Student Experience at College of San Mateo
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Final Examinations
December 11-17, 2022
Winter Recess
December 23 - January 2
Spring 2023 Classes Begin
January 17, 2023
Sexual Misconduct & Title IX
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Student Experience


Jasmine Flores
Jasmine Flores San Jose State University, Electrical Engineering As a little girl, CSM transfer student Jasmine Flores learned about science and math from her father. Their conversations sparked her curiosity. “I was intrigued to learn how math and science, and especially physics, apply to the world,” Jasmine says. Her growing interest in those subjects guided her decision to major in engineering and also led to a NASA internship. Jasmine is currently enrolled in San Jose State University’s (SJSU) highly competitive electrical engineering program.
Jennifer Menjivar
Jennifer Menjivar San Jose State University, Human Resources Management My first semester was a complete blur, as I was getting used to being around students of all ages, finding my way around campus, and jumping through hurdles to get financial support for my studies. A friend suggested that I check out Extended Opportunities Programs and Services (EOPS). I honestly feel that this program is what launched the start of a new passion! I remember meeting with my EOPS counselor and figuring out my educational plan. At the time, I had no goal other than to learn business. She explained to me that I should pursue an associate’s degree for transfer. I clearly remember saying transferring wasn’t for me but she said she would mark me down as a transfer student, in case I changed my mind. With that being said, my next two years were planned and all I had to do was register for classes and check them off my list.
Jennifer Vara
Jennifer Vara UC Santa Barbara, Psychology & Sociology As a student at San Mateo High School, Jennifer Vara put her summers to good use. She attended summer session at College of San Mateo through the College Connection - Concurrent Enrollment Program. Over the course of two summers, Jennifer completed classes in U.S. history, ethnic studies, psychology and yoga. In addition to receiving credit toward high school graduation, she earned 13 units of college credit and gained a big jump on her college education. “Attending CSM when I was still in high school was a good experience all the way around. I liked the classes, the professors and campus, and I completed several college requirements,” says Jennifer.
Dee Dee  Pickard
Dee Dee Pickard Stanford University, Social Psychology After earning a degree from the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, professional singer Dee Dee Pickard built a successful career in the music industry as a vocalist performing in corporate bands, doing studio work and sessions and teaching voice. When Dee Dee, a single mother, moved from Los Angeles to the Bay Area, she was ready for something different. “After a break of six years, I decided to go back to college. I researched schools in the Bay Area and when I visited CSM, I really liked the campus and more importantly, it felt like the right place for me.” After getting her daughter settled in a local school, Dee Dee enrolled at CSM and immersed herself in the role of college student.
Brad Martens
Brad Martens San Francisco State University, Radio and Television For Brad Martens, work is just another day at the park – AT& T Park, that is. Brad, a CSM alumnus, made a successful transition from production intern to full-time digital media coordinator with SFG Productions, the San Francisco Giants’ production company. Within a short time, he has accumulated some highly impressive hardware to go along with his success, namely, two Emmy Awards and two World Series rings!
Julianne Hough
Julianne Hough University of Kansas, Dance and Communication Studies Since the age of five when Julianne Hough slipped into her first pair of dance shoes, dance has been a consistent thread in her life. Throughout her elementary and high schools years, she studied dance at ODC - Oberlin Dance Collective in San Francisco. Later, her path led to CSM where she continued to cultivate her passion for dance.
Rupinder Grewal
Rupinder Grewal UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business Rupinder Singh Grewal, a graduate of Capuchino High School and native of India, says that attending CSM was the best experience of his life. At CSM, Rupinder found opportunities within his reach that would have been unattainable had he attended a university straight out of high school. When he arrived on CSM’s campus, Rupinder became involved in several student organizations that helped him grow personally and intellectually. He joined Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society and soon became a student leader in the organization. “PTK quipped me with the tools necessary to broaden my horizons, both academically and socially. Through my participation in PTK, I was continuously surrounded by passionate, thoughtful and goal-oriented people.”
Luis Carlos Alvarez
Luis Carlos Alvarez Stanford University, Astrophysics Luis Carlos attended CSM as a Middle College student in his junior year of high school because he needed more academic stimulation than regular high schools offered. By graduating, he became the first in his family to earn a high school diploma. He decided that his best course of action would be to continue to attend CSM as a college student with the goal of transferring.
Joshua Yeager
Joshua Yeager Claremont McKenna College, Economic Business Joshua Yeager decided to attend CSM right out of high school because the private schools he was accepted to were extremely expensive. Also, after researching those schools and learning more about himself, Joshua realized none of those institutions were the right fit. He says, “I was not comfortable with the amount of debt I would have when I graduated. As a business major, I knew this was not a good idea.”
