San Ramon Valley High School College/Career Center
The College/Career Center is staffed
by Carolyn Mackell and Candy Jewett
from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Candy Jewett [email protected]
Carolyn Mackell [email protected]
Wolftracks - For students who are thinking about attending a 4-year college, we are aware that this can be a time of great uncertainty as words of enrollment cut-backs and fee increases are showing up often in the media. Looking at the enrollment data from this year’s graduating class of 2010, we’re encouraged to see that our seniors will be journeying to all parts of the country to continue their educations. The economic uncertainty has become a catalyst for these students, challenging them to rethink what's available in a broader geographic sense and to explore colleges they might not have otherwise considered. Statistics from the 2010 Senior Class Post Graduation Plans indicate the following changes.
· Most noticeably, we see a 10% increase in seniors choosing out-of-state schools. Many are opting for public universities that are offering good scholarships or the Western Undergraduate Exchange (see article on p. 4 for more info). Some of this year’s most popular out-of-state campuses have a cost of attendance lower than that of those in the California public systems, yet still maintain that old-fashion college/community spirit that some of our CA campuses have lost, due to athletic budget cuts and the large undergrad populations.
· Enrollment in CA community colleges, which we expected to rise sharply – did not rise, but in fact dropped 6% below last year’s community college enrollment. Of the 27% of our seniors who have chosen to start their post high school educations at two year colleges, journeying around the state seems to be popular, as students have enrolled at 15 different campuses.
· CSU enrollment dropped by 9% compared to last year’s stats, with just 18% of our seniors choosing the CSU system. While Cal Poly SLO still tops the CSU chart, and actually adding twice as many seniors as last year, we are seeing more who’ve chosen San Diego State than in past years. As students were required to declare a major at SDSU this year, due to heavy program impaction, we hadn’t expected such an increase in admittance or enrollment. Sacramento State is also attracting more students than in past years. Enrollment numbers at Chico State, SFSU, San Jose State and Sonoma State decreased markedly.
· The UC system held steady with the same percentage (18%) of SRV seniors choosing the UC option, but we see the largest increase in the Davis enrollments balancing a similar decrease in those choosing the Santa Barbara campus.
· CA Independent (private college) enrollments increased to 7% from last year’s low enrollment of only 3%. Many private colleges are marketing their ability to get students out of college within the traditional 4-years timeframe - a prime cost consideration, and their ability to offer generous merit scholarships for academically competitive students has been evident.
Stop by the College/Career Center to find out about upcoming workshops to help you make your college exploration exciting and organized. We have excellent resources that will allow you that great feeling of ownership and control over this process. We want you to enjoy the journey!
Summer Is Here! Summer offers a great opportunity for students to make their mark! Find a part-time job or volunteer activity that sounds interesting and you’ll build both your skills and your personal resume while having fun. If you have vacation plans that restrict your options for paid work – volunteering usually allows more flexibility. Here are some of the C/C Center’s local contacts to get you started -
Danville’s Community Emergency Response Team – www.firedepartment.org/volunteer/
ARF – www.tlr-arf.org/how-you-can-help/volunteer
Monument Crisis Center - www.monumentcrisiscenter.org/volunteer.html
Oakland Zoo – www.oaklandzoo.org/support-the-zoo/teen-volunteer-opportunities
Tri-Valley Animal Rescue - http://tvar.org/ Teen/Junior Program
East Bay Regional Park District – www.ebparks.org
Volunteer Center of the East Bay- www.helpnow.org
Internship Opportunity! The Home Builder’s Association of Northern California is offering students the opportunity to learn about the various trades involved in the home building industry. Students will learn about the role played by land developers, architects, builders, and other trades during the different stages of construction. The Career Center has a short application students can submit for consideration for an internship. Minimum age is 16.
