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Freestyle Academy of Communication Arts & Technology

1299 Bryant Ave, Mt. View, CA 94040 T 650-940-4680   F 650-961-1346
2 Required Classes: English and Digital Media 3rd/Elective Class:  + Animation or Design or Film

Preparing for College with Harriet Katz

Who is Harriet Katz?

Freestyle Academy is incredibly fortunate to have Harriet Katz as Volunteer College Career Counselor to guide our students in preparing for college in ANY major, not just Freestyle related majors. Both her son and daughter are graduates of Freestyle/MVHS. Ms. Katz is yet another reason why Freestyle is such a special place. We cannot express how grateful and appreciative we are for sharing her time, energy and passion with our students!


Harriet’s background is uniquely suited to help students pursuing the arts to reach their goals.

Harriet has over twenty years experience as an executive producer of animation, live action and special effects for national and international brands. She was involved in casting talent, hiring musicians and producing a variety of media. She has hired countless college students from a variety of programs and maintained close contacts with internship granting institutions.

With Harriet’s help, students identify preferred programs; prepare essays, portfolios and auditions. With her guidance, students learn to communicate who they are as they navigate the college search and application process. Harriet is well-informed of the particular requirements for applying to a visual or performing arts program. She helps the student to convey their passion and commitment in all parts of their college application. This is an innovative approach to college counseling that directly speaks to the interests and talents of this specific group of students.

Currently, Harriet volunteers as the college and career counselor for the Mountain View/Los Altos High School District’s Freestyle Academy of Communication Arts and Technology. After observing the student’s reticence to use the mainstream resources available to them, Harriet felt there was a need to assist students in identifying programs that were of interest to them. Her goal is to help the student prepare a concise presentation of who they are and what skills they possess.

Harriet has made presentations to groups of students and their parents, helping them to understand what options are available. She has privately counseled students on their portfolios and has helped with essay preparation and the audition/application process. Her students currently attend a variety of schools including Brown, Carnegie Mellon, NYU, Boston Conservatory, MICA, Pratt, University of Michigan, RISD, UCLA, USC, Chapman and LMU.

Harriet is a member of NACAC, The National Association for College Admission Counseling and WACAC, The Western Association for College Admission Counseling and maintains active involvement in the area of visual and performing arts programs.

For questions, please email Harriet Katz - Freestyle's Parent Volunteer College Career Counselor at

Special Events at Freestyle to prepare for college

For Juniors

Alumni Discussion Panel
Alumni come back and provide advice to Juniors

  • 1st Thursday of school
  • 10:50 - 11:35 and 1:00 - 1:45
  • Freestyle Film Room
  • Open to all Junior Families - parents please email if you plan to come

College Application Process Info
Ms. Katz will present valuable information about the college application process for ANY major in college

  • Wed, Oct 3, 2018
  • 6 - 7 PM
  • Freestyle Film Room
  • Open to all Junior Families
  • RSVP here

Preparing a portfolio
Ms. Katz will show student portfolios and provide tips about putting together a portfolio

  • Thu, Jan 24, 2019
  • 6 - 7 PM
  • Freestyle Film Room
  • Open to all Junior Families
  • RSVP here

College Application Boot Camp
Ms. Katz will work with students/parents in "Boot Camp" for college application process for ANY major in college

  • Wed, March 20, 2019
  • 6 - 8 PM
  • Freestyle Film Room
  • Open to all Junior Families
  • RSVP here

College Admissions Process Panel
Current Seniors will provide advice and share their experiences to Juniors about their college admissions process

  • Thu, May 9, 2019
  • 6 - 7 PM
  • Freestyle Film Room
  • Open to all Junior Families
  • RSVP here

For Seniors

Alumni Discussion Panel
Alumni come back and provide advice to Seniors

  • 1st Thursday of school
  • 10:50 - 11:35 and 1:00 - 1:45
  • Freestyle English Room
  • Open to all Senior Families - parents please email English Teacher if you plan to come so he can make sure there is enough seating for everyone

College Essay Prep Seminar
Ms. Katz will share tips about writing College Essays.

  • Wed, Sept 12, 2018 from 1:00 to 2:15
  • Wed, Sept 17, 2018 from 10:45 to 12:00
  • Freestyle English Room
  • Open to all Senior Families
  • Parents are welcome to sit in on the seminar - please email English Teacher if you plan to come so he can make sure there is enough seating for everyone

Portfolio Review
Ms. Katz will review any student portfolio and provide personal feedback

  • Thu, Oct 25, 2018
  • 11:45 - 12:45
  • Freestyle English Room
  • Open to all Senior Families

Freestyle Graduation!!!!
Celebrate 12+ years of schooling at our Freestyle annual BBQ/Graduation Party!!!

  • Tuesday before the last day of school
  • 5:00 - 7:00
  • Freestyle Campus
  • Open to all Junior & