SCU Engineering Education Days

Application Deadline: Feb. 4
Santa Clara University’s FREE Spring Engineering Education Days (SEED) program for sophomores and juniors is in April.  Over the course of 4 Saturdays, students take classes spanning several engineering fields with a mix of lecture and interactive lab work.  For more information about program dates, and application requirements, see:

How does your state compare internationally in math?

The GreatSchools Blog: How does your state compare internationally in math?

This study puts American achievement — at least in mathematics — in depressing perspective. It found that:

• Nationwide only 6% of our students perform at an advanced level in math, compared with 28% of Taiwanese students and more than 20% of students in Finland and Korea.

• Our highest-functioning state — Massachusetts — is comparable to Western European nations like Denmark and Germany.

• Low-performing states like Mississippi and New Mexico rank below recently war-torn Serbia with far poorer nations such as Chile and Thailand.

• California’s percentage of advanced math students hovers below 5% along with Portugal, Greece, and Turkey.

Report Shows Increases in Tuition and Federal Aid

Report Shows Increases in Tuition and Federal Aid

  • public four-year colleges and universities raised in-state tuition and fees an average of 8% during the 2010-2011 school year. However, students are receiving record increases in federal grant aid to compensate.
  • public four-year colleges and universities have increased at an average annual rate of 6% beyond inflation over the past 10 years, compared to 3% at public two-year colleges and 3% at private nonprofit four-year institutions.
  • largest increase in Pell Grant history led to $28.2 billion in grant aid for 7.7 million students during the 2009-2010 school year, which is an increase of almost $10 billion from the previous year.

Study Abroad Programs

Last Updated: 11/17/2010

Summer Study/Cultural Immersion Program
Tackle the SATs, gain real-life pre-college experience or spend the summer living like a true European local! Abbey Road Programs offers cultural immersion and pre college programs in Europe and North America. All classes and activities are interactive and occur on-site; you get to experience what you are learning about as you learn it! Visit the Abbey Road website at for more information.

Summer Study Abroad & Volunteer Program

Checkout Learning Programs International to find out more about study abroad and volunteer opportunities this summer in Spain, France, Costa Rica, Mexico, England and Italy. Let this life-changing experience can help you prepare for college, experience a new culture, improve your foreign language skills, meet new people and earn college credit.  Info:  Sandra Cernobori

Stanford University’s Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY)

PGY Presentation for Gifted Student Families

Wed. Nov. 17, 2010, 6:30-8:30pm, School of Education Auditorium, 485 Lasuen Mall, Stanford University

Experts from Stanford University’s Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY) will answer questions, share resources and information, and provide guidance about issues and opportunities in gifted education. Info, flyer and map:, flyer:

California State University puts price on education – San Jose Mercury News

California State University puts price on education – San Jose Mercury News

  • midcareer median salary of an SJSU graduate is $92,900 — 21 times the current $4,440 investment for annual tuition
  • Starting salaries for SJSU grads, heavy on Silicon Valley engineers, are the second highest of all Cal State alums and higher than graduates of some UCs and many pricey private schools. Only Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ranks higher among the Cal State schools
  • San Jose State, UC Berkeley and Stanford grads start out somewhat even in pay — but after two decades in the work force, Berkeley and Stanford grads were earning significantly more — $109,000 and $119,000, compared with $92,900 for SJSU grads
  • Within the next six months, 300 public universities will post salary information compiled by
  • The highest-earning college graduates in the U.S. come from Harvey Mudd College, surpassing Harvard, Princeton and Stanford. This fact is attributed to its heavy focus on math, science and engineering — as well as a strong alumni base in Southern California, where salaries are high.



What are honors courses?

What are honors courses?

First you need to check as to whether or not your school offers honors courses to freshmen. Some only allow students to take such courses from their sophomore year. Unlike AP courses, which are offered to juniors and seniors, honors courses vary in terms of curriculum and rigor of expectations. While AP (Advanced Placement) courses deliver a prescribed curriculum, honors courses in California are designed for the University of California system. Teachers who want to offer honors classes must submit the course outline to UC with a copy of the curriculum and examples of tests to be administered. Every high school has a list of their honors courses on file with UC. Successful completion of an honors course adds a point to a student’s grade point average. So in many ways, honors courses are specifically designed to enhance a student’s chances of admission to the University of California, which generally considers for admission only those within the top 12% of their class. In some schools, students need to take honors courses to qualify for AP classes. Such courses are stringent in their requirements and students need to be properly prepared. Honors classes can help student’s develop the strong writing skills necessary to succeed in AP classes.


