Friday, October 30, 2015

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Have a safe and happy Halloween!
Why are pirates the coolest?!

They just Arrrrrrrrgh!

You are Invited: Mental Health Conference

The Sweetwater Union High School district is having a Mental Health Conference for the benefit of the community. Please accept our invitation to be part of this event.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Finding the University That’s the Right Fit For You

Originally posted on 

There are thousands of colleges and universities out there to choose from. You can become overwhelmed with the “needle in a haystack” feeling when trying to find the right college or university that fits you.

There are schools with over 30,000 students, and some with as few as several hundred. Some schools are located in the middle of very busy cities and some are found in the middle of the forest, surrounded by giant redwood trees. Co-ed or not, east coast or west coast – the choices are endless!

One of the tools I’ve found most helpful for my students is Big Future, which is a section of the College Board website where students can prepare and register for the SAT college entrance exam.

Step One: Explore Career Interests
If I ask you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” you might have a vision of what you would like to do as a career. Using your career interest, you can start your search by clicking “Careers” under the “Explore Careers” section.

On the website, there are comprehensive descriptions of hundreds of careers. For instance, a student who might be interested in Computer Programming as a career can find desired personal characteristics for that specific career, courses to take in high school to best prepare, as well as average compensation for the desired career. Once the career is explored, you can go into more detail on the education needed and discover college majors by clicking “related majors” on the right column.

Step Two: What is a College Major?
A college major is what you will study in college which will give you the focused study and knowledge needed for your future career.

On Big Future, my student who wants to be a Computer Programmer found that a related major for his career would be, “Computer Science”. The description for the college major goes into more detail on the college degree required for the career of interest. This page also lists helpful high school courses, typical college courses, and more.

On the college major page you can click on “Which colleges offer a major in…” on the right hand column to start your college and university search for that particular major.

Step Three: Narrow Down the Search
Working with my student who wants to major in Computer Science, we found 915 college and universities that offer a study in Computer Science across the United States on the website. This includes community colleges, 4-year universities, and for-profit schools. That was way too many schools to search through so we decided to use the search filters to narrow down our list.

Big Future allows you to narrow down the search options by test scores and selectivity. A student would use their SAT/ACT scores to narrow down the college list.

I would also use a student’s high school class ranking in order to gauge how selective a college or university might be in choosing them. Class ranking can be found on a student’s high school transcript. So, if a student is in the bottom 50% of his class, I would choose the “somewhat elective” and “less selective” schools in the college search.

These filters narrowed down our list of 915 schools to 448.

Other filters on Big Future for the college and university search include type of school, location, campus housing, school activities, and more.

Working with my student who wants to major in Computer Science, we narrowed down his list of colleges and universities to public or private 4-year universities which were less than 500 miles from home. These filters narrowed down our list of colleges and universities from 447 to 24 schools.

You can now click on each college and university to learn more about it. If you create an account on Big Future, you can save the college and university by clicking, “Add to My College List”. 

Having a list of potential colleges and universities, like one you can create on Big Future, is a great start to finding the school that’s right for you. Sharing your list with your school counselor and asking for their advice in tandem with your academic record is a great way to ensure your choices are a good fit for you.

Looking for a college or university can be overwhelming, but with the right tools and a positive mind-set, it’s a task that can be easily done!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Guiding Your Student to Success Parent Workshop Series

Thanks to our parents who attended our 2nd session of our Fall Parent Workshop series for 2015!

If you were not able to come, here is our powerpoint!

Please join us for our next parent workshop!
Click the image below for schedule!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project (APYLP) conference

APYLP offers leadership conferences for Asian Pacific youth in the state of California interested in developing their leadership potential and pursuing active community and public service.

