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Terms Parents Should Know

Counselor: Each student is assigned a counselor; the counselor is the primary contact between the school and the parents and their student. The counselor works with the student, the parents, and the teachers to help each student succeed in school to the best of his ability. Academic counseling involves helping students choose and succeed in the courses leading to high school graduation and in line with their plans beyond high school. The counselor also helps students to develop interpersonal skills, to deal with crisis situations and with special circumstances that may affect progress.

Career: The profession/job that one may pursue as life’s work.

Post Secondary Education: Any education beyond high school, including college, trade or vocational school, apprenticeships, or education acquired in the military.

Higher Education: Education beyond high school; usually refers to college.

Community College System: A system of 106 two-year colleges funded by the State of California; these colleges offer both vocational education and an A. A. (Associate in Arts) and an A. S. (Associate in Science) degree. A student can also complete the freshman and sophomore years of a university education, and if certain requirements are met, he or she will be able to transfer as a junior to a four-year college.

The California State University System: A system of twenty-three four-year colleges funded by the State. A student must meet a set of requirements in order to enroll in one of these institutions right after high school. A student may also transfer to one of these institutions after successfully completing the freshman and sophomore years at a community college. Cal State Bakersfield, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Fresno State are examples of schools in this system.

The University of California System: A system of nine four-year universities funded by the State. A student must meet a set of requirements in order to enroll in one of these institutions right after high school. A student may also transfer to one of these institutions after successfully completing the freshman and sophomore years at a community college. These universities are located in San Diego, Irvine, Riverside, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Davis, and Berkeley.

Independent Colleges and Universities (also called private): These schools are not funded by the State and therefore tend to cost more; often, however, they offer a lot of financial aid. Examples in California include the University of Southern California, Stanford, Occidental, the Claremont Colleges, Redlands, Fresno Pacific, Loyola, and Mills. Outside of California, examples include Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Wellesley, Mt. Holyoke, Cornell, Georgetown, Duke, etc. Each has its own admission requirements.

Transcript: The record of a student’s courses and grades earned.

Registrar: The person responsible for maintaining a student’s transcript.

Courses Required for Entrance to College: Specific college preparatory (C. P.) courses that a student must pass with at least a C in order to be eligible for admission.

GATE Classes: Enrichment classes offered in the ninth and tenth grades; are more demanding than college prep classes.

Honors Classes: High school classes that are more demanding than C. P. classes.

Grade Point Average (G. P. A.): The average of grades earned: A=4points; B= 3 points; C=2 points; D= 1 point. For college entrance, in calculating the G.P.A. most colleges consider only college prep course grades earned in grades 10-12.

Eligibility Index: An index used by the University of California and the California State University systems which compares the SAT or ACT scores with the high school GPA. The indexes are different for each system.

PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test): A shortened version of the SAT; may be taken for practice by freshmen and/or sophomores; should be taken by any junior planning to go to a four-year college right after high school; is given only on one Tuesday and one Saturday in October; has a fee of approximately $10.00.

SAT I (Scholastic Aptitude Test I): A nation-wide test required by four-year colleges; A nation-wide test required by four-year colleges; evaluates a student’s ability to reason; should be taken in the spring of the junior year and possibly again early in the fall of the senior year; is given seven times during the school year at several local sites; students must register to take the test approximately one month ahead of the test date; may register on the Internet, by phone, or on a paper application (available at the high school); For 2000-2001, the cost is $24.00.

ACT (American College Test): A test which can be taken instead of (or in addition to) the SAT I. Colleges will accept the results of either the SAT I or the ACT, whichever scores are higher. It measures skills in English, math, reading, and science reasoning. Cost in 2000-2001 is $23.00.

SAT II: A series of tests evaluating a student’s knowledge and skills in specific subject areas and the ability to apply that knowledge; three tests are required by the University of California as well as by many private colleges/universities; one test must be in math and another in English; the student chooses the subject for the third test. Basic fee is $13.00; there is also a fee for each subject area tested; ranges from $6.00 to $11.00.