College and Career Newsletter

VUSD/September 2021

Welcome back, students and parents. We are excited to bring another year full of events to help you and your students explore college and career options. We feel that it is never too early to start conversations with students regarding plans for the future. It has been shown repeatedly that students benefit from discussing career goals at a young age. It gives them the drive and meaning to the work they are doing in the classroom.

Visalia Unified's College and Career Readiness Department will continue to serve our students from elementary school to seniors receiving their college acceptance letters. It is the hope that you find these letters a starting point for conversations and exploration in your homes!


Paige Loverin, MA, PPS

College and Career Readiness

Director's Corner

I’m so thrilled to join the amazing VUSD College and Career Readiness team as the Director! I’ve been telling everyone that this endeavor isn’t down my alley; it IS my alley! I spent 23 years as a teacher at Tulare Western High School, teaching all levels of English and AVID. For many of those years, I also was the AVID Site Coordinator, including years when we were an AVID National Demonstration School. The last five years in Tulare, I was the AVID District Director, a position that led me to consider for the first time moving into an admin position. I spent the last three years as the AP for Curriculum and Instruction at Lindsay High School, where I helped create an Early College Academy. That led me right here, where I’m truly working in my purpose, to ensure access and support for all students to follow their passions, leading to a lifetime of learning and joy. I look forward to working with teachers, students, administrators, parents, and the community on this most impactful adventure!

Vicki Leoni, Director

College and Career Readiness

College and Career: Elementary

Our fifth and sixth graders will be exploring College and Career Readiness during September. This is the perfect segway for conversations to happen at home about what future college plans look like for your child. Studies have found that the earlier these conversations begin, the more likely students will attend college. A college degree can range from a certificate program to a bachelor's degree. We want to share with you the videos that your students will be viewing.

Part 1: Mapping My Future

Part 2: Career - Major - College

Part 3: College Options

Eighth and Ninth Grade Parent Night: How to start planning for college.

Students and parents: Join us for a webinar to cover everything from graduation requirements, university A-G requirements, CTE, NCAA, campus resources, and much more!

Monday, September 20, at 6:00 PM

Register here!

The week before the event, you will receive an email containing the webinar link.

Welcome to High School!

Freshmen, welcome to high school!! You have so many great adventures ahead of you, but we know there may be a few bumps along the way. We want things to go as smooth as possible for you, so we have a few videos to help you navigate the bumps and give you insight into the basic in's and out's of high school. Four years will fly by so make the most of your time and have fun along the way.

It is never too early to start exploring careers, majors, and colleges. is a one-stop shop to explore everything related to your career exploration; you can even take a career inventory quiz to see what careers fit you best. All VUSD students who are in grades 7th-12th have accounts with To log in simply use your VUSD email and create a password. If you have forgotten your password then click here for directions. You can also take a quick video tour of the CaliforniaColleges website. Don't wait until you are a senior to start thinking about your future, take the time now to start planning for a bright future.

  • SPANISH Webinar: Descubre, planifica, lanza: Ayude a su hijo/a a identificar y alcanzar sus metas universitarias y profesionales usando Monday, September 13th, 5p-6p - Register HERE
  • ENGLISH Webinar: Discover, Plan, Launch: Help Your Child Identify and Achieve College and Career Goals using Monday, September 20th, 5-6pm- Register HERE

Ignite Your Curiosity

Ignite Your Curiosity is a monthly series of webinars for students and parents to hear from various industry leaders. Each month a new industry-themed panel will help your child explore career possibilities.

This month's speakers include a representative from Hanger Prosthetics, an occupational therapist,

and a physical therapist.

Join us on Monday, September 13, at 6:oo PM.

To register for the event Click Here. The week before the event, an email containing the webinar link will be sent out. To view previous Ignite Your Curiosity events Click Here.

Seniors: It's Officially College Application Season

This fall begins an exciting journey to planning your future and Visalia Unified would like to make sure that you are supported as you start the college application process. We are asking that seniors launch their college and financial aid applications through This gives you many benefits, including automatically populating your A-G high school courses and grades into your college applications. Also, it gives you tools to explore careers, majors, and colleges. Every junior and senior have a account using their VUSD email. There is support if you need to change your password on your California Colleges account

Go to the College and Career Readiness website for information and videos on how to launch your college applications and financial aid from California Colleges. This website also contains information on scholarships, and a calendar of important dates to remember. Seniors should consider subscribing to their school bulletin; you can do this by going to your school’s website. The bulletin will keep you informed of application workshops, senior activities, and, most importantly, scholarships! Your counselors and learning directors are available by email and phone to answer your questions.

Remember your counselor or learning director is here to help you. Also, your school site will be holding workshops in the fall on how to complete your college and financial aid applications. We cannot wait to see the next step in your journey.

For those of you applying to the CSU or UC systems, please be aware that they are not requiring the class of 2022 to take the ACT or SAT. Many private colleges are making similar decisions, and you will want to be in contact with them, and your school counselor/learning director, when deciding to take the SAT or ACT.

