Photo of College Advisors

(from left to right: Stephanie Mendoza, Sandra Cernobori, & Crystal Laguna)

C&CC Reception desk: (650) 329-3818 -- Hours: M-F 8:05 am - 3:45 pm
Paly's school code is: 052-350

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Calendar

This dynamic calendar is updated as visits are scheduled, changed, and/or canceled.  Please check frequently-- but, note that Naviance has the most up-to-date listing of college visits.  Also, note some of the entries in the calendar are off campus info session or interview opportunities; click on the college name to expand and see partial details; full details are listed in Naviance. Students who list their favorite colleges in Naviance will receive emails as those visits are scheduled.

All on-campus visits are 45 minutes long and require students to obtain prior permission from their teacher, to miss class to attend. Students must present an Admit to Class form (available under "Students: Attend College Representative Visits at Paly" below) signed by their teacher to the visit, get it signed by the CCC during the visit, and return it to their teacher when they next have class.

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About the College and Career Center

The Paly C&CC is located on the first floor of the Tower Building, next to the Guidance Office and across the hallway from the Attendance Office, in the northwest corner of the building facing El Camino Real and Embarcadero Road.

Hours

The doors are open whenever school is in session, usually 8:05 AM - 3:30 PM.
Seniors (and juniors, in second semester) can schedule appointments with college and career advisors during the school day.  Student of any grade are welcome to drop by the CCC during brunch or lunch.

Front Desk

The front desk is staffed by parent volunteers who can help with all aspects of C&CC activities. Contact the reception desk by calling (650) 329-3818.

Staff

College advisors, career advisors and parent volunteers are in the C&CC to help students and parents. A staff member is always available to help answer questions and to help find information.

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C&CC Staff Bios

Ms. Andrea Bueno joined Paly’s College & Career Center in the fall of 2018. She meets individually with students to help them navigate the college selection, college application, and financial aid processes. Ms. Bueno received her bachelor’s degree from UCLA. While attending SFSU, she received her Pupil Personnel Services credential, Master’s in Education, and Master of Science in Counseling, with a focus on school and college counseling. Before joining Palo Alto High School’s staff, she worked as a guidance counselor in the South Bay, and had previously worked in San Francisco as a college advisor at Archbishop Riordan High School and at charter and public schools within SFUSD. She brings extensive experience from working in programs such as Cal-SOAP and TRiO. She also served as both a college advisor and educator at the University of San Francisco and as a counselor within SFSU’s College of Business. Ms. Bueno also taught Yearbook for four years, established and facilitated counseling groups and clubs, and has spearheaded and implemented Career Day programming for students in grades 6-12 at multiple schools within San Jose and San Francisco.

Ms. Sandra Cernobori joined the C&CC in April 2006 as College Advisor at Palo Alto High School. She meets individually with students with last names A - K, to discuss the college selection and application process.  In addition, she organizes parent information evenings, works closely with Teacher Advisors, and serves as the Chair of the Paly Community Scholarship Committee. A graduate of Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo, Ms. Cernobori has a background in education, having taught English for eight years at San Mateo High where she implemented a Peer Mediation program for students. During a hiatus from teaching, she worked as a software technical writer while pursuing her Master’s degree in Counselor Education, and her Pupil Personnel Services credential, from San Jose State.

Ms. Stephanie Mendoza joined the College and Career Center in Fall of 2016 as a College Advisor at Palo Alto High School. She supports the programs of the C&CC as well as meets individually with students with last names L - Z. Ms. Mendoza earned her Bachelors of Arts in Social Welfare and Minor in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. In addition, she received a specialized certificate in college counseling from UCSD.  Before joining the Palo Alto High School staff, Ms. Mendoza was the College Completion Coordinator at College Track, a non-profit organization in East Palo Alto that empowers students from underserved communities to graduate from college, while also working as a parent liaison in PAUSD.

