Student Services

Counseling Office Staff
Contact Position Phone
Todd Tarnutzer Counselor (Letters A-B, F, M-N) 323.5275
Mary Scott Counselor (Letters G-L) 323.5277
Lisa Jepson Counselor (Letters C-E, O-R) 323.5288
Carla Kelly Counselor (Letters S-Z) 323.5278
Trish King Registrar (Test Coordinator, Transcripts) 323.5282
Jodi Shearer General Information and appointments 323.5283
Counseling Office Fax # 323-5380


Schedule Change Policy

The following is the schedule change policy for the 2016-2017 school year. Schedule changes, meaning adding new courses, are allowed during the first week of a semester. For first semester, beginning on Tuesday, September 6, a student may drop or add a new class until Monday, September 12, 2016. After September 12,  a change in course level or a new seminar will be the only options allowed until October 3.  (Only one seminar per semester is allowed for credit.)  After October 3 a student may not make any schedule changes.  In most cases, any change will be recorded as an Early Withdrawal (equivalent to an E) on the student's transcript.  

The policy for second semester will follow first semester. The first week will allow dropping and adding of new classes. A level change and a new seminar will be allowed through week four. There are no schedule changes after week four. For concerns beyond this date, please contact your child’s counselor directly.

In addition, please understand that we will be unable to honor specific teacher requests, specific seminar hours or lunch requests. We work hard to maintain a minimum class size in order to provide the best learning environment for all students.

2016 - 2017 Program of Studies

2017 - 2018 Program of Studies

Suggestions to Improve Reading and Writing Skills  Click here

Office Hours - School Year
7:15 AM-3:45 PM.  To schedule an appointment with a counselor, please call Jody Shearer at 323-5283

A Note to Parents 
The counselors would like to remind parents and students that we are here to advocate for the students and their needs. We would like to encourage parents to:

  • Contact the individual teachers first with concerns about assignments, grades or student progress.
  • Ask teachers for specific feedback and to offer specific recommendations/suggestions for improving academic achievement in their classes.
  • Contact counselors if grade concerns are not resolved.
  • Seek additional help from teachers before or after school…consult teachers to make appointments
  • Contact counselors if/when questions arise.

Career Cruising is an Internet-based career exploration and planning tool.  It can be used for exploring careerscollege options and developing a career plan.  Career Cruising can be accessed from school, from home, or wherever you have access to the Internet.  Click here to discover what Career Cruising has to offer.

 Procedures for Placement and Transfer of Resident/In-District Students



More important information about FAFSA

What’s a FAFSA? Free Application for Federal Student Aid

When do you start working on it?  2016-17 academic year FAFSA may be filed beginning January 1, 2016

What website?

Need some help completing the FAFSA?  Here is a great opportunity!

MI College Goal Sunday

This is a free event with FAFSA Completion assistance and more. The FAFSA deadline for the state of Michigan is March 1.  However, please note that some financial aid is awarded on a “first-come, first-served” basis.  If you would like assistance with completing the FAFSA, on Sunday, February 14, 2016, 2-4 WMU’s Schneider Hall you will have access to an expert to help you fill out the FAFSA.

• Get Free, on-site professional assistance completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid

• Talk to financial aid professionals about financial aid resources and how to apply

• Get information regarding state-wide student services, admission requirements, and more!

• Program website:

• College Goal Sunday is a collaborative effort among the Michigan Guaranty Agency, the Michigan Student Financial Aid Association and EduGuide.  The program is designed to increase the number of Michigan students who continue education beyond high school and earn post-secondary degrees.

National Merit Semi-Finalists Announced


We are extremely proud to announce that seniors Aheer Alvi, William Chung, and Lily Kitagawa have qualified as National Merit Semi-Finalists in 2016-2017!  They scored in the top 1% of all students in Michigan on the PSAT test last fall.  Their score qualifies them to be a Semi-Finalist in the National Merit Scholarship program.  These students rank among the top 16,000 students in Michigan.  From this semi-finalist stage, approximately 8,000 students will continue on to become National Merit Finalists.  These finalists will be eligible to receive a variety of different scholarships from public and private companies. 

Congratulations Aheer, William, and Lily!!  We are so honored and so proud to have them among the top 1% in Michigan!





Seniors be sure to look closely at the scholarships that are offered at the schools you are applying to there are many, many scholarships offered at colleges, too numerous to mention visit their websites, and go to their scholarships link for more information.  Many of the Michigan schools have scholarships that we get literature on all the time….Oakland, Eastern Mich, Saginaw Valley State, Michigan Tech, Central Michigan, and more.




