Counselor Connections

VHS Counseling Department Newsletter - December 2022

College & Career Ready

Say the word "college" and most people think of a four-year college or university. The word does include four-year colleges and universities but it is meant to be much broader than that. When we talk "college" we are referring to any education or training after high school. This could be military, apprenticeships, community colleges, technical colleges, career schools and four-year colleges and universities.

Your counselor is here to help you with your plans for after high school, so be sure to talk with us if you have questions or don't know where to start. In addition to your counselor, Mr. Navarro is our College & Career Specialist. The Career Center is located upstairs in the Reading Room area. He has a wealth of information and resources to help you so reach out to him as well; his email is or click here to request a meeting.

Already this year, we have hosted daytime events, evening events, visits from college and military representatives and more.

Be sure you are signed up for our department's Remind messaging (directions are on our webpage at and actively engage in your planning for your life after high school.

Through Advisory, students should have opportunities to use Major Clarity,, for career and college exploration. Students are encourage to spend time on the site outside of Advisory as well.

In addition, students can explore the Counseling and Career Center website,, for assistance with navigating high school and beyond.

Below are some links that may help you start planning and preparing; find more links on our website.

College and Career Planning

College Athletics

Financial Aid




1st Semester College & Career Ready

To stay focused and moving forward, it helps to stay engaged with what is happening around you. With that in mind, the counselors and Mr. Navarro are thankful for those that participated in our 1st semester College & Career Ready events. Here is a list of some of the opportunities we were able to squeeze into first semester:

  • AFUHSD FAFSA Completion Night
  • AP Exam Registration
  • Dual Enrollment Registration
  • Lunch Visits (Military Recruiters, West-MEC, Teen Lifeline, and more)
  • PSAT
  • VHS College & Career Night
  • VHS Scholarship Marathon
  • VHS Application Day

Remember to join our department’s grade-level Remind messaging to stay abreast of events and information throughout the remainder of the year. You can find the directions to join our department’s Remind on the Counseling & Career Center homepage,

Be sure to check out your cohort's Google Classroom as well!

Course Questions or Concerns

If you or your student have a question or concern about a class they are taking, the following are the recommended steps of communication:

1st step: The student talks with his/her teacher.

2nd step: The student and parent speak with the teacher.

3rd step: The student and parent speak with the counselor.

4th step: The student and parent speak with an administrator.

2023-2024 Course Selection Process

The 2023-24 Course Selection process has started!

Counselors have been meeting with our current freshmen this month to finalize their course selections for next school year.

In January, we will be going to our feeder middle schools to meet with our incoming freshmen. We will also be meeting with our current sophomores and juniors through their English classes.

We encourage students to choose their course requests wisely as the computer will use their choices (main requests and alternates) to build the students' schedule. Talking with others (teachers, parents/guardians, peers, etc.) and reading more about the courses in the district's Course Description Book,, are a couple things students might do to help them decide on their course requests.

Be sure you are signed up for our department's Remind messaging for updates. Instructions for joining our department's Remind messaging can be found on our webpages,

Holiday Support

The holidays can be wonderful and joyous but also filled with stressors. Here are a couple resources for you to help with the stress…

Need someone to talk with?

  • National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline - 988

  • Crisis Response Network, AZ (Crisis Line) – 1-844-534-HOPE

  • Teen Lifeline – 602-248-8336 (TEEN) or 800-248-8336 (TEEN) (statewide in AZ)

Need more resources?

Dial 2-1-1 or go to

PSAT Scores

Juniors and sophomores who took the PSAT in October should be able to view their scores on the College Board's website,

Learn more at

Mr. Pratt, School Counselor (D-wing), will be working to return your test booklets once we receive the paper score report which typically occurs after you can view your scores online.

Scholarships & Contests

Many students are looking for ways to off-set the cost of their future education/training. Scholarship and/or contest monies are one way to do that. How do you find them? Consider the following:

  • The school you are planning to apply to will often provide scholarship opportunities.

  • Scholarship search sites, such as the ones mentioned in the College & Career Ready portion of this newsletter and on our department's website,

  • Companies/organizations that are part of your everyday life may offer a scholarship. Think about you and your parent's employer and/or union, where do you bank, or the stores you shop at.

  • Sometimes scholarship and contest information is sent to the school, so we share that information out to you via announcements and/or our department's Remind messaging.

Contact Mr. Navarro, our College & Career Specialist, about scholarship opportunities and resources!

Test-taking Tips

With finals around the corner, consider these test taking tips:

  • Have a positive attitude.

  • Make a plan. Remember, your brain and body need sleep to function well, so don't stay up late.

  • Eat breakfast. You think better when you have a full stomach.

  • Manage your time. Scan through the test quickly before starting. Answering the easy questions first can be a time saver and a confidence builder; plus, it save more time in the end for you to focus on the harder questions.

  • Don't get worried or frustrated. Take a deep breathe or three :) Re-read the question to make sure you understand it and then try to solve it the best way you know.

  • The process of elimination can help you choose the correct answer. Start by crossing out answers that couldn't be right.

  • For machine scored tests, fill in spaces carefully.

  • Spend the last few remaining minutes going over the hardest problems before you turn in your test.


If you are applying to college over Winter Break, remember, you can order official transcripts on for a fee. This method allows you to track your request and expedites the process.

If you prefer to not pay the fee, you can still order through our Registrar, Mrs. Rodriguez. You will need to connect with Mrs. Rodriguez,

Please remember that the office has limited hours over Winter Break so transcripts may not be sent until we return in January.

West-MEC 2023-24

The 2023-24 West-MEC program application opened October 31st. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors can apply to attend a West-MEC program (completion of an application does not guarantee acceptance into the program).

Check out their website at to learn more about their programs, requirements, and to apply.

Once a student applies, they need to print the Application Verification Form (AVF). Both the student and parent/guardian must sign the verification form, then it needs to be turned in to the student's counselor by December 22, 2022 to be considered in the primary round of allocations.

West-MEC information has been shared in Viper Connect sessions, at lunch visits, in Advisory, through Remind, and at our evening event. We are hopeful that interested students were able to learn more about West-MEC through our outreach efforts.

Upcoming Events

College & Career Wear Day


Counselor Cart

Mondays & Fridays



College Application & FAFSA Help

December 14, 2022

1:30 pm

VHS College & Career Center

EMCC's ACE (Achieving a College Education) Application Deadline

December 16

2023-24 West-MEC Application Verification Form Due to VHS Counselor

December 22

EMCC's Hoop of Learning Application Deadline

March 1, 2023

Wrapping up 2022...

We wish our students a strong finish to their first semester classes, a restful Winter Break, and a happy & healthy start to the new year!

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