2023 BSD Virtual College Conference

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 6 p.m.

Students and families from all BSD high schools are welcome to join!

The BSD Virtual College Conference is highly recommended for juniors and their families but is a great opportunity for ALL high school families to learn from professionals and knowledgeable BSD staff about applying for college.


2023 Bellevue School District College Conference | Wednesday February 8, 2023 | Pre-Conference: Tuesday February 7, 2023

Pre-Conference Event – College Application Process 101

Tuesday February 7, 2023, 6:30 p.m.

Students, parents and guardians are encouraged to attend in person or join virtually. Recordings will be available after the event.

View On YouTube – EnglishView On YouTube – Spanish

College Application 101 Workshop

  • How to Prepare for College Admissions
  • Researching Colleges and Finding Your Fit!
  • Washington Guaranteed Admissions Program (GAP)
  • Using Naviance for the College Application Process
  • College Application Timelines
  • Tips for Families

Virtual College Conference Schedule

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

  • Welcome and Keynote Speech: 6:00 – 6:30 p.m.

    • Welcome by Dr. Art Jarvis, Interim Superintendent, Bellevue School District
    • Keynote Speaker: Andrew Brewick, Director of Admissions, Washington State University
View Welcome and Keynote Speech (YouTube)
  • For an optimal technology experience, parents are encouraged to join sessions using their student’s BSD account.
  • Sessions marked with an Sp will have Spanish translation.
  • Keynote speaker sessions marked with an ** are available with closed captions in the following languages: Español, 简体中文 (Simplified Chinese), 傳統漢 (Traditional Chinese), हिंदी (Hindi), 한국어 (Korean) and Việt (Vietnamese).
  • All sessions will be recorded and posted on this page.

Panel Sessions

Public Universities in the State of Washington: Trends and Opportunities Sp

All Sessions

Public universities in Washington are a popular choice for BSD students. In this session you will learn about admissions practices, profiles of the average first-year student on campus for the current year and the unique characteristics of each institution.

Moderator: Alicia Williams, Counselor, Sammamish HS, Bellevue School District
Sam Dillon, Admissions Counselor, Washington State University
Jacob Jones-Poulton, Admissions Counselor, Western Washington University
Amie Kennedy, Admissions Counselor, Central Washington University
Yvonne Chiu, Admissions Counselor, University of Washington Seattle
Garick Sherburn, Admissions Counselor, University of Washington Bothell


View on YouTube

Canadian Colleges:  Application Process and Opportunities in Canada

All Sessions

Universities in Canada offer a wide variety of programs. In this session you will learn about the application process, trends in admissions practices, new program offerings and unique characteristics of the colleges presenting.

Moderator: Tom Duenwald, Director, Instructional Technology, Bellevue School District
Meghan Thompson, Student Recruitment Officer, University of Victoria
Tally Kirschner, International Recruiter/Advisor, University of British Columbia
Kelly Dohei, Student Recruitment Liaison Coordinator, Simon Fraser University


View on YouTube 

Fine and Performing Arts Colleges/Universities

Sessions A & B

Learn about the diverse types of arts programs offered in the U.S. & Canada. Understand the process for admissions, portfolios, and auditions. Find out about the future outlook for careers in the arts.

Moderator:Heather Erickson, Counselor, Newport HS, Bellevue School District
Angela Scates, Outreach Specialist, New York Film Academy Sharon Starling, Director of Admissions, Cornish College of the Arts Dean Lastoria, New Students Advisor, Simon Fraser University School of the Contemporary Arts


View on YouTube

Admission Process at Private Colleges/Universities

Sessions A & B

Representatives from various selective colleges will provide an overview of how their admissions teams evaluate applications and will also take questions from students and families regarding the application review process.

Moderator: Mary Beth Smith, Counselor, Bellevue HS, Bellevue School District
Anna Aegerter, Admissions Counselor, University of Redlands Becky Stockton, Senior Admissions Counselor, Gonzaga University Andrea Frangi, Senior Associate Director of Undergraduate Recruitment, Seattle University


View on YouTube

4-year, 2-year, Transfer and Tech Programs

All Sessions

Starting your college career at a community or technical college can be a great plan. Our community and technical colleges offer strong programs, many 4-year degrees and transferring to a four-year university can be done smoothly. Learn about the new 4-year bachelor’s degrees now offered.

Moderator: Melinda Breeze, Counselor, Sammamish HS, Bellevue School District
Ricky Bar, Program Specialist, Welcome Center, Bellevue College
Christopher Maund, Director of Admissions and Outreach Services, Seattle Central College
Will Smith, Outreach and Recruitment, Coordinator, Lake Washington Institute of Technology


View on YouTube

Eastside Youth Coalition – ‘Get Your College On’ University Of Washington Admissions Black Student Recruitment

Sessions A

Nelson Wynn, Admissions/Multicultural Outreach & Recruitment, Office of Minority Affairs, University of Washington.

Presenter: Nelson Wynn, Admissions/Multicultural Outreach & Recruitment, Office of Minority Affairs,  University of Washington


Eastside Youth Coalition – ‘Get Your College On’ BSD Black Alumni Panel

Sessions B & C

Sessions B & C  – A panel of Black Bellevue School District Alumni will share what they experienced attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs).

