Is Your Four Year Plan a Good Plan?

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Is Your Four Year Plan a Good Plan?

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Here at Holy Cross students strive for greatness because of the skills the faculty instills in the students. The counselors work to make sure students are prepared, having a goal of what they would like to do and what they want to accomplish in that year. One tool that the counselors use is the Four Year Plan.

This planning document is filled out by the students at the end of their freshman year. This goal is that students form an idea of what classes they may want to take in the upcoming years. 

Amy Stowe, one of the counselors, explained “The Four Year plan is for the students, mostly for when they are in their sophomore year.” She continued, “From freshman year to sophomore year there are not as many options.” Beginning in the student’s sophomore year there are more class options are available for her to take, and the Four Year plan is to help make these choices easier.  

The counseling department assists students with study skills, time management, improving organization skills, as well as helping with communication skills between students and teachers. Part of the focus of the counselors is helping students keep on the right track in fulfilling the graduation requirements. 

The Four Year Plan is designed to help students meet all of their credits required for graduation. While completing the form, LOTAs identify their interests in the classrooms, their strengths and what they are not interested in. It is helpful to pick classes that will challenge them, as well as to help them in a balanced and organized academic life. 

Last year’s graduating class of 2019 was a very successful class. As a whole they achieved many scholarships and many were accepted into more than one of the schools they applied to.

Stowe expressed, “From junior to senior year you can see how you can fulfill your requirements for graduation, and that is why we do it in pencil.” She believes that the Four Year plan is the “best guess” of what a student would want to take during her time at Holy Cross. She emphasized that it is completed in pencil because the Four Year plan is very flexible for students to change over the years. 

Sophomore Sydney Nolan revealed that the Four Year plan was not as helpful for her. “I did it wrong, no one explained it to me or gave me examples and helped.” The hardest part for Nolan was being able to meet with the teachers beforehand to see what classes they thought she should select. This is why it is important for a student to meet with her counselor for guidance with completing her Four Year plan. 

Senior Cierra Touma also had problems with her Four Year Plan. Touma said, “Looking four years ahead is too far. You have no idea what you want to do as a freshman and have to plan the high school years out.”

Touma believes that the Four-Year plan should go year by year, and that would be reasonable and practical. For this reason, Stowe believes it is helpful for students to write out their plan in pencil to be able to change it freely if their direction has changed. 

Touma and Nolan both agreed that Holy Cross prepares students for their freshman to sophomore year transition as well as the transition from senior year to college. Touma emphasized, “Especially in writing, which is college level here.” 

For other students, the plan gives a direction to their choices. Junior Katie Myers shared, “ I am taking harder classes, taking on more leadership roles like clubs, and it feels like all of my energy goes into those activities.” 

Myers mentioned, “The Four Year Plan definitely helped me organize my thoughts for requirements.” The plan made her feel less stressed in knowing what classes she needs to take to reach graduation. She continued, “I feel like I have a good idea of what I want to take and how this years classes helped.”