College & Career Counseling

Letters of Recommendation Requests & Common App

Letters of Recommendation:

Most private university and scholarship applications will require that students submit secondary school reports and letter(s) of recommendation. Please Note: California public universities (Cal States and UCs) do not require or accept letters of recommendation.  DO NOT complete this packet if these are the only types of colleges to which you are applying

Refer to the table below for the El Toro staff member who will be responsible for writing your counselor letter of recommendation. Please note that your letter writer may not be your regular assigned counselor:

Counselor Last Name

Wendy Townsend
Echo Sualua

A - Fa   9/27  deadline
A-  Fa  10/31 deadline
Emily Nguyen Fe - K + AVID
Shanti Lunsford  L-Q 
Rebecca Clark R-Z

2019-2020 ETHS Letter of Recommendation Packet

Packet Due Date College/Scholarship Deadline
Friday, September 27, 2019 November or December
Thursday, October 31, 2019 January 1st & Beyond

Please keep in mind that recommenders will not be available to complete college evaluation paperwork or recommendations during Thanksgiving Break or Winter Break.

Late requests may result in a letter submitted to a college after the due date, and/or a generic letter, or no letter written at all (at the discretion of the letter writer, depending on their workload and/or timeframe provided).

The Common Application (Common App)

  • Over 800 colleges - one application! (Note: UC/CSU Campuses do not use this service.  For UC and CSU applications and information, refer to our UC/CSU Information link.)
  • Common App - Apply
  • Common App Toolkit - Helpful Videos

Need help with the Common App? Collegewise (in Partnership with Reach Higher) has created a great guide to help simplify the process: How to Make Your Common App a Lot Less Stressful

UC/CSU Information

California State University (CSU) System:


University of California (UC) System: 


Community Colleges

Students have several options around Orange County to consider for community colleges.  Most students attend Saddleback College, followed by Irvine Valley College, and then several others. 

Saddleback College Counselor Appointments!

We are excited to announce that Saddleback College has a counselor available on the ETHS campus to meet with any student in grades 9-12 regarding questions pertaining to community college.  Topics including concurrent enrollment, admissions process, and information on different educational goals (certificate, associate degree, transfer). Appointments are 30 minutes on Wednesdays, and parents/guardian may join their student.  Please sign up at Saddleback College Counselor Appointments to schedule your meeting.

Concurrent Enrollment:

Students currently enrolled in High School may be eligible to concurrently enroll at a community college. This program is designed to enhance, not replace, the regular school experience. The student may enroll in courses that help prepare for their future goals or help alleviate schedule conflicts.  Students can visit the specific community college for the permission form and instructions.  Student will also need to stop by their counselor's office to pick up and complete the SVUSD permission form in addition to the college's form. Both forms require a parent signature and must be submitted back to the counselor for signatures.  Please allow 24 hours for forms to be processed.

Community College Educational Goal Options:

OPTION 1: Certificate Program
A specific occupational program is selected and courses are completed from the list in the college catalog
for that skill area. Examples include automotive technology at Saddleback College, administration of justice
at Irvine Valley College, culinary arts at Orange Coast College, etc. General education courses are not
required; the focus is earning a certificate to prove proficiency in your occupational area. The certificate
programs range from 18-30 units.
OPTION 2: Associate Degree Program
The Associate Degree is granted upon completion of 60 college units, general education courses, a major and a minimum 2.0 grade point average. Each Community College has a list of required general education
courses for the AA and AS degrees.
OPTION 3: Transfer Program
Lower division university course requirements can be completed at a California Community College.
Students may then enter a four-year college as a junior to complete their bachelor’s degree. There are two
general education transfer patterns- CSU and IGETC – that students must meet, have 60 transferable units,
and maintain a required GPA, as well as meet prerequisite coursework for their major.
OPTION 4: Associate Degrees for Transfer
Senate Bill 1440 required California Community Colleges to develop associate degrees for Transfer (AA-T
or AS-T) in collaboration with CSU. Students are given guaranteed admission into a CSU upon granting of
an associate degree and meeting specified general education and major requirements. This is in place for
certain majors at each school campus.

Refer to Pages 16-17 of the High School Educational Planning Guide for more details

College Rep Visits

  • Ms. Noemi Gonzalez (Career Specialist) schedules all college rep visits

    • Current week’s visits are posted in the daily announcements & weekly Charger Connection

    • Information sessions takes place in the library/career center

2019-20 College Rep Visit Calendar

College & Career Research Tools

SVUSD High School Educational Planning Guide

SVUSD High School Educational Planning Guide English
SVUSD High School Educational Planning Guide Spanish

This resource provides a wealth of information including:

  • Graduation Requirements
  • Post-High School Options
    • Trade/Technical Schools
    • Community Colleges
    • 4-Year colleges (CSU, UC, Private, etc...)
    • Military Options
  • College Admission Testing
  • Ideas for Career Preparation

Family Guide to Making College a Reality

The College Board has provided our students with this great resource, covering very important topics. We hope you get a chance to take a look at this great resource with your student.

  • You Know Your Child Best
  • Talking About Careers Makes It Real
  • Yes, You Can Afford College
  • Six Ways to Help Your Child Be College Ready
  • Encourage Your Child to Reach High
  • What You Need to Know About College Admission Tests
  • A College for Your Child
  • What To Do When—Freshmen, Sophomore and Junior Year
What To Do When—Senior Year

Helpful Documents:

Parent Night Presentations