Honors Courses

The CSU assigns extra points for up to eight semesters of approved honors level, AP or IB courses taken in the last three years of high school: A=5 points, B=4 points, C=3 points. No more than two approved honors level courses taken in the tenth grade may be given extra points. Extra points cannot be earned for honors, IB or Advanced Placement courses where the grade of D was received.

In order to be an “approved honors level course,” that high school course must be identified as honors level on your official high school “A-G” course list. You can find your school’s course list at


Use this search engine to find a California high school or program’s UC certified course list. For DVHS 2010-2011 Course List, click here.

Source: Palo Alto High School mailing list

Palo Alto Online : High school life: To whom it may concern

Palo Alto Online : High school life: To whom it may concern

Some ideas from a veteran teacher at Gunn High School, Palo Alto:

■ Start the school day later on Thursday so that kids can catch an extra hour of sleep;

■ Have the Adolescent Counseling staff visit classrooms to say “hi”;

■ Restrict the use of cell phones and other devices on campus during school hours;

■ Host a once-a-month, school-wide evening potluck so parents, teachers, students, administrators and counselors can mingle and hobnob;

■ Emphasize to new teachers, and enshrine in our culture, the immense worth of moment-to-moment affirmation of students (as expressed in Project Cornerstone’s “40 Ways Teachers Can Show Students That They Care”);

■ Unplug the round-the-clock, online feature that enables teachers to post, and students and parents to track, grades on tests, quizzes, homework and papers on a 24/7 basis;

■ Change summer-school curricula back from two semesters to only one (students’ GPAs and AP course loads — and most importantly, the kids themselves — will survive);

■ Require parents of a student registering for more than two AP classes to sign a form acknowledging that this course load may result in detrimental losses of sleep, time with friends and time with teachers and may lower their child’s resiliency, increase his or her anxiety and affect mental health;

■ Scuttle the “Titan Profiles” from morning televised announcements. These portraits of achievement are sometimes agreed to in order to please an adult but can also discourage our kids most affected by depression;

■ Move the counselors’ presentation on how to approach college applications from junior year back to senior year;

■ Add a technology that monitors students’ total nightly homework (with a function that gives teachers feedback on how long their assignments are actually taking) to the technology that tracks attendance and grades;

■ Institute policies that require special attention to homework loads in the immediate wake of any campus trauma (and require deferment of disturbing learning materials such as films or books that deal with genocide, war or torture);

■ Survey students to rate all teachers and coaches and administrators on how approachable they are (with the results communicated to the educators only upon request, in complete confidentiality, and with follow-up support and guidance or coaching made available);

■ Fairly and consistently enforce, and clearly communicate, rules against academic dishonesty so that our kids’ anxieties about whether the academic playing-field is level are allayed;

■ Keep teachers’ full-time loads at five classes rather than, as was proposed this past year, adding a sixth, once-a-week class period in which faculty are expected to bond with 20 more students and facilitate group discussions of personal issues;

■ Commit to the smallest reasonable class sizes so that teachers’ energies are husbanded and every student has a maximum chance to be heard, recognized and valued.

The Problem with Financial Aid – “need blind” or “need sensitive”

The Problem with Financial Aid by Daniel Luzer | Washington Monthly

But a college can’t keep offering more and more generous financial aid if the institution lacks the cash to keep up with its own higher pricing. And that’s the problem many of them have; their investments simply aren’t paying out the way they used to.

So many colleges are compromising. They used to be need blind and promise to meet need. But now Colorado College is “need sensitive,” which means the school considers if the student can pay when making its admissions decision. At Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University the school tells students who can’t afford the university not to come, or to come later.

The State in Arizona State – Privatize Part of a Public University

The State in Arizona State by Daniel Luzer | Washington Monthly

ASU is not the first public college to try this little dance. The law school at the University of Michigan and the law and business schools at the University of Virginia now receive no money from the state. In September UCLA proposed privatizing its business school.