Plan for Success

Preparation and practice is the key to success. We begin preparing our students for graduation and college entrance exams early so they feel confident when it counts. Use this page to find useful information and resources to help your child achieve their academic and career goals.

College Center

Our College Center provides students with resources to help them navigate the college application process. While our counselors continue to build relationships with local college admission specialists, their main goal is to offer guidance as students explore their choices after high school.

In their advisory courses, students learn essay writing skills, prepare for standardized testing, research various colleges and careers, and begin preparing their Common Application. We also help students build their resume, find internships, and practice their interview skills.

Graduation Requirements

Watts students must meet minimum requirements to prepare for college and graduate from our school. Throughout their high school years, students should enroll in a variety of “A–G” college-prep courses and complete them with a minimum GPA of 2.5. We recommend that students include as many AP courses as possible in their required 245 credits to boost their appeal in college application procedures. At a minimum, students must complete the following requirements:

  • 30 social studies credits (3 years)
    • Including World History, U.S. History, Government, and Economics courses
  • 40 English credits (4 years)
    • Including English 9, 10, 11, and 12
  • 40 math credits (4 years)
    • Including Algebra 1, 2, and Geometry
  • 30 science credits (3 years)
    • Must include at least 2 lab components
  • 20 foreign language credits (2 years)
    • Must be 2 years of the same language
  • 10 visual/performing arts credits (1 year)
    • Additional art courses may count as electives
  • 20 college-prep elective credits (2 years)
  • 30 Career Pathway credits (3 years)
  • 25 physical education credits (2.5 years)
    • Must include one semester of health
  • 40 service-learning hours
  • Apply to college

While in Middle School

Ever wonder what a middle school can do to prepare for college? Actually, a lot. But it’s not as hard or intimidating as you think.

Solid Academic Foundation
The first step in fulfilling your dream of college is to start laying a good academic foundation. What you learn in middle school will make a huge difference in what classes you’re able to take (and excel at) in high school. Obviously, classes like English, history, math, and science are important, but don’t forget about skills classes like typing, computer application, and business accounting. At Watts, you can also begin taking dual credit courses that earn college credits.

Next, read, read, read. You’ll be amazed what reading will do for your vocabulary and writing skills. And we all know that good essay writing is essential to garnering scholarships! Read everything from books to news articles and blogs, play word games, and make sure you have (and are using) a library card.

And finally, start working on extracurriculars. Colleges love to welcome well-rounded students. Students who volunteer, intern, and/or show achievement through sports and hobbies are often the first to land big scholarships. Middle school is a time of exploration—and rightly so. Use this time to explore new interests and discover hidden talents; just remember to keep this aspect of life in balance. It is much easier to manage involvement (and carry it through) in one or two activities than to enter high school committed to dozens.