College and Career Newsletter

VUSD/ December 2022

The semester is quickly ending, and the much-anticipated winter break will be embraced with open arms. It means a much-needed vacation from school is on its way, holiday traditions, and the chance to sleep late. For our high school seniors, it means college applications, for the most part, have been submitted. They now wait in suspense to hear from the colleges this coming spring; their height of anticipation pales to the days of waiting for Santa.

As middle and high schools return in January, schools will be gearing up to register students for next year’s classes. Your students will be asked to voice their opinion on what elective courses they would like to take for the following school year. Please take a moment and reflect on your choices. There is much to choose from, such as CTE courses, the arts, dual/concurrent college classes, AP courses, or a Linked Learning Academy. Elective courses allow students to learn about themselves and ultimately help them choose a career, major, and college. Seize this opportunity to try new experiences.

The College and Career Department wishes you a restful winter break!

Best wishes,

Paige Loverin, MA, PPS

Visalia Unified College and Career Readiness

Linked Learning Recruitment for Eighth-Graders

Linked Learning is a successful approach to education based on the idea that students work harder and dream bigger if their education is relevant to them. The Linked Learning approach integrates rigorous academics that meet college-ready standards with sequenced, high-quality career-technical education, work-based learning and supports to help students stay on track. For Linked Learning students, education is organized around industry-sector themes. The industry theme is woven into lessons taught by teachers who collaborate across subject areas with input from working professionals and reinforced by work-based learning with real employers. This makes learning more like the real world of work and helps students answer the question, “Why do I need to know this?”

The Linked Learning Academies are located at our district's four comprehensive high schools: El Diamante, Golden West, Mt. Whitney, and Redwood High Schools. Incoming eighth-grade students may choose to apply for an academy at any of the four high schools based on their career interests.

Eighth-grade students will be participating in a presentation about the academies during the third week of January. Students will walk away with information on each of the eight academies and what it means to be an academy student.

The Linked Learning Recruitment Parent Nights will take place at the El Diamante Theater on Wednesday, January 25, and Thursday, January 26, starting at 6:00 PM.

The Linked Learning electronic application will open on Tuesday, January 17, and will close on Friday, February 24. Students must live within the VUSD boundaries to apply to an academy.

For more information, check out our College and Career Website.

Career Technical Education (CTE) Exploration

The College and Career Readiness Showcase, a collaboration of all the high school CTE Pathways, Linked Learning Academies, and our esteemed industry partners, traveled to all five middle schools this fall. Students were given the opportunity to visit, ask questions, and start thinking about planning for their classes in high school.

We are grateful to everyone who came out to make this such a great event for our students. If you are interested in learning more about VUSD's CTE pathways, click the links below.

El Diamante CTE Pathways

Mt. Whitney CTE Pathways

Golden West CTE Pathways

Redwood CTE Pathways

FAFSA and Dream Act Applications

Starting this fall, California requires all high school seniors to complete a FAFSA or Dream Act application. These applications help determine grant money, middle-class scholarships, and student loans for college.

This fall, your school sites will be working with seniors to ensure they have access to FAFSA/Dream Act Application Workshops. It is important that all FAFSA/Dream Act applications are launched through your student's account.

The FAFSA/Dream Act application opens up on October 1 and is due on March 2 of the senior year. The applications must be renewed each year while the student attends college.

In rare cases, if completing the application proves to be a family hardship, you will be asked to complete an opt-out form with your school site.

Read, Read, Read!!

One of the most significant predictors of academic success is reading. Winter break is a great time to cuddle up on the couch, grab a great book and let your imagination be whisked away to faraway lands.

Visalia Unified is fortunate to have the Visalia Learning Center, which is located behind the VUSD District Office. Students can find their favorite literary titles to take home. The VLC also offers a digital library with books and magazine access on your Chromebook.

Check out the VUSD Library Media Newsletter for more information on hours and the digital library.

For Our Elementary Set and Their Grownups

1st place Egg Drop project ideas- using SCIENCE

VUSD’s After-hours Academic Assistance (AAA)

VUSD's "After-hours Academic Assistance" (AAA) program provides no-cost, after-hours academic support, through Zoom, in the following classes: 4th-6th grade and High School math. AAA is led by certificated VUSD teachers who are available Monday-Thursday. The AAA academic assistance program will help students when they have questions about ANY academic issue.

Schedules will be posted on Monday morning of each week.







