Do counselors push “Valley Bound” too hard?

Adriana Flores, Reporter

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“How am I gonna go somewhere in life,” Colton senior Chantz Horton rhetorically sighs, “when my counselor only pushes Valley Bound?”

Horton noticed that this was going to be a problem he would  face his junior year, “when I had to start deciding for my career, my counselor was pushing me for their programs,” he said, “even the other day at my parent meeting the counselor didn’t recommend various schools of my field…just Valley Bound.”

Valley Bound, for those of you who don’t know, is a program designed to get more students attending college, specifically, San Bernardino Valley College, the local Community College for Colton students.

For senior Abigail Humphrey, Valley Bound is not in her mindset. “Valley Bound does not benefit me,” she explains, “because in high school I completed all the requirements for a four year college so counselors should push me to go to an university instead of trying to get me to go to a community.”

Class of 2015 alumni Raena Flores had the grades to go to a four year but, her counselor encouraged her to go to Valley College. She asks with a look of irritation, “If I were good enough to go to a four year, why was the counselor telling me to go and apply to Valley Bound?” Without intention her counselor was the one that made her think she wasn’t good enough for an university, “even when i knew i had the grades, requirements, and GPA to attend,” so of course she turned to Valley College.(which she is still attending).

English teacher Elizabeth Garza and College & Career Readiness advisor Terry Garcia both commented on college readiness. Garza says, “In my class I kinda just say any college that helps them get closer to accomplishing their goals because it has a lot to offer.”

But sadly Garcia doesn’t know enough about the Valley Bound program. “I really need to look into that because I do notice that in the counselor’s office there is nothing but these posters announcing this thing…called Valley Bound,” he says. “Let’s face it, how are these young seniors supposed to have a chance in life when this school itself is saying, ‘Come on I’ll carry you throughout college also’?”  

Garza has a face of seriousness as she says, “I’m just trying to put all my thoughts away to focus on the importance of my seniors’ first step into adulthood. I like the idea of knowing that a college is out there for them; also it’s like a scholarship for a whole school year where applying to college is years of loans.”

It may seem to some that the Valley Bound program is all that is suggested to seniors, but according to counselors, that’s a false impression.

“The truth is we do not encourage Valley Bound more than universities,” according to counselor Kimberly Baylis. “We like to meet with the students once a year (whatever the grade level). and we ask them what are their plans for after they graduate–to see if they will be able to attend a four year college or a two year; we look at their GPA, grades, and the classes they’ve completed. They look for C’s or higher for an university, but if that requirement is not met then that’s when the student is introduced to a two year or to Valley Bound. It’s a wonderful opportunity, we want to do what is best for the student.”

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