For the current schedule of college visits
 click here.



Sending Colleges your transcripts

Portage Central High School has joined forces with Parchment to bring you Secure Transcript TM - the safe, paperless way to send transcripts directly to the colleges you choose.  It’s easy, it’s secure, and it’s available 24/7.

Order Credentials from Parchment





Kalamazoo Area College Access Network:  We provide college awareness and access services to the families and schools in Kalamazoo County.  Click here for brochure





The Common Application

The Common Application is a great source for students to use when applying for college. Once completed online or in print, copies of the Application for Undergraduate Admission can be sent to any number of participating colleges. The same is true of the School Report, Midyear Report, Final Report and Teacher Evaluation forms. This allows you to spend less time on the busywork of applying for admission, and more time on what's really important: college research, visits, essay writing, and senior year coursework. Visit the link below to set up and account and save time applying for college.





Do you need some extra help in finding things like Financial Aid, Career Assessments, Resources for Minority and Disabled Students, Test Prep Resources, or want to find out what your chances are of going to a specific college? If you can say yes to any of the following or are just curious, click here to find some very helpful links.





30 Quality Questions to Ask At A College Fair





The Kalamazoo Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee is announcing their Electrical Apprenticeship Program.

Basic requirements:

  • High school diploma
  • An official high school transcript
  • Must be at least 18 to apply
  • Drug testing, background check required
  • Desire to work construction in all weather

More information, along with apprenticeship application in the Counseling Office or at





ACT resources that many of our schools are using for ACT preparation.  The first one that a lot of districts use is the Michigan Education Library The second source is  A third source is





Midwest Student Exchange Program…an easy way to save money on out-of-state tuition costs. A program of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. This is a tuition reduction program that makes attending out-of-state colleges and universities more affordable for non-resident students.

Simply visit, Search for participating institutions and program, Learn about campus enrollment requirement, Find campus-specific contact information, and Learn more about this money-saving program.



Please visit this weblink for detailed information and resources for parents, students and teachers on Michigan and the transition to SAT and PSAT:



Parents and Students--important spring testing information!  Recently a letter was mailed home to every PCHS family that explains the many details around spring testing that our 9th, 10th, and 11th graders will be taking right after Spring Break.  This letter explains the test day schedule, what time classes start after testing is over each day, how to prepare and much more. 

Juniors, and parents of juniors:  important SAT information!
  After we have prepared our kids for the ACT for dozens of years, we are all just beginning to figure out what the brand-new SAT will look like.  So teachers here are doing a great deal of work in our classes to best prepare our kids.  Too, as always, we need your help.  Much like we had with the ACT, our kids have a lot of online resources they can use to help them get prepared for the SAT.  The Khan Academy has entered into a long-term relationship with the College Board, the creators of the SAT, and the Academy’s online supports are a work in progress.  So we created here a step-by-step explanation of how all our daughters and sons can navigate the site to make it especially useful to prepare each of them well. 

We would so appreciate any encouragement you can provide your son or daughter – especially those who are juniors who take the SAT here on April 11, 2017, to spend time over the Holidays and beyond preparing for this important assessment. Like with anything important, nothing beats hard work and time. The more they invest in this work, the more success they will create. Thanks for your help!

Get to know the new SAT in comparison to the ACT.  Click here

Parents: here's a great article on understanding the new SAT.

Parents and students, check out this comparison of the major features for the Michigan College Entrance Exam:  Click here

Students, here are directions on how to create a College Board Account: Click here

Parents and students, here are some handy dandy SAT FAQs:  


PSAT for 9th Graders

9th Graders:  Click here for some information on the upcoming PSAT 9

PSAT for 10th Graders

10th Graders:  Click here for some information on the upcoming PSAT 10


PSAT/NMSQT for 11th Graders

Important 2016 PSAT information for Juniors and Parents Click here

PSAT FAQ for Parents Click here

PSAT Registration Click here


Click here for a recent letter from the State of Michigan on our M-STEP testing, which will be administered here at PCHS on Tuesday, April 18.