Moderator: Shomari Jones, Director of Equity and Strategic Engagement, Bellevue School District
Organizer: Michelle Williams-Clark, Executive Director, Eastside Youth Coalition
Edil Scego – Bellevue High School, Graduate, University of Washington, Junior
Jeremy Mumba – Interlake High School, Graduate, Eastern Washington University, Senior
Aisha Cora – Bellevue High School, Graduate, University of Washington, Junior
Rahsaan Corbin – Sammamish High School Graduate, Florida A&M University, Senior
Nkumbu Chisebuka – International High School, Washington State University, Graduate
Alyssa Watts- Williams – Sammamish High School, Florida A&M University, DePaul University, Graduate
Malik Milion – Interlake High School, Graduate, North Carolina State University, University of Washington, Junior


*NEW Session* College Opportunities for Students with Learning Differences

Sessions A & B

Presenters will share information about specific programs and admissions process, how to receive support and accommodations, as well as other services available for students with learning differences.

Moderator: Kerince Bowen, Director of Counseling, Bellevue School District 
Sara Gardner, Navigators Program, Bellevue College
Pilar Lopez, OLS Program, Bellevue College
Julie Pollard, Accessibility Services, Highline College
Xingyao Chen, ROAR Program, Assistive Living Advisor, Washington State University
Matthew Jeffries, Director, Campus Climate and Community Building, Washington State University


View on Teams

College Application Topics

Putting Yourself on Paper: Writing the College Essay

All Sessions

The college essay can be a critical part of the college application. Strategies to respond to essay prompts will be reviewed as well as ways to avoid mistakes and how to choose a topic that is appropriate for the essay. Recommended for 10th and 11th grade students.

Presenter: Jennifer Townsend, English Teacher, Bellevue High School


View on YouTube

College Entrance Exams:  SAT & ACT – Why? When? Which? How Do I Prepare?

All Sessions

Both the ACT and the SAT are still used in the college admissions process. You will learn about their differences, as well as which tests are required or recommended and strategies to prepare for these exams.

Presenter: Molly Metz, Owner, PrepNorthwest


View on YouTube

College Admissions for students with IEP’s and 504’s–Setting Students up for Success

Sessions B & C

If your student has a 504 Plan or an IEP, then this session is a must. You will learn what support is available in college, the documentation you will need to provide, examples of college services and programs, and how to prepare for college while in high school. Recommended for students in all grades who have special needs.

Presenter: Sally Sue McDonald, Special Education Coach, Bellevue School District


View on YouTube

Finding the Right Fit**

All Sessions

Strategies to find colleges that match a student’s profile and interests will be discussed. Defining student priorities and interests is an essential first step in finding colleges that “fit.”

Presenter: Kirsten Keller, Keller College Planning


View on YouTube

Military Options in College Education:  ROTC scholarships, Academy applications

Sessions B & C

Learn about scholarship opportunities for college via ROTC or one of the prestigious Service Academies. Earn your college degree and a commission as an officer in the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, or Coast Guard. The information session is for high school students grades 9-11, who want to learn more about this college scholarship opportunity. The five Federal Services Academies include: US Air Force Academy; US Military Academy (West Point): US Naval Academy; US Coast Guard Academy; US Merchant Marine Academy.

Presenter: Troy Niehaus, Advisor, Varsity Student Institute


View on YouTube

Sports Recruiting in a Covid World

Sessions B & C

The NCAA process for student athletic eligibility will be covered. Advanced planning is essential. The speaker will address the new transfer portal and the overall numbers of high school athletes playing college sports.

Presenter: Larry Judd, Advisor, Varsity Student Institute


View on YouTube

Career and Technical Education (CTE)- Connecting Students to Post-Secondary Options

Sessions A & B

Find out how BSD CTE career pathways lead to various post-secondary opportunities through coursework, college credit, and industry recognized certifications. Understand the various career pathways and what post-secondary opportunities are available directly from our programs. There is something for everyone! Trade school, community college, university, or apprenticeship programs, we have a route for you. Hear about our satellite and WANIC Skill Center programs, all available through Career and Technical Education.

Presenter: Marilyn Henselman, BSD Director of Career and Technical Education Programs


View on YouTube

Financial Aid

*NEW Session* Financial Aid- What it is, Myths and How to Get Started Sp

All Sessions

Financial aid matters! Nationally, seniors who complete a financial aid application are 84 percent more likely to enroll in postsecondary education. The rate is even higher for students from lower-income families (wsac.wa.gov). Information will be provided on the types of financial aid, debunk myths about who qualifies for financial aid and the cost of college, as well as what you can do now to be ready to apply for aid when the FAFSA opens on October 1.

Presenter: Sam Washington, Assistant Director, 12th Year Campaign, Washington Student Achievement Council


View on YouTube

Save Thousands on the Cost of College

All Sessions

Learn how colleges assess your eligibility for financial aid, the aid application process, the sources of aid (e.g., scholarships and grants) and how you figure out if you are eligible for need-based aid. Colleges are discounting their cost of attendance many times by more than $10,000 per year. Learn how you can realize these discounts (even if you are not eligible for need-based aid) and how you can create a comprehensive college funding plan to minimize your net cost of college. Recommended for parents/guardians.

Presenter: Peg Keough, Director of Education, College Aid Pro


View on YouTube


Contact your school counselor or send us an email.

Materials and videos from the 2022 Virtual College Conference can be found at www.bsd405.org/cc2022

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.