you could attend a UCSB summer camp! Check out UCSB Summer Camp programs at: http://recreation.sa.ucsb.edu/camps/day_camps.aspxand the Young Writers Camp of UCSB's South Coast Writing Program (see https://education.ucsb.edu/scwripfor more information).
PARENTS—your children are becoming more independent, but they still need your involvement and support. Continue to attend open houses and to take part in PTA or other school committees. Express interest in your children's school work, their out-of-school activities, and their friends.