Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween From Your SUHI Counselors!

Have a safe Halloween!

How are University of California Applications Reviewed?

At Sweetwater High School, our goal is that all of our students are prepared for 4-year university admissions and success. With proper course placement and intervention programs, we provide the academics students need to be competitive in the admissions process. 

Yet, in addition to grades, A-G courses, and SAT/ACT scores, most University of California campuses use a holistic review processapplicants are assessed in terms of the full range of their academic and personal achievements, viewed in the context of the opportunities and challenges each has encountered. 

We encourage our students to not only excell academically, but take into consideration the 14 points below to be competitive for admissions to any University of California campus.

Taken from: 
  1. Academic grade point average in all completed "a-g" courses, including additional points for completed UC-certified honors courses.
  1. Scores on the following tests: ACT Plus Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test.
  1. Number of, content of and performance in academic courses beyond the minimum "a-g" requirements.
  1. Number of and performance in UC-approved honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate Higher Level and transferable college courses.
  1. Identification by UC as being ranked in the top 9 percent of your high school class at the end of your junior year (Eligible in the Local Context, or ELC).
  1. Quality of your senior-year program as measured by the type and number of academic courses in progress or planned.
  1. Quality of your academic performance relative to the educational opportunities available in your high school.
  1. Outstanding performance in one or more specific subject areas.
  1. Outstanding work in one or more special projects in any academic field of study.
  1. Recent, marked improvement in academic performance as demonstrated by academic GPA and the quality of coursework completed or in progress.
  1. Special talents, achievements and awards in a particular field, such as visual and performing arts, communication or athletic endeavors; special skills, such as demonstrated written and oral proficiency in other languages; special interests, such as intensive study and exploration of other cultures; experiences that demonstrate unusual promise for leadership, such as significant community service or significant participation in student government; or other significant experiences or achievements that demonstrate the student's promise for contributing to the intellectual vitality of a campus.
  1. Completion of special projects undertaken in the context of your high school curriculum or in conjunction with special school events, projects or programs.
  1. Academic accomplishments in light of your life experiences and special circumstances, including but not limited to: disabilities, low family income, first generation to attend college, need to work, disadvantaged social or educational environment, difficult personal and family situations or circumstances, refugee status or veteran status.
  1. Location of your secondary school and residence.

Compact for Success with SDSU

In 2000, San Diego State University partnered with the Sweetwater Union High School District(SUHSD) to create a program that would bring new educational opportunities to Sweetwater graduates.

The partnership would involve SUHSD teachers working side-by-side with SDSU faculty to examine the rigor and alignment of math and English course offerings and to design a school curriculum that would meet specific requirements for college admissions.

Students participating in the Compact for Success Program would focus on meeting 5 benchmarks. All Sweetwater students meeting these benchmarks would be guaranteed admission to SDSU.

Compact Benchmarks:
  • Continuous enrollment in Sweetwater Union High School Disctrict schools from 7th to 12th grade (as of October 2011).
  • Attain a CSU GPA of 3.0 or higher by time of application and maintain this GPA through senior year
  • Completed all CSU A–G course requirements with a grade of C or higher:
  • A – 2 years of US History, Government/World History
  • B – 4 years of English (ELD 7-8 may apply)
  • C – 3 years, (4 recommended) – Algebra, Formal Geometry, Intermediate Algebra, Math Analysis, Calculus
  • D – 2 years, (3 recommended) – Biology, Chemistry, Physics
  • E – 2 years, (3 recommended) – Foreign Language (same language)
  • F – 1 year of Visual and Performing Arts
  • G – 1 year College Prep Elective or additional year of any of the above (e.g., 4th year of math)
  • Satisfy the ELM (Entry Level Math Placement Test) and the EPT (Entry Level English Placement Test)
  • Take  SAT and ACT exams

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Scholarship Opportunity for Female SUHi Students!

