Counseling » College and Career Readiness

College and Career Readiness


During the Middle School years, many students and their parents start to think about goals for the future. Many students also begin to think about which colleges and potential career paths spark their interest. Students and their families should keep in mind that there are a wide variety of options and paths that lead to a happy and successful adult life. Different paths work for different people. The information below is an overview for some of these paths, but in our constantly changing world, new paths to success are created all the time!


High School Graduation Requirements for the Pleasanton Unified School District

Certain courses are required of all students. Other courses, elective subjects, are of your own choosing. These requirements are outlined below. The graduation requirements to earn a high school diploma are as follows:

1.) Earn 230 credits (as outlined below),

2.) Successfully complete Algebra I (or equivalent)

3.) Pass a speech proficiency (given in English Classes)

4.) Successfully complete Service Learning Hours


English 40 credits
Mathematics 20 credits

  1. Life Science  10 credits
  2. Physical Science 10 credits

Social Studies  35 credits
Physical Education 20 credits
Visual and Performing Arts/World Language 10 credits
Health Education (9th grade) 5 credits
Electives 80 credits

Total: 230 credits required for graduation

Students earn credits in classes with grades of a D- or higher. Course Alternatives and additional options for receiving high school credits are outlined in the high school course handbooks and are updated each year.  Failing more than two (2) semester classes in four years may place a student at risk of not graduating.  If a student fails a course needed for graduation (as listed above), it must be made up.  Information on making up credits is also available in the high school student handbook.


 Important information about credits, course options, and paths to college are presented at annual parent nights each year at both high schools.  It is extremely valuable to attend these parent nights, so please make  time to attend them when your child gets into high school.


College information may be found on Amador Valley High School's website here:  College Information and Preparation.


Types of Colleges

1. Community College (also referred to as Junior Colleges or JC's) - Local Community College Campuses include:

  • Las Positas Community College (Livermore)
  • Chabot Community College (Hayward)
  • Ohlone Community College (Fremont)
  • Diablo Valley College (DVC) (Pleasant Hill)
  • De Anza Community College (Cupertino)

Community College programs offer excellent GE (general education) courses at a rate that is considerably less than courses taken at state, UC and/or private school. Students can complete two years of general education courses and then apply to the college of their choice. If accepted, they can complete the final two years of academic study, and receive their Bachelor's Degree from their final university. Community College is a great option for students who are unsure of a career path, major, or field of study, as well as for students who are not ready to leave home, students who want to save money, or students who do not get into their "dream" college and want to apply again later. As a Junior applicant, students often have a greater chance of being accepted to their "dream school" as previously accepted students may transfer or drop out of that particular school.

2. California State Universities (CSU's)

3. Universities of California (UC's)

4. Private Colleges

5. Out of State Colleges

6. Technical Schools


Getting into College

The SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) or ACT (American College Test) is required for all California State University applicants. One of these tests should be taken in April or May of the junior year by all college-bound students. A good investment for anyone concerned about raising his/her score is the Question and Answer Service described in your Registration Bulletin. Good SAT review guides and computer software are available at local book stores. Complete practice tests are available from the College Board.

Note: Some private colleges may average all of your SAT scores for admissions purposes. Therefore, you should become as familiar as possible with the test before you take it the first time.

All UC applicants are required to take either the ACT or SAT. The Registration Bulletin provides information on ordering complete practice tests for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests. Up to three SAT Subject Tests can be taken during one test administration. The University of California requires all testing to be completed by December of the senior year. UC recom- mends, but does not require, SAT Subject Tests. Information is available in the high school Career Centers. Registration is completed online for these tests. Register for the SAT at and for the ACT at 


Potential Student Athletes 

NCAA Eligibility: If you are an athlete considering participation in a sport in college, please check the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s website at each year for academic eligibility requirements. There are very strict rules regarding contact by colleges and you can become ineligible if you violate one of the rules. Review the website closely to make sure you understand and are aware of all the rules for recruitment.