Academic Career Plans

7th & 8th Grade Students should keep their Academic Career Plans (ACPs) updated throughout the year!

What is the ACP?

The ACP is a document that students begin at some point during their 7th grade year in their Career Exploratory Class (7th grade music students will meet with a counselor sometime during the 7th grade year to get their ACP started).

The ACP is required by the Virginia Board of Education in order to help students be purposeful about planning out their high school, college, and career paths. This is in effort to reduce school drop-outs and to help students become invested in their education.

Understanding Career Clusters, Career Pathways, and Career Goals

Career Cluster
(large group of careers clustered into one big category)

Career Pathway
(careers of the same cluster broken down into smaller groups)

Career Goal
(the specific job the student hopes to acquire)



Health Sciences
(Career Cluster)

Diagnostic Services
(Career Pathway that falls under Health Sciences)

Physician's Assistant
(Specific job that falls under Diagnostic Services)

Page One of the Botetourt County ACP
(completed in 7th grade)

The first page of the ACP is completed before the end of the 7th grade year. All of the work involved in filling out this page will be completed either in Career Exploratory Class or with a school counselor individually.

The identifying information is completed at the top.

Career Clusters and Pathways is the list of Career Clusters that students may choose from. They don't write anything on this part of the form. The career clusters are only listed for their viewing convenience. They can do an internet search to learn more about which jobs are listed under each cluster.

The Career Plan section is where students state their favorite Career Cluster. Since this form is completed online, they will use the drop-down box available on the computer screen when they enter in the information. They also state their Tentative Career Goal - which is the name of the job they hope to achieve. Students will also access the drop-down box to choose their career goal.

Tentative Career Pathway is the pathway listed under the Career Cluster that the student's chosen job interest falls under - the school counselor can help students fill in this box. It is also a drop-down box with the information included that makes it easy for students for students to choose the correct pathway.

Additional Career Pathway the student's "back-up" plan if they change their mind about their first Career Pathway choice. They may pull down the drop-down box and choose a second pathway under the same Career Cluster they chose. A school counselor can help the student research the jobs that fall under each pathway so that they are sure to choose a pathway that is of interest to the student.

NOTE the parent signature line at the bottom! It must be signed by a parent/guardian when completed and returned to the School Counseling Office before the end of a student's Career Exploratory Class (or the end of the 7th grade year for music students not taking the Career Exploratory Class).


Page Two of the Botetourt County ACP
(completed before the end of the 8th grade year)

Page Two of the ACP is completed individually with a school counselor usually after the Holiday Break of the student's 8th grade year. This page takes a lot more care and time to complete as the student and school counselor must list all of the classes completed in 7th and 8th grades, as well as planning ahead for classes in high school.

The purpose of Page Two is to help the student see a realistic path of classes that they will be required to take in order to achieve their career goal. Please note this is only a plan to help guide the career counseling and scheduling process for high school classes. It does not guarantee that all classes will be available when the student is in high school. Students must also meet all class requirements for each class in order for their Academic Career Plan to help them be successful in reaching their career goals. The Academic Career Plan does not guarantee student success, it is only a plan and a guide to help the student plan ahead for their future. The high school counselors go over this page with the students during 9th grade registration to make sure that this is the best plan for them. 

Often, when students re-visit their ACP in the 8th grade, they want to change/update the Career Cluster, Career Pathway, and Career Goal that they listed in 7th grade on Page One. They are allowed to do this, and are encouraged to do this in order to keep their plan updated and accurate. However, each time page one is changed, they must check with a school counselor to make sure it doesn't change their pathway of classes throughout high school. If it does, page two will also need updated. 

The last updated 8th grade copy of the ACP goes to the student's high school, and will be the copy that the high school counselors reference when assisting with developing the student's high school schedule.


How can my student keep his/her ACP updated throughout the school year?

We recommend that 7th and 8th graders stay on top of their ACP once they start page one in 7th grade.

Students may access their ACP anytime (once they have started one in school) through their 1770 email account. The steps to do this are as follows:

1. Sign in to your 1770 Account - you need to remember your 1770 email password!!

2. If your page shows your email right away, you need to go to the very top of the page, look towards the top left, and click on DRIVE

3. If you come to a page that looks like this, then click on DRIVE and DOCS:

4. You should then find a green document that lists your last name, first name, and your number (ex: smithjohn70). See Ms. Wellings' example below. You will click on that document, and it will take you to your ACP. IF you do not have an ACP, you either did not start one, or did not save it. If you did not save it, you need to meet with a school counselor as soon as possible to start a new ACP.

Career Fun at Home!!!!!

Once students begin their Academic Career Plan, they often want to look up more information about other career clusters and jobs. One of our favorite websites for students is Virginia Career VIEW. It is very student-friendly, and provides LOTS of information about many different careers. We encourage students to look at this information at home. If a student decides to change his/her Academic Career Plan because he/she learned something new on Virginia Career VIEW, he/she is welcome to do so at home (instructions above).

Below is the link to Virginia Career VIEW and snapshots of the website information you will want to explore.

Who R U? is a career questionnaire that helps students learn to know themselves and their interests better.

Career Search is a large database of many, many different careers with lots of information about those careers including their descriptions, salaries, the education required, and where in the state of Virginia those careers are most popular.

1. When you click the link above (you might need to Right Click, and "Open Link in a New Window"), you will see the picture below:

2. Click on "Grades 6 - 8" as shown above. You will see the picture below:

Academic Career Plans

 3. You can try the "Who R U" questionnaire, and/or you can research careers through the Career Search.

Feel free to ask a school counselor how to navigate the website if you need help :-)

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