College and career guidance is one of the most important services that Capistrano Unified provides to students at its six comprehensive high schools. As stated in the California Department of Education’s "Results-Based School Counseling and Student Support Guidelines," (2007) Capistrano Unified believes that "The mission of school counseling and student support programs is to ensure a safe and supportive environment in which all students acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for academic, career, and personal/social development to become lifelong learners, creative thinkers, and responsible individuals."
A district-wide 6-12 Guidance Plan is structured to meet the needs of all students and direct them in course selection and career/college planning. In 9th grade all students are required to take a College and Career Planning course which assists them in mapping out a four-year plan based on their interests and personal goals. Components of this course include academic and technical skills, personal assessment, and high school/college/career planning.
Each comprehensive high school guidance office provides a series of parent education evenings to ensure that parents are well informed regarding high school graduation, high stakes testing, college admissions, financial aid, and career opportunities. Additionally, high school PTAs invite various speakers, including District officials, to speak on the aforementioned issues.
A wide variety of academic and career technical education programs at each comprehensive high school ensures that all students have an array of opportunities available to select paths that support their individual goals for the future. Further, students have unique opportunities to extend their learning beyond the confines of their campus at the College and Career Advantage (CCA), or via the Concurrent College Studies Program agreement with Saddleback College. Students may take one of their classes through either of these programs and, as seniors, they can petition to take at least two classes from either program while taking three classes at their home campus.