Ready to Start Exploring Colleges? While all students need to be looking for a school that is a good fit, it’s important to remember that there are many schools at which a student can be happy and thrive. Start by looking for the conditions that will allow you to thrive – such as the excitement of a busy city versus a calm rural venue, the impact of being a long distance from close family and old friends, or even just your gut feeling about whether months of sunny skies and hot weather or constant rain and drizzle from October until June would be too much. Think about what kind of learning environment you do your best in – a hands-on curriculum where you’ll know your professors, or conversely a larger-scale theatre for class settings, where you’ll have an opportunity to hear the lectures of professors well-known for their research abilities. Make sure you take time to visit different types of campuses – a small, medium and large college, and include at least one visit to a private college that is a good academic fit. Private colleges can often keep your 4-year college experience to a 4-year timeline and tuition commitment - public schools, with the uncertain budget restrictions, may not be able to provide all the courses you’ll need in 4 years. Stop by the College/Career Center to pick up a copy of “Next Steps for Juniors” for more information to help you choose the best campuses to meet your needs!
Sites for Online College Exploration
· Collage Portraits – http://www.collegeportraits.org/
· College Navigator – http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/ Good parent site!
· YOUniversityTV – http://www.youniversitytv.com/youlife/index.home.php
· Colleges that Change Lives – www.ctcl.org
· National Survey of Engagement - http://nsse.iub.edu/html/students_parents.cfm
· The Choice Blog - http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/
· Unigo - www.Unigo.com
Graduating Seniors: Are you interested in focusing on your career IMMEDIATELY – without going through all those “general education” requirements? Is the cost of Technical School too high? Where can you get over 50 certificate and degree programs, at the best price for Technical and Career training? Right here in our community at Diablo Valley College or Los Positas College! We’ve just received DVC’s new Career/Tech Program guide, offering insight into their excellent career-specific courses. This educational route takes you directly to the job you want to do – without having to analyze Shakespeare. Career opportunities include Chef/Sous-Chef, Dental Hygienist, Preschool Teacher, Detective, Architectural Drafter, Athletic Trainer, Floriculturalist, Medical Electronics Technician, Recording Engineer… the list goes on and on. Pick up a copy today!
§ Go on-line to check the admission requirements at schools you might be interested in - check their application information and don't forget to visit their financial aid sites. Admissions staff members expect you to get involved in the exploration process and want you to do online and on-campus research if you expect to become a student at their school.
§ Visit the colleges you will be applying to over the summer! Make sure you take a campus tour and have a list of questions you will be asking each college so you can easily compare them after your trips. Selective colleges take your application more seriously if you had the motivation to visit - they want to know that you believe their campus is right for you.
§ If you’ll be applying to schools that require essays or personal statements, start brainstorming for your essays now! Stop by the center to pick up a tip sheet from the UC’s and the questions from the 2009/10 Common Application. If you don’t know what the common app is – we’ll show you a sample and talk a little about why it’s so widely used (look below this article to find Common App Info). Searching college websites to determine what questions they ask on their application can help you understand what kind of student they are looking to admit. That helps you to know if the school is a good fit for you.
§ Get a head start on your senior resume and take a look at any forms you'll need to give teachers and counselors for recommendation letters. Most private colleges will require recommendations – as will many scholarship applications. Start at srvhs.net then use the drop-down menu, selecting the academics menu. Select Counseling and Guidance - then "college admissions downloads" to get to these forms.
§ Taking one more fall SAT or ACT test? - A mock test will be held in September for seniors who want one last test practice prior to their final test sittings in the fall. Sign-ups will begin at Wolf Pack Days at the Academic Booster’s table. We anticipate the program will fill up quickly!
§ The Common Application is available July 1. If a college you want to apply to requests that you use the Common Application (www.commonapplication.org), you can actually begin working on it over the summer. Many colleges require supplements (additional essays and forms, recommendation letters, etc), so be sure you verify the application criteria for each college. Fall workshops will be held to assist you in determining how to address application questions and essay prompts… or just stop in at the center and check out the College Visit Binder where you can read the admission representative’s suggestions.
§ As you hear us say all the time, make summer count. Volunteer, work, take a class, learn something new! Have fun!!!
