Live Oak High School has hosted a college fair the past seven years through their Advanced Independent Determination class (AVID) for middle school students in the sixth, seventh and eighth grade.

Live Oak High School has hosted a college fair the past seven years through their Advanced Independent Determination class (AVID) for middle school students in the sixth, seventh and eighth grade. David Anderson is the teacher for this very worthwhile class. The college fair has normally been offered to Live Oak Middle School students in years past, but this year the sixth, seventh and eighth graders from Manzanita Elementary School were invited to learn about colleges and universities and what they have to offer. It began with just one grade participating, then two and now three. AVID is now offered in the eighth grade class at Live Oak Middle School.


The AVID class not only helps students but it also changes their outlook on school. As long as they meet Algebra II requirements, the biggest stumbling block, they can go on to college, according to Mat Gulbrandsen, Principal at Live Oak High School.


Armed with information such as brochures and pamphlets, high school students were at different stations on Wednesday to answer questions and tell the middle school students what to expect when they take their SAT tests, how to look for housing, things these juniors and seniors have already had to deal with as they plan their college futures.


Gulbrandsen explained that when the college fair began eight years ago only seven students qualified to meet the AG requirements. Last year, the school had 37 qualify, which is approximately a 35 percent improvement.  Since the first college fair, the steady increase has been due to the AVID program.  With physics and AP English added, more classes are AG qualified.


Gulbrandsen states students grades are far better now. "We used to have credit review for students who didn't pass but now they have credit review if they didn't get a C grade. They can do better. This is very positive for the students," he stated.


"We post college acceptance letters on the Wall of Fame and this year it will be in the hallway to stress to everybody, especially freshmen, how important college is and how well our students do," Gulbrandsen stated.


The high school students researched 14 different colleges including:  Humboldt, Sacramento State, U.C. Davis, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, CSU: Chico, Long Beach, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco and private schools, Stanford, Saint Mary's and U.S.C.


Not only do the AVID high school students research the different colleges they want to attend, they also practice their public speaking as they address the groups of sixth, seventh and eighth graders.