National City for Women Information Technology (NCWIT)

NCWIT seeks high-school-level young women to apply for the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing! The NCWIT Award forAspirations in Computing honors young women active and interested in computing and encourages them to pursue their passion for technology. 

Winners get cool prizes, gadgets, and scholarships, and can join a community of like-minded technical women. National award-winners are selected from across the country and Affiliate Award competitions are available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.  

All girls at all computing levels are encouraged to apply-we'd like to recognize aspirations, not just accomplishments!

National award-winners receive:
·      $500 in cash
·      A laptop computer
·      An engraved award (for both the student and her school)
·      An expenses-paid trip to the national Award ceremony (for the student and her parent/guardian) on March 10, 2012 (I'm sure they mean 2013)

Application Deadline: November 18, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Scholarship Updates!

Greetings from the Counseling Center,

The other day I asked a senior what I could do to encourage you all to apply for scholarships more aggressively than you have been. The senior shared that she felt overwhelmed and was extremely busy. I appreciated her honesty.

While I understand the enormous workload some of you are managing, I still say apply to as many scholarships as possible. Trust me on this.

As you may have noticed, the November Scholarship bulletin has been posted. Check out the following scholarships and visit regularly as I input throughout the month.

Scholarship Name: Holiday Bowl Scholarship
Deadline: Postmarked by November 2, 2012
Eligibility: High school seniors from San Diego County who have excelled academically as well as within his/her community
(school and outside). Citizenship and leadership in extracurricular activities are particularly important. Applicant must have a
GPA of 2.5 or better.
Amount: $10,000

Scholarship Name: The 2013 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
Deadline: November 6, 2012
Eligibility: Student who is actively involved in and has done community service.
Amount: $1,000 or more

Scholarship Name: “Make The U” (Haz La U) Scholarship Program
Application Period: September 1 – December 31st 2012
Eligibility: Hispanic US citizens or permanent residents with a minimum 3.0 GPA planning to enroll in a two or four year college
during 2012-2013 school year.
Amount: Grand prize of $15,000; ten additional grants of $2,500.

I want to applaud Shehara Seapno for writing a powerful scholarship essay! Concise, well-written, and visceral (great word to learn for college).

Please let me know how I can better support you in your pursuit of free money/scholarships! I'm open to your suggestions. 

-Mr. Smith, Scholarship Counselor

Friday, October 19, 2012

Point of Excellence

Many college and universities base their admissions more than just GPA and SAT/ACT scores. They look at each student as a whole: academics, extracurricular activities, awards, honors, and etc.

It is not a rare occurrence for college admissions representatives to come across students who have earned perfect grades, stellar SAT/ACT scores, exemplary leadership skills, hundreds of hours of community service,and a list of awards and honors that can go on forever.

Stanford University, in their visit with San Diego county counselors yesterday, shared with us the POINT OF EXCELLENCE. The point of excellence a unique, extraordinary characteristic an individual student might possess which would make them stand out above all the other outstanding student hoping for admissions to prestigious universities like Stanford.

A student with excellent academic credentials yet possess a passion in life, an obstacle overcome, and/or unique life experiences that makes them rise above other students is the point of excellence.

Students, you might be asking yourself, "I don't have a point of excellence". Our answer to you is "Yes you do!". All students have a story to tell. You might not realize it but you do have a point of excellence. If is our job to help you find it!

If you are a senior starting to take on your college applications and need help in finding your "point of excellence", see your counselor1 We are were to help!

Upcoming College Presentations

Come check out these lunchtime admissions presentations in the Counseling Center!
Sign up with Ms. Vallejo to be released from class a little early!