University Summer Programs for High School Students

How would you like to attend a summer program at a top-tier university? Each summer, many colleges, including the University of California Campuses and Ivy Leagues, offer students the opportunity to experience college life. The programs do have fees, but there are generous scholarships that include students that may not normally think they qualify. Application deadlines are approaching. Below are links to some of the programs:

COSMOS: California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS) strives to motivate the most creative minds of the new generation of prospective scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who will become the future leaders for California, our nation, and the world. The program aims to create a community of students who participate in and contribute to an intensive academic experience delivered by distinguished educators and scholars.

ACADEMIC CONNECTIONS: The main advantages of attending UC San Diego Academic Connections: college-level academics, residential and extracurricular activities; exposure, and access to state-of-the-art courses, technology, and facilities! Earn college prep units and recognition for program participation on college admission applications! Study with other like-minded academic students from all over the country and the world!

UCSD Summer: offers a variety of programs for all age groups, whether you are a parent looking for a non-credit camp for your children or an undergraduate student in need of a credit-bearing program. Summer programs include a wide range of experiences, including elementary through high school, university, and beyond. You can utilize the Summer Program Finder tool to search for the right program for you.

UCLA Pre-College Summer Institutes: UCLA provides highly-motivated high school students the opportunity to earn college credit while advancing their skill set in one area of study. During this one- to three-week concentrated program, students experience lectures, hands-on learning, field trips, group projects, and other activities that provide an intensive and engrossing study of their chosen subject.

Our Precollege Summer Institutes are open to high school students from around the country and the world. We invite you to come and study in a welcoming environment that appreciates diversity and global perspectives.

The Berkeley Pre-College Scholars offers international and domestic high school students the opportunity to join a community of scholars and pursue their academic goals at the world's No. 1 public institution. Pre-College Scholars participants will have the opportunity to earn college credit with other students from Berkeley and around the world. All of the things that make Berkeley a great place are waiting for you. In addition to academics, we have optional extracurricular activities and events that will give you a chance to expand your personal and social horizons, learn practical information, and enjoy Berkeley outside of the 'classroom.'

UC Davis: UC Davis academic preparation programs can help you get ready for college! From on-campus experiences to offerings right in your high school, we help you get ready for university studies. We also encourage you to explore more UC-approved academic preparation programs.

UC Davis Young Scholars Program: The UC Davis Young Scholars Program is a summer residential research program designed to expose approximately 40 high-achieving high school students to the world of original research within the fields of the biological, agricultural, environmental, and natural sciences.

Participants in the UC Davis Young Scholars Program will work one-on-one with research faculty and research groups in state-of-the-art laboratories for six weeks. Each student will work on an individual project and prepare a journal-quality paper and symposium presentation about their work.

Harvard: Summer Programs for High School Students: Challenge yourself in college-level academics. Meet new friends from around the world. Strengthen your college application. And build important life skills that can make your future college experience a success. Harvard Summer School offers two different programs that both offer a transformative introduction to college life.

Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes: Discover. Explore. Grow. Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute provides a taste of the Stanford classroom experience and challenges students with advanced content not typically found in the high-school curriculum. Explore Your Passions Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes is a summer enrichment program that provides academically talented and intellectually curious students currently in grades 8–11 with intensive study in a single course.

Stanford University High School Summer Session: Balance challenging academics with a rich menu of educational and social activities as a visiting Stanford student. Explore a possible career path or future area of study while experiencing genuine Stanford University courses alongside current Stanford students. Study with a dynamic, diverse student body from more than 50 countries, with the opportunity to earn credit and an official transcript from Stanford.

Yale Summer Session seeks motivated high school students who wish to enroll in Yale College courses for credit. While enrolled in Yale courses, qualified high school students will share the classroom with college students and will do college-level work. All participants will be held to the same set of standards.

Pre-College students who wish to apply to Yale Summer Session: Must be entering the senior year of high school (summer after junior year) or freshman year of college (summer after senior year). Must be 16 years of age or older by their program start date.

MIT Summer Programs: If you're the kind of student who would like to spend much of your summer learning as much hands-on math, science, and engineering as you can, you might be a good fit for MIT. Visit our website to see a list of summer programs that MIT students have found enriching and enjoyable. We have prioritized selective summer programs, at MIT and elsewhere, that offer compelling intellectual content and a rigorous educational approach, a great community of like-minded peers to make friends with, and that are either free to attend or, like MIT, offer generous need-based financial aid.

USC: You are now invited to apply now for the in-person 2023 USC Summer Programs. We can't wait to welcome our highly motivated high school students back to campus next summer!

If you are interested in even more programs with the UC system, check out this link.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Tip of the Month

Seniors that are applying to private colleges are often required to complete the Profile in addition to or in place of the FAFSA to be considered for financial aid and scholarships. A video on how to complete the Profile can be found by Clicking Here. To go to the Profile application Click Here.


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Office Phone Number: 559-730-7510