The 2017-2018 school year will be the first for Bonsall High School with seniors, and many of those seniors will be attending college.
Some of those seniors will be playing athletics at National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) universities and will need to meet NCAA academic eligibility requirements, some will be attending University of California branches and will need to meet the University of California standards, and any student who attends college without being granted a full scholarship will need the appropriate financial aid.
The Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) board voted 5-0 Aug. 9 to approve an independent contractor agreement with Karen Ricci for college and career counseling support during school year 2017-2018. Ricci will receive up to $12,000 for her work.
“As we head into our senior year, it makes sense to increase our level of services,” Bonsall High School principal Lee Fleming said.
Ricci has been a consultant for the Bonsall school district in the past.
“Karen’s actually done work for us in the last two years,” said Fleming. “She knows her stuff.”
In order for students taking nontraditional coursework to be eligible for NCAA activity, the instructor and student must have regular and ongoing academic-focused access to each other for the duration of the course, the student’s work must be available for evaluation and validation conducted by appropriate academic authorities, the courses must have a defined time period for completion, and the course must be acceptable for any student and placed on the high school transcript. Those criteria apply only for NCAA core-course requirements.
If a student-athlete does not meet the NCAA core course requirements, they cannot receive a scholarship or participate in an NCAA Division I or Division II program during their first year in college.
In March 2012, the NCAA denied initial eligibility to two seniors at Mountain Valley Academy, which is the Ramona Unified School District’s independent study school and Ramona’s equivalent of Oasis High School, on the grounds that the school’s coursework did not meet NCAA requirements. The Fallbrook and Bonsall Village News story Dec. 20, 2012, noted that Oasis, which is Fallbrook’s independent study school, had registered with the NCAA and cleared the school’s courses through the NCAA.
Ricci’s scope of work to ensure NCAA eligibility for Bonsall High School graduates includes the completion of an account setup for the NCAA and an upload of courses for approval covering all four high school years. The specific classes must be determined and presented for consideration to the NCAA in the NCAA’s specific format. Ricci will work with Fleming to complete the process, which is expected to occur by October.
The process to ensure that students who wish to attend a University of California branch meet the A-G requirements includes setting up proposed A-G approval through the University of California office of admissions. Ricci will collaborate with Fleming and complete the registration for the University of California management portal, so that current and upcoming Bonsall High School classes can be submitted for approval. The work is expected to be completed in September.
The scope of work also includes updates to the Naviance system to provide scholarship and transcript information for college applications. Course catalog and scholarship materials will be updated, and transcripts for all students will be added. The task has a November completion estimate.
An introduction to the Naviance system for Bonsall High School ninth-graders will be part of the task, which also includes career assessments or college planning for all students. Accounts for ninth-graders will be set up, and Ricci will provide a presentation on Naviance and how to navigate the system.
Tenth-graders will complete another career assessment, and Ricci will provide a presentation explaining the process. A career assessment and college information will be provided for eleventh-graders. The service for twelfth-graders is career assessment, college applications and financial aid applications. Those activities will occur during the fall semester.
Training for teachers and staff on the Naviance system in October and November will include presentations and demonstrations of the system’s abilities and the college application process. During September and October, Ricci will introduce parents to Naviance and its use, while also addressing college preparation and college funding strategies.
Ricci will meet with students and parents as needed between February and May to review college preparations and provide advice on applications. Monthly meetings between Ricci and Fleming are also part of the contract.
“She’s been invaluable, and we’re grateful to have continued support with her,” said Fleming.