Who Should Apply: Although any California junior or senior year high school student may apply, APYLP strongly encourages applications from Asian and Pacific Islander youth who have some leadership experience and especially from students who show leadership potential, but whose participation in programs such as APYLP may have been hindered in the past by economic, geographic, language, or other factors. The conference program is designed specifically for Asian and Pacific Islander youth to learn more about themselves, issues of importance to their communities, and how to empower their leadership potential through the political process, public service and community service. Participants in past conferences have been representative of the rich cultural, racial, multiracial, linguistic, and socio-economic diversity of Asian and Pacific Islander communities from urban, suburban and rural areas throughout California.

Friday, October 23, 2015

You Are Invited

The district is holding a Long Range Facility Master Plan meeting on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at National City Middle School.  

We are inviting staff, parents, and students in order for you to provide input on how monies should be spent on our facilities.  Principal Gavin and other staff will be there and we hope more of you may join them.  

Monday, October 19, 2015

Forgot Your Username or Password?

Did you forget your district created email account or password? 

Here is a support link where you can get your email and/or their password:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

National known lecturer/author - Southwestern College -- Thursday, October 22nd

Tim Wise, one of the most prominent anti-racist writers in the United States, will lecture at Southwestern College on Thursday, Oct. 22.

Named one of “25 Visionaries Who Are Changing The World” by Utne Reader, Wise will give his popular lecture “From Ferguson to the voting booth to the border – Combating racism in the post-Obama era” to students, staff and community members in the Southwestern College Gymnasium. The college is expecting up to 2,000 people to attend the lecture and book signing.

Wise has written seven books with the most recent, “Under the Affluence,” hitting the shelves within the past month. He has presented to more than 600 college campuses across the United States and has appeared on numerous television network and news shows.

Wise‘s lecture will take place at 6 p.m. on Oct. 22 in the Southwestern College Gymnasium. His books will be available for purchase, and Wise will sign books after the lecture at approximately 8 p.m.

The lecture is free, but pre-registration and a printed ticket are required to attend. To register:

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Princeton Prize in Race Relations

There is perhaps no greater challenge facing our country than increasing understanding and cooperation among people of different racial backgrounds. It is a challenge that every new generation encounters. 

We therefore believe that young people have a particularly important role to play, and hope, through the Princeton Prize, to recognize and encourage young people who have made or are making efforts to improve racial harmony.

The Princeton Prize in Race Relations consists of regionally awarded $1,000 cash awards as well as an annual symposium on race.

• Description of the program, important dates and contact information.
Locations We're In
• List of locations eligible to participate in the Princeton Prize award.
• Examples of noteworthy activities that have been recognized in the past.
Frequently Asked Questions
• Answers to questions about the Princeton Prize.

For more info, visit

October Scholarship Bulletin & Scholarship Tips

October Scholarship Builletin is now available

Tip 1: Give concrete examples.
If your answer to an essay question is abstract, support it with a concrete example that illustrates your point. The scholarship sponsor wants to see evidence that you satisfy their criteria, not just unsupported statements.

Tip 2: Apply only if you are eligible.
Read all the scholarship requirements and directions carefully, and make sure that you are eligible before you send in your application. Your application will not be considered if you are not qualified to apply.

Tip 3: Identify the sponsor's goals.
Try to understand the sponsor's motivation in offering the award. Do they want to promote interest in their field? Do they want to identify promising future researchers and business leaders? If you can identify their goals, you can direct your application toward satisfying those goals, increasing your chances of winning the award.

Tip 4: Complete the application in full and follow directions.
Many students fail to follow directions. You can give yourself a competitive advantage by reading the directions carefully.

Provide everything that is required. But do not supply things that are not requested. You will not impress and you might be disqualified.

Be sure to complete the entire application. If a question does not apply, note that on the application. Do not just leave it blank.

Tip 5: Neatness counts.
Make several photocopies of all the forms you receive. Use the copies as working drafts as you develop your application packet.

It is always best to type the application. If you must print, do so neatly and legibly.

Proofread the entire application carefully. Nothing is less impressive than an application with misspelled words or grammar errors. Ask a friend, teacher or parent to proofread it as well.

Tip 6: Write an accomplishments resume.
Compile a list of all your accomplishments. This will help you identify your strengths and prepare a better application.

