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High School Transition


As you wrap up your three years of middle school, the next chapter of life to unfold is high school. While we know middle school is the three most important years of life for students through the difficulties of transitioning into adolescence - high school is very important because it is the bridge to adulthood. The decisions you make from Day 1 of high school can impact your eligibility for college admissions, NCAA Athletic compliance, and your high school transcript (aka: "Permanent Record").

It is essential that students (and parents) have a solid understanding of the types of courses students are enrolling in, whether those classes count towards high school graduation credit, whether they count for a-g credit (do you know what a-g is???), and what are the benefits of Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) are for students in high school. Keep in mind that the "requirements" listed for most colleges & universities are minimum requirements. To actually be competitive, often times students will need to surpass GPA, SAT/ACT, course completion, and extra-curricular/leadership experiences.  There is also a new trend of some colleges and universities making certain admission tests like the ACT and SAT optional. 

The a - g Requirements may be the most important aspect for families to be aware of. The a-g is the minimum set of requirements for students to be eligible for competitive admission to the public colleges and universities of California (Cal State University system (CSU), and University of California system (UC). The a - g are a series of courses that students must take at a minimum, with a minimum GPA just to be eligible to apply. Different CSU & UC schools have varying levels of competition to get into their schools. Make sure you talk to a high school counselor about the types of leadership experiences and extra-curricular activities that colleges and universities look for in admissions. But do NOT just rely on your counselors, every student & family should actively be researching and discovering what options exist after high school, and what is needed to reach those options. 

If you are considering a private college/university, or trade school/vocational education, it is important to learn about the different options that exist and the opportunities for learning more. The College & Career Centers at each high school, along with high school counselors can help provide information for you. 

Below we have very important links. Most notably may be the the guaranteed admissions process for VUSD students to Cal State San Marcos. This is a process where by meeting minimum requirements as stated, students from VUSD will have admission to CSUSM in San Marcos. 

The Palomar Promise is also a great opportunity. The local community colleges (Palomar and Mira Costa) offer a wide-range of opportunities, and can be a real money-saver for students to complete their first 2 years of undergraduate study before transferring to a four-year school to complete his/her Bachelor degree. There are also many trades and vocational opportunities at the local community colleges, and both Palomar and Mira Costa are highly regarded as excellent community colleges. 

Our most important advice for high school is to be knowledgeable and to be involved. Learn as much as you can about what you need to do for your future. And get as involved as you can handle with your academics. The clubs, sports, teams, and Arts that you get involved with will often be where you find your future life-long friends.




VIDA Counseling Website with Information for your Future!