Most colleges require one or two letters of recommendation from teachers. It is preferable to have teachers from 11th grade write recommendation letters for you, but if you have a strong relationship with a teacher from 10th grade, you may want to ask them. If you are not sure which teachers to ask for letters, please check with College Center staff.
Each teacher has their own process; ask them what they want you to provide. Most colleges accept teacher recommendations electronically through Family Connection; it is up to your teacher to decide if they prefer to submit electronically or by regular mail. For electronic recommendations, College Center will send a link to your teacher(s) so that they can submit online. For mailed letters, most colleges provide a separate form that you will print out from the online application and provide to the teacher; others merely ask for a letter written on school letterhead. In either case, it is proper etiquette to provide a stamped, addressed envelope to the teacher if they are submitting your recommendation by mail. And a thank you note after the fact is always appreciated!
You should provide a copy of your completed College Center Senior Questionnaire to each teacher who will write a recommendation for you. You may want to remind your teachers about any particularly outstanding work you did in their class (give them a copy of a paper you wrote, a project you completed, etc.) Remember, the average teacher has more than 200 students in any given semester. The more you do to jog their memory of you, the better the letter they can write for you.
The best letters of recommendation are written by teachers who know you and your work, from classes where you have made the maximum effort possible, where you have participated and contributed your knowledge and opinions to the class, and where you have made contact with the teacher outside of class time to ask questions or share your ideas and interests. You are not limited to asking teachers who gave you “A” grades.
IMPORTANT: UC and CSU do not accept letters of recommendation. If you are applying to the CSU EOP (for first-generation, low to moderate income students), you will need two teachers to nominate you; the entire process is completed online.