Give a copy of the resume to the people who are writing letters of recommendation for you. They will be able to work some of the tidbits into their letters, making it seem like they know you better.

Tip 7: Watch all deadlines.
Impose a deadline for yourself that is at least two weeks before the stated deadline. Use this 'buffer time' to proofread your application before you send it off.

YOU are responsible for making sure all parts of the application arrive on time. This includes supporting materials, such as letters of recommendation and transcripts. So make sure everyone who is contributing to your application has ample lead-time.

If worse comes to worst, call the scholarship provider in advance and ask if it is possible to receive an extension. Do not just send the materials in late; many committees will refuse late applications. But do not rely on extensions - very few scholarship providers allow them at all.

Tip 8: Take steps to make sure your application gets where it needs to go.

Before sending the application, make a copy of the entire packet and keep it on file. If your application goes astray, you can always reproduce it quickly.

Make sure your name (and social security number, if applicable) appears on all pages of the application. Pieces of your application may get lost unless they are clearly identified.

Tip 9: Ask for help if you need it.
If you have problems with the application, do not hesitate to call the sponsor. But do not expect anyone to do the work for you. Completing the application is your job.

Tip 10: Remember - your scholarship application represents YOU!
Your ability to submit a neat, timely, complete application reflects on you. It is the face you present to the sponsoring organization. Take pride in yourself by submitting the best application you can.

See Ms. Arroyo, Scholarship Counselor, 
if you have any questions!


Have you checked out the portal yet? 

It provides important information about the community college programs offered in the San Diego and Imperial County region.

On the page, you will find a sortable list of community college programs by industry sector or preferred college. 

Already know which program you are looking for? The portal has a general search, as well.

Check out for more info!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

After-school College Application Workshops

Starting October 12, counselors will be available after-school Monday through Wednesday from 2:45PM to 3:45PM to help with college applications!

Celebrate Filipino American History Month!

In celebration of the inaugural Larry Itliong Day and in honor of his life and legacy, the County of San Diego Filipino-American Employees’ Association (CSDFEA) is proud to present the inaugural CSDFEA Larry Itliong Essay Contest. 

"A bill requiring California to annually observe “Larry Itliong Day” unanimously passed the State Assembly on Thursday, April 9, 2015. Under AB 7, authored by Assembly Member Rob Bonta (Dem-Oakland) — the first Filipino-American elected to the state’s Assembly — October 25, Itliong’s birthday, will be the designated day to commemorate the Filipino American farm labor organizer."


1. Open to Filipino-American high school and undergraduate college students who are residents of San Diego County.
2. Essay must be no less than 300 words and no more than 500 words in length, type-written using size 12 font and double-spaced.
3. Only one entry per student, entry must be the work of only one student.
4. Essay entries must be original and not previously published. Essays found to be plagiarized will be automatically disqualified and student will be prohibited from entering any future CSDFEA competitions.
5. Essay entries must be submitted electronically along with application form.
6. Winner must be able to attend awarding ceremony on October 21, 2015.

For more info >>>

Online Webinars to Help with College Applications

To assist your students with the application process, University Outreach Services is hosting several CSU Mentor webinars through the months of October and November for both freshman and transfer students. 

The staff will walk students through the application page by page and address how to complete each section. Students can also use these webinars to get clarification on questions they have regarding the application. 

The webinars are free but students must register ahead of time. 

For a complete list of our webinars, please go to

Starting next week, counselors will be available after-school Monday through Thursday from 2:45PM to 3:30PM to help with college applications! 

After Hours Program Calendar for the Month of October

for the After-Hours Program Calendar for October

Seattle University Scholarship Covers Tuition, Room and Board

The Sullivan Leadership Award exemplifies Seattle University's holistic definition of academic excellence, one that transcends classroom performance and seeks students with diverse leadership styles and personal backgrounds.   

This full scholarship covers tuition, room and board for each of four years of undergraduate study at Seattle University and is awarded to nine incoming freshmen each year.

For more info, go to