Incoming Sophomores and Juniors:
§ Having outside activities - athletics, band, drama, choir, clubs or community service involvement, is important to both future employers and college admissions staff. Follow your interests and find activities that fit your personality and skills while you have the freedom to try them out.
§ If you travel over the summer, consider visiting college campuses along the way. Start to narrow down what you want in a college experience. Stop by our center to get a flyer with ideas to help you know what to ask a tour guide or to help you determine your priorities in your college search.
§ Colleges want students to make the most out of their summer vacations. Traveling, working, volunteering, taking a class – these are all great ways to spend your time and expand your horizons. Explore your passions! Learn something new!, Most importantly, keep a record of what you do each summer during high school. When you begin to complete college (and future job) applications, you will be glad you did! Make sure to note the agency you volunteered with or the company you worked for, how many hours a day/week you worked, what you accomplished and what you learn and how it might shape future choices you make. Did you discover a passion or rule out a potential interest based on the activity? Did you master a new skill, teach something new to someone, or push yourself a little out of your comfort level into the next level of proficiency? These are great thoughts to ponder when you have a little downtime so you’ll be prepared when you’re asked personal thought provoking questions later.
§ Prepare for finals. Take that extra time now to do your BEST!
What is a Liberal Arts Education Anyway?
Over the next few months, many soon-to-be seniors and their families will be researching colleges and giving a great deal of thought to finding a school that is the “right fit”. In this process of searching through catalogs, making college visits, and talking with friends about all the options, some students will decide on a liberal arts education as opposed to one that is focused on a particular area such as business, engineering, or nursing.
But what is a liberal arts education and why would someone choose that educational path? Stated simply, a liberal arts education is one that encompasses a broad study of the humanities and sciences. Many call this a well-rounded education that prepares students to be life-long learners. They learn to think and examine, communicate effectively, and write well.
A typical liberal arts school is small, with approximately 2,000 or less students. This small size lends itself to small class discussion groups, frequent interaction with professors, and exams and assignments which require a great deal of critical thinking and writing.
A liberal arts education often makes for great employees! Many employers value the communication skills and analytical abilities this kind of education provides to a student.
Some colleges in California which are known for their liberal arts programs include: CSU Monterey Bay, Mills College, Occidental College, Pitzer College, and Pomona College. Further up the coast are liberal arts colleges such as Willamette University (OR), Reed College (OR), Linfield College (OR), Whitman College (WA), and University of Puget Sound (WA).
UC Waitlist Update – At a UCSD Counselor’s Conference last week, we gleaned a little more info on how the new waitlist system actually worked for the UC’s. This new waitlist procedure was utilized at most of the UC campuses (not Merced or UCLA) as applications to the UC’s increased and as the CA budget crisis restricted enrollment, causing fewer available freshman spaces on the campuses. The actual enrollment on these campuses (students who committed to the particular UC they’d been accepted to) allowed UCSB to offer admission to everyone on its waiting list, and allowed UC Davis to admit 525 students off their wait list. All other UC’s met their target enrollments without admitting from their wait lists. Additional UC enrollment info will be posted this summer at http://statfinder.ucop.edu/. It’s an interesting site for people statistically inclined.
The WUE - What? A discounted, non-resident, college tuition rate? The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is available to students residing in western states who are enrolling in participating two and four-year public college programs. The WUE offers a reduced tuition equal to 150 percent of the institution’s regular resident tuition. WUE tuition is considerably less than nonresident tuition. To see the list of participating states and schools, and learn more about this program go to www.wiche.edu/sep/wue. Some Western states have fairly lenient residency requirements allowing students consideration as residents after living in the state for just 1 year (freshman year). Using the campus website search window, search for “residency requirements” and the parameters are normally stated clearly.
Note that WUE programs do not apply to a number of popular SRVHS campuses, such as the University of Oregon, CU Boulder, or the University of Arizona as non-resident tuition plays a crucial role in their funding structures.