College Advising Program with LAUSD

Guide Students to College

young woman in discussion with her college counselor

The purpose of the College Advising Program (CAP) with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is to deepen the knowledge and skillset of counselors across the school district to support their college advisement services. High school and middle school counselors will take the same set of three academic courses (worth 4.5 credits each) and one practicum course (worth 6 credits). Priority course topics to be incorporated in this program meet new state standards for the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) performance expectations. 

Course topics include:

  • Transcript analysis
  • Understanding of PSAT, ACT, AP, SAT, IB, including implications for admissions, accommodations, and resources
  • Creating a college‐going culture among students
  • College Promise and community colleges
  • Dual and concurrent enrollment and the transfer process – community college to university
  • Understanding of Military, ASVAB, Job Corps
  • Working with unhoused youth and foster youth populations
  • California and federal financial aid
  • Post‐secondary leadership teams (PLT) involvement
  • Workshops to support parents in the college process

UCLA Extension Instructors

All UCLA Extension course instructors go through a rigorous selection process and once hired, receive extensive training and regular evaluation to ensure high‐quality performance in their specific teaching environment. Instructors and course content are approved by the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies. Detailed course descriptions for the program are listed below.


This course explores the college admission process from both the student and counselor perspectives, with emphasis on student research, application, college selection, and counselor information dissemination and responsibility. The course offers educational information with an emphasis on the counselor's skill development while providing current theory and issues combined with strategic practice. 

Course Objectives:
  • Understand issues in today's college counseling landscape
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the college counselor's roles and responsibilities
  • Explain the systems of higher education of different colleges and universities
  • Learn how to assist students and families in developing a college list
  • Examine and navigate resources, programs, and tools available in the college transition process
  • Acquire advisement skills to help students complete college admissions applications 


This course focuses on individual groups of students with unique perspectives and needs in the admissions process, such as students with learning differences, athletes, first‐generation students, LGBTQ students, transfer students, etc. The specificity and changeability of the course content allow the program to keep information current and provide students with recent views and changing critical elements in the counseling profession.

Course Objectives:
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of counseling special populations
  • Evaluate sources of current information about working with these groups of students
  • Recognize the procedural, developmental, and emotional stages of the college transition process


This course prepares counselors for the complex and information-intensive subject of financial aid. School counselors must understand this critical component of the college admissions process. Topics include history of financial aid; types and sources of financial aid; how to apply for federal, state, and institutional aid; eligibility; how aid is determined; and scholarship search services.

Course Objectives:
  • Explore advising issues related to financial aid
  • Understand the range of financial aid options available
  • Identify the impact of cost on college selection
  • Develop scholarship search strategies
  • Understand the theories and principles of the financial aid system
  • Learn effective ways to complete the financial aid application process


This course applies theory and methodology in an actual counseling situation under professional supervision. Participants complete 65 hours of supervised fieldwork in a local counseling venue, such as their middle or high school, and earn 50 hours of academic credit. Fieldwork must consist of individual counseling or meeting with students in a group setting. The online component of this course offers participants a chance to share practicum experiences with colleagues and for the instructor to review them.

Course Objectives:
  • Gain strategies for working with a wide range of students
  • Recognize the role of parents in the college admission process
  • How to assist students in finding financial aid and scholarships
  • Use counseling techniques to identify student interests


  • Grades will be based on the evaluation of directed teaching competencies to be reviewed in class and by the quality of completed course assignments as defined in this syllabus.
  • Students are expected to participate in class and complete work by the assigned due dates located in the course syllabus. Failure to participate in a timely manner or turn in work by the due dates will result in being dropped from the course and from the program. In the event of an emergency that requires you to be offline or absent from the class for more than 48 hours, please contact the instructor in advance to discuss an extension. 
  • Personal time management is a critical teaching competency, and your participation will bear strongly on our evaluation of your professionalism. Each quarter is 10 weeks long. You can expect to participate between 3-6 hours each week, which includes participating in the discussion questions, doing the course readings, and turning in weekly assignments.
  • Weekly, hour-long Zoom office hours will be held by the instructor. Students are required to attend a minimum of five separate Zoom office hours per quarter. The expectation is to attend the entire hour of the weekly office hour session. The schedule of these weekly meetings is located in the course syllabus.
  • Students are expected to be prepared for class. Operationally defined, preparation includes having required reading assignments read, and written work completed when due so that you can discuss, relate, and apply the information If you have questions that arise during your preparation, contact a faculty member.
  • Due dates for all assignments are final unless prior arrangements (at least one week in advance of the due date) have been made.
  • No work will be accepted after the course ends. Please plan accordingly.
  • All formal written work must be word processed and carefully edited.
  • Throughout the College Advisement Certificate program, all work activity (assignment completion, discussion prompt responses, interactions with instructors, etc.) will take place online via Canvas. UCLA Extension course instructors will be participants' first point of contact for matters relating to assignments, grading, feedback, and any questions relating to maintaining satisfactory progress.
  • Students are subject to disciplinary action for several types of misconduct or attempted misconduct, including but not limited to academic dishonesty, such as cheating, multiple submission, plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the University; or behavioral misconduct, such as theft or misuse of the intellectual property of others, harassment, or disruption of the learning environment. For more information, please visit the UCLA Extension Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities.

How to Apply

Counselors will enroll with their LAUSD A-G district office.

For enrollment information, please contact Micaela Vazquez-Hahn via email: 

For questions related to the courses and content please contact UCLA Extension at


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