College and Career Newsletter

VUSD/October 2022

High school seniors are currently in a flurry of college applications and making decisions that feel very big. The range of decisions are endless, from CTE certificate programs to major universities. And don't even get started on the dilemma of choosing a major. When I was a counselor at the school site, I would play the David Bowie/Queen song Under Pressure for seniors.

Although seniors may feel that their decisions will define their long-term futures, I want to reassure them that this is only a tiny step in a very long journey. You will be many things in your life, and this is just the beginning of the trip. My advice is to embrace the moment. The college experience is meant to show you how to think critically, work with people different from you, and develop a sense of self and our world. Enjoy every opportunity presented and even take a few chances that aren't so obvious. Take a class or two outside your major, and don't forget the value of internships.

Choose the college that feels right for you. The US News Best College rankings will not matter if the fit of the school doesn't match your needs. You will be much more successful at a university where you find your people and feel supported. The same applies as you move from university to your career: know your value and don't fear change to find your fit.

Best wishes,

Paige Loverin, MA, PPS

College and Career Readiness

Seniors: Launch all of Your Applications from

Here is a friendly reminder for all high school seniors. is an integral part of your college and financial aid application process. Start your planning by reviewing the list below.

  • Seniors will need to launch applications for the California Community College (CCC), California State University (CSU), University of California (UC), and the FAFSA/Dream Act (financial aid) through

  • Using provides many benefits, including automatically populating the A-G high school courses and grades from PowerSchool into the college application. All seniors have accounts with and may log on using their VUSD email. The videos on how to launch applications from can be found on our website.

  • Visit the VUSD College and Career website page designed just for seniors. You will find information to guide you through everything related to college and financial aid applications, including a calendar to keep you on top of the process.

The high schools will be hosting application workshops, so be sure to take full advantage of these events. The counselors/learning directors are ready to help you. Make an appointment today, if you have questions.

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We are excited that Ignite Your Curiosity is once again in person. All of our 5th-12th grade students and families are invited to attend, and you do not need to RSVP. We currently have over 50 industry professionals ready to answer questions about their career paths.

Please join us on Monday, October 17 at the Mt. Whitney Campus.

There will be Javi's Tacos and Mr. Lumpia Food Trucks available starting at 5:15 PM.

Please call Paige Loverin at 730-7510 to answer any questions.

Career Technical Education (CTE) Pipeline

Have you considered following a CTE pathway? Have you planned where you are going to complete your CTE certificate? COS has great things going on in their CTE Department. Check out their newsletter so you don't miss out on planning for your future.

College and Career Starts in Elementary School

The elementary counselors will be hard at work this month starting conversations with students about College and Career Readiness. Students are learning that a college degree can range from a certificate program to a bachelor's degree and all the way up to graduate school.

Please take a moment to watch our VUSD College and Career videos with your student. 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.

Part 1: Mapping My Future

Part 2: Career - Major - College

Part 3: College Options

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.







For the Elementary Set and Their Adults

Mt. Whitney Health Science Academy Fuels the Passion

Congratulations to Matthew Alejandro, a Mt. Whitney's Academy of Health Science graduate. Alejandro is majoring in Human Biology at UC Santa Cruz and was selected to be featured as the face of the department for their advertising campaign. Alejandro states "I just wanted to share this accomplishment with the...AOHS teachers from Whitney. You guys fueled my passion for the sciences and I just wanted to say thank you!" Congratulations, Alejandro, and congratulations to the AOHS teachers.

Freshmen and Growth Mindset

There is a lot to adjust to when transitioning to high school. A Growth Mindset, the willingness to embrace mistakes as part of the learning process, is key to making the freshman year go smoother. Sometimes accepting that things don't always go smooth, especially at an age where peer judgment can feel intense, can be rough.

Join our College and Career Readiness student reporters in the video on how to keep the Growth Mindset working in your favor.

Really Cool Learning Opportunities on YouTube

Do you want to explore new and interesting topics outside of the classroom? The more you explore the world around you the more likely you are to figure out who you are and what career would fit you best. Check out these YouTube channels.

MIT OpenCourseWare: OCW is a free and open online publication of educational material from thousands of MIT courses, covering the entire MIT curriculum, ranging from introductory to the most advanced graduate courses. On the OCW website, each course includes a syllabus, instructional material like notes and reading lists, and learning activities like assignments and solutions. Some courses also have videos, online textbooks, and faculty insights on teaching. Learn to code for free

Khan Academy: Provides a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Our interactive practice problems, articles, and videos help students succeed in math, biology, chemistry, physics, history, economics, finance, grammar, and many other topics.

CrashCourse: The Crash Course team has produced more than 42 courses on a wide variety of subjects, including organic chemistry, literature, world history, biology, philosophy, theater, ecology, and many more! We also recently teamed up with Arizona State University to bring you more courses on the Study Hall channel.

Kurzgesagt-In A Nutshell: We’re a team of illustrators, animators, number crunchers, and one dog who aim to spark curiosity about science and the world we live in. To us, nothing is boring if you tell a good story.