Chris Seminoff
Chris Seminoff Simon Fraser University, BC, B.S., Physical Geography Chris Seminoff, a 2007 graduate of Aragon High School, says that choosing to attend CSM was an easy decision. “I wanted to continue to play football but I also wanted to get a good education. Living in the community, I knew that CSM had a strong athletic program and reputation as one of the best community colleges in the state for academics.”
Richael Young
Richael Young University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, B.S. I first set foot on the CSM campus as a 14-year old student in the concurrent enrollment program, a program that allowed me to fulfill my high school requirements while getting a head start in college, says Richael. "CSM quickly became a place for me not only to learn, but to grow. I took challenging courses with caring and dedicated professors, I found countless leadership opportunities which helped me build my confidence and develop a strong voice, and I became involved in campus activities to further enhance my education."
Michael  Cardona
Michael Cardona UC Berkeley, Rhetoric Michael Cardona, a graduate of Hillsdale High School, came to CSM to play football with the goal of continuing his athletic career at the university level. While he worked hard to be the best player he could be, he realized that it wasn’t enough. He changed direction and decided to focus on academics and becoming the best student he could be.
Mario  Rossetti
Mario Rossetti San Francisco State University, Psychology San Francisco State University (SFSU) psychology major Mario Rossetti says that CSM shaped him academically and contributed to his development as a well-rounded person in general. “The Mario that started at CSM and the Mario that graduated from CSM are two different people… I have CSM to thank for that!”
Kendrick Bernas
Kendrick Bernas San Francisco State University, Biology I took my first class at CSM via the concurrent enrollment program back as a high school student and I was instantly hooked! The collaborative and dynamic learning environment along with CSM’s supportive and qualified faculty is why I chose to attend CSM. And fundamentally, that has been the cornerstone of a truly fulfilling experience that came with the opportunity to learn and succeed. As CSM students, we’re fortunate to have so many articulation agreements set up with the University of California, California State University, and private universities to ensure we have a guaranteed pathway to excellent colleges and universities.
Emily Burns
Emily Burns UC Berkeley, Sociology CSM allowed me the flexibility to explore various courses that interested me. My broad interests all intertwined and led me to pursue sociology. My professors were inspiring and very supportive. Through the Transfer Club, I learned all about the application process and had the opportunity to visit university campuses including Berkeley and Davis. I appreciate that Mike Mitchell in Transfer Services was there to answer every application question and ease my worries, and my academic counselor, Kathy Sammut, cheered me on all along the way.
Winnie Wu
Winnie Wu UC Berkeley, Communications Attending CSM was one of the best choices I have ever made. As an international student from Taiwan, I was really excited and nervous about studying in the United States. As it turned out I didn’t have anything to be nervous about. At CSM I was able to pursue my dreams in a diverse educational environment. The college provided me a lot more opportunities than I ever expected and it prepared me for a higher level of education.
Courtney Oliver
Courtney Oliver San Diego State University, Business Administration I decided to attend CSM because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in, and financially CSM was a better option for me. CSM provided me with the resources that I needed to be successful. The staff made it easy for me to figure out what major I wanted to study and motivated me to do well so I could transfer to a school of my choice.
Victoria Anderson
Victoria Anderson UC Davis, Communications Victoria Anderson fulfilled her goal of attending a university after high school graduation. However, the path to college for the Notre Dame High School graduate wasn't as straight forward as planned. After a year at a State university campus, and despite doing well in her classes, Victoria realized that she wasn't ready to make that big step as a college freshman. She decided to return home and attend CSM for her sophomore year. In doing so, Victoria became one of a growing number of reverse transfer students – students who begin their college education at universities and transfer to community colleges.
Mario Ayala
Mario Ayala College of San Mateo, A.A., Broadcasting and Electronic Media CSM is educating the next generation of media makers and Mario Ayala is a perfect example of that college-to-career connection. When Mario arrived in U.S. from Mexico in 2002, he couldn't imagine that he would earn a college degree and that the degree would lead to a broadcasting career with a world-class media company. “My English was limited, I had a six-month old daughter and I didn’t have a job.”
Ahmad Albawayah
Ahmad Albawayah San Jose State University, Aviation After graduation from Hillsdale High School, I decided to attend CSM to finish my general education as soon as possible and at the lowest cost. With the support of the CSM staff and Transfer Services, I earned an associate degree in social science and was able to transfer to San Jose State University as a junior.

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