Mrs. Crystal Laguna joined our Guidance Department in the Fall of 2012 as an Outreach Counselor and 9th grade Advisor. As of Fall of 2015, she collaborates more closely with the C&CC as a Community College & Career Advisor. Mrs. Laguna also provides extra support for our first-generation college-going students and Spanish-speaking parents. Mrs. Laguna received her B.A from UCLA and completed her Masters in Education, with an emphasis in Counseling, from SJSU.

Ms. Ann Deggelman is Co-coordinator of the Teacher Advisor Program (with Susan Shultz, Paly Guidance Counselor). She coordinates Paly’s portion of college application materials for students as well as supports the Teacher Advisors. Ms. Deggelman brings a unique perspective to the job: not only has she worked in Paly's attendance office and in other support roles at Paly, she is also product of the Palo Alto public school system as are her children; she has served on various committees at different levels-from Site Council to PTSA and more.

Ms. Karla Larson began working for the Palo Alto School District as a second-grade classroom aide at Nixon Elementary in 2006.  The following school year she started working at Paly in the attendance office and quickly immersed herself in the Paly spirit.  After acting as assistant coach for the JV softball team for six years, she hung up her cleats to spend more time with her family.  Karla is excited to join the C&CC as of the fall of 2015 as a Guidance Tech and Career Voc Ed Assistant; she is settling into her new position as an assistant to the college and career counselors, coordinating the notation of community service hours (and the Presidential Service Award program) as well as helping families with Naviance,

Ms. Krissy Ludemann is the high school Registrar for Palo Alto High School. She processes all student transcript requests.

The College and Career Center is staffed by approximately 40 parent volunteers who work in two-hour shifts during the school day. Volunteers provide support in all phases of C&CC activities. Dara Knoblock and Parissa Mohamadi are the Volunteer Co-coordinators. They provide administrative and technical support to both the C&CC and its parent volunteers. They can be contacted by leaving a message at the Volunteer desk, 329-3818.  More information about volunteering can be found by expanding the Volunteering link on this page.

 

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Meeting with College and Career Advisors

Students in any grade can drop by the College Center during brunch or lunch to chat with a College Advisor.

After attending C&CC orientation with their US History classes in January, juniors may schedule individual meetings with college and career advisors.

Since the months of April and May are very busy in the C&CC, it is advisable to make an appointment soon after orientation.

What can students expect from the first individual appointment with a college advisor?

Getting to know the student. The Post High School Planning Survey is important for the advisors to have in advance, to prepare for the meeting; it serves as a springboard for discussion.We will have a copy of the student's transcript and PSAT scores.

We will discuss course selection for senior year, college eligibility requirements, including testing plans, and discuss the student's out-of-classroom pursuits and college preferences to direct him/her to resources for researching potential schools. Meetings may lead to some concrete school suggestions and/or recommendations for further exploration.

We will never tell a student not to apply to any given school but will be honest about how to use tools to gather information to estimate the likelihood of admission based on some admissions data.

We often distribute handouts relevant to points of our discussion (but avoid redundancy with what was given at orientation). Each student and his/her advisor gets a copy of a Follow Up checklist, a summary and/or to-do list from our meeting.

 Students are encouraged to come in with an open mind to possible choices.

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Scheduling Appointments

In the fall, appointments are reserved for seniors; juniors have priority in the spring.

    Any student can drop in at brunch and lunch or any Advisory that's not for their grade-level to ask advisors questions.

    During the first meeting with a college advisor, it is preferable to meet with just the student (parents might want to attend subsequent meetings).

    Students can meet with College Advisors during their prep period, during Tutorial, or after school.   Students interested in community college (for career/vocational training, Associates degrees, or preparation for transfer) will meet with Mrs. Laguna.

    For the first appointment, students must complete the Post High School Planning Survey in Naviance, print it out, and bring it to the C&CC to schedule your meeting.   

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Reference materials and web resources

Books, catalogs, brochures and other materials are available.

The Viking College and Career Planning Guide is a great source of information. The guide is revised yearly in April.

Materials may be used in the C&CC or checked out for one week at a time.

Use web resources in the C&CC

Students and parents can use the C&CC computer (or any web-enabled computer) to access web sites such as Naviance for researching colleges, financial aid, testing organizations, internship and employment opportunities, career interest surveys, summer programs, and community service options.