Career/Job Links
Occupational Outlook Handbook

College Selection

Colleges & Universities
American Colleges & Universities
Peterson's Education Center
The College Board Online
The American College Testing Service
Educational Reference

Financial Aid Information & Scholarship Searches
Michigan Colleges Foundation
Federal Student Aid
Nat'l Assoc. of Student Aid Administrators
Michigan Student Financial Aid Association
Financial Aid Eligibility Estimator
Scholarship scams information
MI-SEARCH Guide for Searching for Scholarships
FastWeb Scholarship Search
FAFSA (Free App. for Federal Student Aid)
Direct Loans
City Year
Project Scholarship Scam
College Board Scholarship Search
Financial Aid Resource Center

Government Sites
State of Michigan Student Financial Aid
Michigan Department of Education
U.S. Department of Education
FAFSA on the Web

General Information
College is Possible

Loan Calculators
Savings Calculators

Choosing a Major/Career
Career Planning
Monster (job search)
America's Career Infonet
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Occupational Outlook Handbook

Public Four-Year Colleges & Universities
Central Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University
Ferris State University
Grand Valley State University
Lake Superior State University
Michigan State University
Michigan Technological University
Northern Michigan University
Oakland University
Saginaw Valley State University
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
University of Michigan - Dearborn
University of Michigan - Flint
Wayne State University
Western Michigan University

Public Junior & Community Colleges
Alpena Community College
Bay De Noc Community College
Charles Stewart Mott Community College
Delta College Community College
Glen Oaks Community College
Gogebic Community College
Grand Rapids Community College
Great Lakes Maritime Academy
Henry Ford Community College
Jackson Community College
Kalamazoo Valley Community College
Kellogg Community College
Kirtland Community College
Lake Michigan College
Lansing Community College
Macomb Community College
Mid Michigan Community College
Monroe County Community College
Montcalm Community College
Muskegon Community College
North Central Michigan College
Northwestern Michigan College
Oakland Community College
Schoolcraft College
Southwestern Michigan College
St Clair Coutny Community College
Washtenaw Community College
Wayne County Community College
West Shore Community College

NonPublic Two & Four Year Colleges & Universities
Adrian College
Albion College
Alma College
Adrews University
Aquinas College-MI
Baker College of Auburn Hills
Baker College of Cadillac
Baker College of Flint
Baker College of Jackson
Baker College of Mount Clemens
Baker College of Muskegon
Baker College of Owosso
Baker College of Port Huron
Calvin College
Center for Creative Studies-College of Art
Cleary College
Concordia College-MI
Cornerstone College
Davenport College-Grand Rapids
Davenport College-Kalamazoo
Davenport College-Lansing
Grace Bible College
Great Lakes Christian College
Great Lakes Junior College
Hillsdale College
Hope College
Kalamazoo College
Kendall College of Art and Design
Kettering University
Lawrence Technological University
Madonna University
Marygrove College
Northwood University-MI
Olivet College
Rochester College
Sacred Heart Major Seminary
Siena Heights College
Spring Arbor University
University of Detroit Mercy
Walsh College

Top 10 Admissions Tips

  1. Take a rigorous academic courseload.
    The variety and difficulty of your courses in high school matters. Challenge yourself by taking honors or advanced placement (AP) courses.

  2. Research financial aid options.
    Attend free financial aid seminars offered through your high schools or in your community. Create a profile at and start searching for scholarships.

  3. Prepare for the SAT or ACT exams.
    Familiarize yourself with the SAT and ACT by taking sample versions beforehand. Check out test prep materials (books, prep courses) and online resources.

  4. Develop your ideal college profile.
    Write down the criteria you want in a college (size, location, majors offered). Use FasWeb's College Search at to research possible colleges.

  5. Review application essay questions.
    Check out sample college applications (usually available in your counseling office) to become familiar with the kinds of questions you may encounter.

  6. Do community service and volunteer work.
    Take an active role in the organization and work towards fulfilling that organization's needs.

  7. Attend college fairs.
    They can help you figure out what kind of college you're looking for and that college's admissions requirements. Ask your guidance counselor when a college fair will be in your area.

  8. Keep your grades strong.
    Schools pay attention to the grades you earn throughout high school. However, don't take a course simply to improve your GPA.

  9. Maintain relationships with teachers who can write your letters of recommendation.
    Remember the teachers, coaches and leaders with whom you've had a good relationship or taken a course in which you were successful.

  10. Explore your interests through your classes.
    Taking a wide variety of high school classes can help you figure out what you enjoy.

