Unrecognized Prominence on Campus: DCAC

Yash Sharma, Section Editor

Being a socio-economically disadvantaged school, Gunderson High School doesn’t hold a great reputation for its academics or college readiness. According to GreatSchools.org, 57% of the students at Gunderson are from low income families. With these unfortunate circumstances, Destination College Advising Corps comes in hand by preparing and guiding students through the next phase of their lives: college. As DCAC will be providing workshops and seminars throughout the school year, it’s our jobs as students to utilize them as much as we can


DCAC Advisors Teresa Castro and Oscar Murguia Zepeda both grew up in underrepresented communities throughout San Jose, and they truly understand what low-income and first generation students go through during the college process. “I personally went to Andrew Hill, and the whole school only provided two counselors because of budget cuts and I would get most of my assistance from teachers,” Zepeda said. These qualified Berkeley graduates understand what Gunderson students need and are prepared to help students reach their full potential. After two years of service at DCAC, many college advisors pursue careers as school counselors, teachers, higher education administrators, social workers, educational policy makers and other social service positions. With the support of Castro and Oscar, Gunderson is prepared to change the reputation of their academics and college readiness.


With a graduating senior class size of 268, nearly 50 students used DCAC as a resource for college applications. Distance learning has been an impediment for staying focused and being motivated for academic success. However, with the help of DCAC, we can build a work cadence among students to assist those who truly need help, whether it be for college applications or preparations for the SAT. “Hopefully many students worked together for college applications because it could get very tough under this unprecedented time,” Castro said. As we work together, not only will we build friendships along the way, but we’ll inspire underclassmen to join helpful programs like DCAC and build values like camaraderie and teamwork. 


Most College Advising Programs can cost thousands of dollars. However DCAC is free. They believe all students have a right to attend college regardless of their financial status, race, gender, or beliefs. Many students have reached top colleges around the U.S with the help of DCAC, including 2020 graduate Jinhui Kim who got into UC Berkeley. Many students who lose motivation or confidence within themselves during the application process eventually rebuild it with the resources provided by DCAC, which include college campus visits, financial aid and scholarships, ACT/SAT registration and preparation, and college planning. 


As DCAC celebrates its 14th anniversary, we should hold gratitude towards the services they provide for over 47+ schools throughout California. According to the College Advising Corps (CAC), the national student-to-advisor ratio is 450:1, leaving many students with no more than 20 minutes a year with a college adviser. As the education system was always prompted towards the higher ends of society, DCAC is giving many students like us a chance to reach post-secondary goals. As Gunderson students, we tend to be welcoming to new people and supportive of accomplishments made around campus. These values have motivated the DCAC counselors to further support us and prepare us for our next steps in life. “One thing I’ve noticed about Gunderson students is that they’re welcoming and very supportive,” Oscar said. “I really wish they could come out more.”