Monday, October 22nd - San Diego State University

Tuesday October 23rd – CETYS Universidad (Mexico)

Thursday October 25th – Xochicalco Universidad (Mexico)

Friday October 26th – University of Hawaii Maui College (Hawaii)

Tuesday, October 30th - University of California, San Diego

Past Presentations:

Monday October 15th – La Sierra University  (Riverside)

Tuesday October 16th – Brown University (Rhode Island)

Path to College

It's a busy time for seniors! 
Getting started on the college applications is just the first step! 
Check out this "Path to College" presentation given to our seniors this week!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cal-SOAP Presents College Fair 2012

Cal-SOAP Presents
College Fair 2012
San Diego and Imperial Counties
For High School Students and Parents

Over 100 Colleges Represented and 7 workshops Offered:

  • Secrets of Selective Colleges
  • CA Public Colleges
  • CA Community Colleges and Transfer Process
  • Private / Independent Colleges
  • Financing Your College Dream
  • Top 10 Future Careers in America
  • The College Athlete
We will have a bus leaving SUHI at 5:30pm and we will be returning to campus at 8:30pm. Space on the bus is limited.

Students are encouraged to invite their parents to attend this event with them. Any grade level is welcome. Permission slips can be picked up in the counseling center.

Families are welcome to attend the event on their own as well! 

Community Workshop!

Would you like free information about:
Financial aid, and
Scholarship resources.

Would you like to know how to:
Earn community service hours while learning more about the Puerto Rican Culture, and
Apply for the House of Puerto Rico (HPRSD) Casilda Pagan Scholarship?

Then stay after the House of Puerto Rico Meeting on:
 Saturday, November 6th from 6PM-7PM at the House of Puerto Rico in Balboa Park, San Diego.
 To find out more about the House of Puerto Rico, please go to If you have any questions about this workshop, please email us at houseofpuertorico@

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Brown University's visit

On, Tuesday October 16th,  Brown University (Rhode Island) came to SUHi! Our students were attentive when learning about this Ivy League School which is the seventh-oldest college in the United States. Students from SUHI have received full scholarships in the past! 

Brown is an independent, coeducational Ivy League institution comprising undergraduate and graduate programs, plus the Alpert Medical School and the School of Engineering. Brown is a leading research university.

Brown’s vibrant, diverse community consists of 6,000 undergraduates, 2,000 graduate students, 400 medical school students, more than 5,000 summer, visiting and online students, and nearly 700 faculty members. Brown students come from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Undergraduates pursue bachelor’s degrees in more than 70 concentrations, ranging from Egyptology to cognitive neuroscience. 

Good luck Class of 2013 in your applications to Brown U!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Last dates for SAT/ACT

Seniors! Time is running out!
If you haven't taken the SAT and/or ACT college entrance exam yet, you have a few more chances:

Test Date
Registration Deadline
(Late Fee Required)
December 8, 2012
November 2, 2012
November 3 – 16, 2012

SAT Date
Registration Deadline
Nov 3
Dec 1

If you need a fee wavier and you receive free or reduced lunch here at school, please see your counselor!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

LSSSC Talent Search Program

Planning on going to College? 

Then Talent Search is for YOU!

LSSSC Talent Search is a Federal TRIO Program 

designed to outreach and 
provide student service programs for individuals 
from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Our goal is to increase the number of youth 
who complete high school and 
enroll in and complete their 
postsecondary education.

Talent Search is FREE!!! (All you have to do is apply!)

FREE Services provided include:
Academic Counseling
Tutoring Referrals
After School Workshops
Community Service Opportunities
Support completeing college applications
Support completing Financial Aid Applications
And so much more!
To Qualify:
You must attend Sweetwater High School
Be either a future First Generation College Students
Recieve free or reduced lunch
Be a US citizen or permanent resident
Plan to attend a college of university
Ready to apply, have any questions 
or are not sure if you qualify?

Come to the counseling center and 
ee Ms. Vallejo TODAY!

Its College Application Time!

Applying to college can sometimes be a daunting task. The applications, college entrance exams, essays, letters of recommendations, placement exams, and extra-curricular involvement can be overwhelming at times- which is why we created this website. 

Remember that your most important resource is your school counselor- please make sure to speak with your counselor to obtain further assistance. All A-G eligible seniors will be called out of class the end of October and beginning of November to work on their UC and CSU applications. If you need help before then, please stop by the counseling center!