Scholarship information click here


ATYP Summer Programs 2015:  For bright kids eager to learn.  1/2 day camps, $125, no eligibility requirements, grades 5-9 and incoming seniors, free t-shirt.  Visit

Writing the College Admissions Essay: Looking to get a head start on your college applications? Using the prompts of the Common Application, this class will help you develop essay ideas and focus on a unique piece that lets the real you shine through! Led by Becky Cooper. For students entering grade 12. (Juniors may be admitted on a space available basis, contact the office.) June 22-26, 9 a.m. to noon, 1024 Lee Honors College. Registration forms available at

Chemical Bank:  Lights, Camera, Save! Video Contest to help teens relate to saving, a contest to encourage young people to use video to communicate the value of saving.  Visit to participate.  Deadline is November 1.

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY - list of state and national competitions)  Academic Competitions -  Regional and State Talent Search Summer Programs -  

John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest:  here’s your chance to write a new profile in courage.  For contest information, registration, and to submit your essay, visit  Deadline for submission is January 8.

Regional and State Talent Search Summer Programs -  

Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service Program:  welcomes and encourages youth Volunteerism through service learning projects, and other opportunities.  For more information, contact Battle Creek VA Medical Center Community and Volunteer Service at 269-223-5497.

Lions of Michigan Youth Exchange program offer summer opportunities for students to travel and expand their knowledge of family and community life in other cultures.  Young people between the ages of 17 and 21 may participate.  Must be in good health, both mentally and physically and be willing to learn new customs and cultures.  Deadline is Sept 30th.  For more information, please email

Announcing the University of Michigan Medical School’s Summer Science Academy.  Program dates are in June.  Deadline for application is February 1, and application can be found at

Alexander Hamilton Citizenship Achievement Award:  Open to juniors with a strong record of community service and academic studies.  Applications can be found at and deadline is April 15.

The United States Military Academy at West Point, NY will host 2 week long summer sessions for high school juniors, in order to gain a better understanding of academy life.  Deadline to apply is April 1, and applications are online at

Interested in becoming a foreign exchange student?  Visit AFS Intercultural Programs USA, for more information, the application process, and how to get help in getting the funds you need.  Or check out, Youth For Understanding USA, another organization that specializes in exchange student programs.

Attention students interested in the military:  the Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) may be the right fit for you.  For more information on applying, and how you can go to college and they will pay the bill, visit

MSU Office of Gifted and Talented Education:

The MI/Shiga, Japan Exchange Program for students grades 9 - 11, sends 20 MI students to stay with a host family in the prefecture, or state, of Shiga in Japan.  Students depart from MI late June returning early July. During your stay you'll be introduced to the Japanese educational system, family life and all aspects of Japanese culture.  While previous study of Japanese language is helpful, it is not necessary in order to participate in the program.  MI students will then host their Japanese student in their homes in September.  For application information go to and review the Shiga program.  The deadline to apply is February 8.

China Adventure bring students, grades 10 - 12, to the MSU campus for one week in June, learning the language, traditions, history and culture of this country, followed by two weeks of travel in China.  Beginning in Beijing, on to Jinan, then Xi'an to see the terra cotta warriors, Suzhou, Chengdu and Shanghai, students will experience the history, arts, language, religion and people of China.  For application information got to and review the China Adventure program.  The deadline to apply is March 12.

Cornell University Summer Programs:  several summer programs for high school students who excel in math and science, and want to learn more about careers in engineering.  For more information, visit

Columbia University is offering Summer High School Programs for juniors and seniors.  For more information, log on to

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD):  announcing several summer programs for high school students.  Students must be nominated by a teacher or counselor to be considered, and nominations must be received by April 1.  For more information, visit

George Washington University Pre-College Program:  summer sessions include election politics, biomedical engineering, robotics, and many more.  For more information, please visit

Stanford University High School Summer College offers many courses such as biology, fiction writing, computer science, calculus and many more.  More info found at

Michigan Tech:  offers many summer programs for high school students.  Applications and detailed information can be found at

Young People’s Citizenship Seminar at Northwood University, Midland, MI:  this four-day seminar sponsored by Michigan Farm Bureau, provides students with a wealth of knowledge about our democratic process and equips them with a working knowledge of local, state and national government.  Potential students may obtain information at

Talented Youth Summer Program:  for students in grades 10-12---a credit bearing program that combines academic learning, reflective thinking, cultural exchange and community exploration into a 3-week adventure.  Dates are in July,  in Hong Kong.  More information in the Counseling Office or visit

Student Essay Contest sponsored by the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney:  essay contest designed to engage high school students and encourage them to utilize their writing talents in commemorating the theme of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week—Reshaping the Future – Honoring the PastContest deadline is March 30.  Monetary awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.  More information in the Counseling Office.