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Students: Attend College Representative Visits at Paly

Throughout the fall over 225 college admissions representatives visit Paly.

The schedule of visiting college representatives is updated weekly; check Naviance, or the calendar on this webpage, for a list.

Prior to a visit, students must get written permission from their classroom teacher to attend college presentations at Paly.

Permission forms are available at the front desk in the C&CC or can be downloaded:

Admit to class from College and Career Center - 1-up (fillable PDF)
Admit to class from College and Career Center - 2-up (fillable PDF)

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Standardized test information
  • Forms for standardized tests are located inside the office door, near the front desk.

  • Standardized test registration materials and practice booklets in the C&CC include PSAT(link is external) (a National Merit Scholarship qualifying test), SATSAT subject tests, and ACT tests. Practice books for many of these tests, as well as  AP tests, are available for students to use in the C&CC or to check out for a week at a time.

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What if I don't want to go to a four year college after Paly?

The C&CC can help you explore options such as Community College, Gap Year, joining the military, or finding a career that does not require a college degree.

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Volunteering in the College and Career Center

The College and Career Center is located on the 1st floor of the Tower Building and is staffed by more than 40 parent volunteers (parents of current 10-12th grade students, only); they serve students and support our college and career advisors by performing administrative tasks and acting as the C&CC receptionist during a weekly 2 hour shift.

Opportunities to work as a substitute or on special projects might also be available. Parents who sign up and work as substitutes and/or who work on special projects, will have priority for open "regular" shifts the following school year. To keep things running smoothly and seamlessly from year to year, we rely on returning volunteers for their experience in helping the CCC run efficiently; returning "regular shift" volunteers have priority over all others.

Registration & Training - 2018 - 2019 school year

All returning parent volunteers are *required* to come to the Returning Volunteer Meeting on Tues. Aug. 14th at 8:30 AM in room TBD.

Parents of 10th, 11th and 12th graders who would like to become new volunteers, substitutes, or work on special projects should come to a New Volunteer Training Meeting on Tues., Aug. 14th at 10 AM in room TBD. We currently have 3 open shifts on Tuesdays and the following special project positions:

  • - Hospitality (1-2 positions): make ~ 225 treat boxes for college admission representatives visiting Paly Sept. – Nov.
     
  • - Career Programs Fair Chair: work with Crystal Laguna to plan our Career Programs fair in March; hosts ~ 20 private vocational programs and our local community colleges from the Bay Area. The Career Program Chair will help organize and reach out to private vocational programs that may be interested in participating in our fair and with the publicity for the event.
     
  • - Parent Liaison for Career Speakers Series: meet with Career Speakers student committee (dates TBD) and help organize two week Speaker Series that is help in the spring, late Feb/early March; coordinate work with staff leads Beth Martin and Karla Larson

Available shifts will be assigned on a lottery basis with priority given to 12th grade, 11th grade, and 10th grade parents. Attendance at the training is required in order to be eligible to volunteer in C &CC.

New/resuming shifts begin the week of August 14th. For more information, contact C&CC Volunteer Coordinators Dara Knoblock (daraknoblock@gmail.com) or Parissa Mohamadi (parissa_mohamadi@yahoo.com).

The C&CC holds an open house after each parent night in the Fall so there are other opportunities to get to know more about C&CC. There is also a wealth of information in Naviance.

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Fee Waivers for SAT, ACT, AP, & College Applications

Enrollment in the Free and Reduced-Meal Program qualifies students for fee waivers for:

  • SAT test registration (Reasoning and Subject tests)
  • ACT test registration
  • college applications
  • official test scores report orders
  • official transcript orders

Please see a College or Career Advisor to request a fee waiver for the items above.  For fee waivers for AP exams, please contact Assistant Principal John Christensen.

The school site doesn’t receive a list of students who qualify for the program so it’s important that you bring your Notification Letter of Approval of Free and Reduced-Price Meals to Outreach Counselor, Ms. Crystal Laguna (in Guidance). We ensure confidentiality in this matter; your privacy is important to us.