COS Access and Ability Center: Senior Night

Did you know that the COS Access and Ability Center (AAC) offers students extra time on exams, audiobooks, out-of-class testing, the ability to obtain classroom notes or record lectures, enlarged print, software that allows you to speak to the computer, priority registration, career services, and much more? To find out to qualify for services, join them for an informational night.

COS Access and Ability Center are offering two COS Virtual Transition Nights. This event is for high school seniors with IEPs or 504s and their parents.

Click here to register for the event on Monday, October 11, at 6:00 PM.

Click here to register for the event on Monday, February 7, at 6:00 PM.

Do you want to take COS classes while in high school?

Are you a high school student interested in taking concurrent classes at COS? Are you curious about which classes you should take so that it counts towards your college goals? Well then, join us as we welcome counselors from COS, Meng Vang and Mainou Her, for an informational webinar.

Register by clicking here for this exciting evening taking place Wednesday, September 15, at 6:00 PM.

TCOE College Night

Begin planning your future! TCOE College Night Thursday takes place September 9, 2021, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Meet representatives from over 90 colleges, universities, and specialty schools to learn more about their campuses and educational programs.

Attend valuable informational sessions on topics that may include:

College and University Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarship Opportunities

To register to attend, go to or contact Paula Terrill at or call 559-651-0565.

How about taking a virtual tour of your favorite UC?

Virtual tours for all your favorite Univerisity of California Campuses are available for free! Even if you have younger students, this is a great opportunity to introduce them to the UC system. Just click on your favorite campus to take a peek.

"Campuses may offer a range of virtual opportunities, including college fairs, appointments, admissions sessions, tours, and videos on admission, housing, and/or financial aid and scholarships. Some will be hosted in person, while others will be offered virtually. Programming for counselors, students, and families will be available." (UCNOTES@UCOP.EDU)

UC Berkeley: Open House October 9; programming throughout September and October
UC Davis: Open House October 4-29; programming for counselors, families, and students offered throughout the fall quarter
UC Irvine: Preview Week October 11-15 (Virtual)
UCLA: Open House September 25-30 (Virtual)
Merced: Programming available throughout September, October, and November
UC Riverside: Discover UCR November 1-4 (Virtual)
UC San Diego: Summer Showcase August 16-19; Fall Showcase October 2; Programming available throughout September, October, and November
UC Santa Barbara: Programming throughout October and November
Santa Cruz: Programming throughout September, October, and November

Linked Learning Academies and CTE Pathways

During the next few months, the College & Career Readiness Department will be featuring the District's eight Linked Learning Academies and CTE Pathways.

Linked Learning exposes high school students to previously unimagined college and career opportunities by turning their education into a personally relevant, engaging experience. Research shows that Linked Learning students have higher rates of engagement and higher graduation rates than their peers at traditional high schools. This approach to education is helping to create a disciplined, prepared, and productive future workforce, ready to succeed in college, career, and life.

This month we are featuring Redwood High School's Academy of Law & Justice. The Academy of Law & Justice seeks to improve students’ reading, writing, critical thinking, and communication skills through an intensive academic curriculum that uses the law—its origins, purpose, use, and significant historical cases—as a framework to develop well-rounded, self-aware, community-conscious, and proactive citizens. The Academy’s highlights include:

- Strengthening students’ academic foundation—We will improve our students’ ability to read for comprehension, efficiently and appropriately conduct research and provide documentation and be academically responsible.

- Developing students’ ability to critically analyze social issues—We will rigorously interrogate historical events to build our knowledge of cause and effect. We will critique and analyze literature to deepen our understanding of the underlying messages of significant authors of the law.

- Building students’ capabilities as public persons—We will encourage, coach, and guide our students to become effective and confident speakers in public.

Click here to learn more about the Academy of Law & Justice.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Tip of the Month

October 1, is the day that the 2021-22 Financial Aid Application cycle opens. Here are some things that your students and their parents can do now to be ready to apply:

  1. Create an FSA ID – Both the student and their parent need to complete this process to electronically sign the FAFSA. The California Dream Act application includes the prompts for setting up a State Student Aid PIN for electronic signatures.
  2. Social Security Cards (If Applicable) – It’s important that the FAFSA information matches perfectly the student's and parents' data at the Social Security Administration. A slight change in a name or birthdate can cause delays in processing.
  3. Determine Household Size – This number should include the parents and any other household members that receive more than half of their financial support from the parents.
  4. Determine Number of College Students in the Household – Of the members identified in #3, excluding the parents, how many family members will be attending college at least half time in 2021-22
  5. Gather Federal Tax Documents for 2019 – Families will need this information for the parents and the student applying for aid. IRS transcripts and other documents can be downloaded immediately at
  6. Calculate the Net Cost of College – Colleges and Universities have financial aid calculators that allow students to get an estimate of what their cost might be. Find the calculators for UC campuses here.

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Office Phone Number: 559-730-7510