American Institute for Foreign Study:  offers enriching summer programs for high school students.  3-week SAT Prep & College Admissions Review at Amherst College, 4-week high school study abroad in Nanjing, China, and Summer Institute for the Gifted at several U.S. universities.  Students are encouraged to apply by April 15.  For more info, visit

Volunteer Center of Greater Kalamazoo/VolunTEENS:  is now accepting applications for the VolunTEENS program.  New this year, VolunTEENS is now a year-round program!  The VolunTEENS catalog has been combined with the Volunteer Guidebook and includes opportunities for adults and teens.  VolunTEENS is a volunteer program that invites students ages 12-18 to explore careers, learn new skills, acquire job references, and earn community service credits for academic and scholarship programs.  Each summer hundreds of students participate in this program so we encourage you to apply early. The Guidebook and application can be found online at

Van Buren Youth Camp:  their annual Leadership Camp is the last week of June.   Their Board of Directors has designated one scholarship per school.  If you are interested, have strong leadership skills, and may need financial assistance, apply online at  Deadline is May 15.

Vantage Point Education:  presents week long video game design summer camps during July-Aug.  These fun and engaging programs promote an understanding of basic video game & iphone app. development in a hands-on environment.  Hosted by WMU College of Engineering & Applied Sciences.  Register at

Kellogg’s Research and Tech Summer Co-Op:  hiring for 40-hour per week positions this summer from June-Aug.  Need to act quickly, as space is limited.  Must be 18, and meet other requirements.  For more information, visit, and open the Career Opportunities tab.

Job Corps:  A career training and education program for students age 16 thru 24 who meet income requirements.  It is designed to help students find the path to personal and career success—all at no cost to eligible students.  Includes hands-on training and more.  Call (800) 733-JOBS or visit for more information.

U of M Society of Women Engineers Summer Engineering Exploration:  a weeklong residential camp held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor that allows high school students to explore different fields and careers in engineering.  Cost is $495, several scholarships are available, and applications must be postmarked by Friday, March 25.  Visit for more information.

Loyola University Chicago’s Pre-Collegiate Summer Scholars program:  designed for 10th and 11th graders where students will get a preview of college life, take part in educational, cultural, and recreational activities amidst the bustle of a world-class city, and much more.  Visit more information.

VFW Voice of Democracy Essay Scholarship Contest:  visit for more information.  Deadline is Nov 1.

American Legion Auxiliary Girls State:  Currently recruiting female students who will complete their junior year of high school in June, maintain an above average scholastic standing, and have an interest in our government process and getting involved in their communities.  Please visit for more information on various programs, scholarships, and deadlines.

Lawrence Tech University Summer Camps:  Interested in technology, design, or science?  LTU offers a variety of camps that will introduce you to the latest innovations in modern labs and studios using state-of-the-art equipment.  Additional information and all registration forms are found at  Early registration is recommended as the camps fill quickly.  Register by end of May.

Kalamazoo College Summer Programs:  Please visit the following website with information on summer programs at Kalamazoo College:

Pine Lake Experience:  hosted by the Michigan Career and Technical Institute, this unique weeklong experience is designed for high school students interested in career exploration, team building, and recreational activities in a camp setting.  Sessions are in July.  Applications are due prior to June 28th, and cost is $500, but scholarships are available upon request.  More information in the Counseling Office.

NYC Fashion Summer Camps:  Banson NYC is excited to offer 3 NYC Fashion Summer Camps for high school students.  They are designed for teens entering 9th through 12th grades.  Each week-long session will teach students the fundamentals of the fashion industry by providing an insider’s perspective.

For More Info: Contact Banson NYC at or (917)328-1469. 

Annual Prudential Spirit of Community Awards:  the largest youth recognition program for students in grades 5-12 who volunteer in their communities.  Visit to apply.  Deadline is November 5. 

Western Michigan University Writing Competition:  Submit your work for this prestigious recognition of excellence in high school writing in three categories:  creative, non-fiction, and journalism.  All entries must be accompanied by a teacher recommendation.  Selected entries will receive cash prizes and publication, classroom teacher resources, and public recognition for the school.  For more information and to apply visit

Kalamazoo Nature Center:  camp counselor job openings for our summer camp here at KNC. The application deadline is March 21.  They also have some great camp for teens at  Please visit the link below to get to the application process.

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