Charisma On Command: Want to be more charismatic and confident? We make videos to help you learn how to be more confident, how to make people laugh, how to be more likable - basically everything about exuding charisma. Relationships in life are everything, so we want to teach you to turn on your most confident, charismatic self in the moments that matter most.

COS Registration Process

Seniors, once you have completed your COS application on, take a look at the graphic below to guide you on important deadlines.
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UC Campus Fall Events for Prospective Students

This fall, campuses are continuing to offer a variety of events for prospective students, including events for first-year, transfer, and out-of-state/international applicants. Each campus continues to work closely with state, federal, and local agencies to ensure the safety of the campus and community. Therefore, events may be offered in person or virtually and could change depending on current guidelines. Be sure to check with the campus for more information on the full schedule and format of events, as well as for registration information. Many campuses advertise events in their counselor newsletters or on their counselor pages, so check the Campus Admission Contacts list on the “Connect to resources” page for links to those sites.

Campuses may offer a range of 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.

UC Berkeley: Open House October 8; programming throughout September and October

UC Davis: Open House events throughout October; programming for counselors, families, and students offered throughout the fall quarter

UC Irvine: Discover UCI on October 15

UCLA: Open House October 8 (hybrid)

UC Merced: Programming available throughout September, October, and November

UC Riverside: Discover UCR on October 22

UC San Diego: Fall Showcase October 1; programming available throughout September, October, and November

UC Santa Barbara: Programming throughout October and November

UC Santa Cruz: Programming throughout September, October, and November


COS Foundation Scholarships

Are you planning to enroll full-time at COS next fall? Then you are going to want to complete the COS Foundation Scholarship Application. The application opens on October 4 and closes on November 21.

All incoming (high school students) without a COS Banner ID will create an account and login on subsequent site visits via Scholarship Manager.

Incoming students who have a COS Banner ID will login via MyGiant.

For more information, contact the Foundation Office at (559) 730-3878 or

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It is Officially FAFSA and Dream Act Season!

Starting this fall, the state is now requiring all high school seniors to complete a FAFSA or Dream Act application. These applications help determine grant money, middle-class scholarships, and student loans.

Also, for those who complete the FAFSA/Dream Act but do not qualify for grant money, COS will award the Sequoias Promise. This will cover tuition for those taking 12 or more units.

The high schools will be working with seniors to ensure they have access to FAFSA/Dream Act Application Workshops. All FAFSA/Dream Act applications should be launched through your student's account.

The FAFSA/Dream Act is due on March 2nd of the senior year, and the application 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.

Fresno State President's Honors Scholarship Application

President's Honors Scholarship Application

The President's Honors Scholarship (PHS) Application deadline for the 2023 cohort will open on October 1, 2022

Informational Webinars

These webinars focus on providing students, parents, and counselors with more information about the Smittcamp Family Honors College at Fresno State. Dr. Saeed Attar will highlight the benefits of the program, qualifications, application process, and deadline. You can view the webinar by clicking on the View Link Now.

Webinar #1

Tuesday, October 11, 2022, from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

View Link Now

Webinar #2

Tuesday, October 25, 2022, from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

View Link Now

Webinar #3

Thursday, November 10, 2022 from 6:00 - & 7:00 p.m.

View Link Now

Admission Requirements

Admission into the Smittcamp Family Honors College is highly competitive, and for a good reason. This is one of the strongest programs in the Western United States. It offers exceptional students a chance to achieve academic mastery alongside a very select group of like-minded learners.

In order to qualify for admission, you must be a first-time freshman who has not been enrolled full-time at any institution of higher learning (i.e., community college or any four-year university).

Eligibility Criteria

Are you a candidate for our program? If you meet at least one of the following criteria, then you should definitely consider applying:

  • Minimum 3.8 high school GPA (grades 9-11, weighted or unweighted)
  • Ranking in the top 10 percent of your high school graduating class


1. Cal State Apply Application (Mandatory)

2. Smittcamp Family Honors College-President's Honors Scholarship Application (Mandatory)

3. Free Application for Free Federal Aid (FAFSA) (Optional)


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Scholarship Tip of the Month

Seniors, it is officially the beginning of scholarship season. Each school has a scholarship webpage and Remind text to keep you posted all year on scholarship opportunities. You can also check out the scholarship search engines on our website.

Redwood: Scholarship page at

Join the RHS Scholarship Remind: Text @rwscholars to 81010

El Diamante: Scholarship page at

Join the El D at Remind: @eld2023 text to 81010

Golden West: Scholarship website:

Remind: @GWscholar to 81010

Mt. Whitney: Scholarship Page:

Remind Link: text @mwscholars to 81010

VCIS: Scholarship page: VCIS Scholarships

Join the VCIS Scholarship Remind App: Last names A-M text @a-m2023 to 81010;

Last names N-Z text @n-z2023 to 81010

VTEC: Scholarship page

Stay in Touch

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VUSD College & Career Website

Past VUSD College & Career Newsletter

Office Phone Number: 559-730-7510