Here are some resources to get your started:

    • For admissions applications, click on "Admissions", then "Go directly to the application", then "apply online"
    • Go to the "apply online" tab and click "undergraduate applications"

Graduation Requirements are changing!

From now until the Class of 2015,  the SUHSD graduation requirements are :
Class of 2016 and beyond, graduation requirements:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Scholarship Bulletin for September/October 2012

Scholarship Bulletin

September/October  2012

The pain of applying for scholarships will never exceed the pain of paying for student loans.
Scholarship applications are located in the Counseling Center or online at Scholarships are sorted by the month they are due, and are displayed on the scholarship bulletin located in the Counseling Center. See the Scholarship Counselor if you have questions or need help with an application. Give yourself plenty of time to complete the application process. Make your best effort to not wait until the last minute to get letters of recommendation, transcripts, and essays together. Transcripts must be requested two days in advance. Find more scholarships by researching the scholarship search engines located after the list of scholarships on each bulletin.
Note: many scholarships will come through the Counseling Center as “last minute” status; my apologies for the time constraint
Note: Because scholarships come in at different times, they are not displayed according to “deadline date”. Be sure to carefully view all deadline dates.

Additional Resources $$$ Can Be Found on The Following Sites: (Asian – aid and resources for re-entry students – federal scholarships aid gateways and 25 scholarship gateways – will match your profile against thousands of available scholarships – part of the collegiate network and lists more than 500,000 awards – offers free scholarship searches - offers a database with over 2,300 sources of funding (Native American) – another free online scholarship search engine (Gates Millennium Scholars)* – has over 600,000 scholarships with over 8,000 funding sources – maintains database of scholarships for Hispanic students (Hispanic) – offers free scholarship search, student loans and loan counseling – free online search engine of thousands of scholarships available – another free scholarship search engine – another substantial (African American)

 Scholarship Scams

Community Service

SUHSD requires that a minimum of 30 hours of non-paid
community service to be performed by students as part of their graduation requirements.

Here are some resources:
Community Service Guide Booklet
Community Service Verification Form

Community Service Opportunities

SUHSD College Fair tomorrow!

Permission slips for the bus are available in the
Sweetwater Counseling Center with Ms. Vallejo.
Parents are welcome to ride the bus!


College Fair
October 11, 2012
5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
MVHS – New Gym
505 Elm Avenue
Imperial Beach, CA  91932

Contact:  Nancy Castro Nieto
(619) 585-6045

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Careers and Majors

What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up?

Remember that question in elementary school?  That was the time when you had the power to "waive your magic wand" and say you were going to become a doctor, police officer, lawyer, teacher, superhero, or any other person you looked up to?  This was the time when your aspirations developed- when you longed to be someone big, meaningful- you know- "somebody".  What happened to those times?  Who do you aspire to be- what do you aspire to be now?  How will you get to that goal?

Setting Goals is an important part of life.  It is very challenging getting through the day when you don't have something to look forward to.  You could have short-term goals, long-term goals, or both.  Going one day without getting upset with your brother or sister could be a great short-term goal.  Working hard to become a business owner in National City would be a great long-term goal.  Whatever type of goal you choose, commit to it.  Make that goal be what drives you to be the best you can be- the best brother, the best student, the best friend, the best daughter, the best athlete, the best ASB worker.  Below are some hints to help you be the best you can be, as taken from

1. Define the goal.*
2. Outline the steps needed to achieve it.
3. Consider possible blocks and ways of dealing with them.
4. Set deadlines.
*Not every wish can be a goal. For instance, you may wish you could live and stay young forever, but since there's nothing you can do to make that happen, it could never be considered a goal.

In order for something to be a goal:
- It has to be important to you, personally.
- It has to be within your power to make it happen through your own actions.
- It has to be something you have a reasonable chance of achieving.
- It must be clearly defined and have a specific plan of action.

infomation taken from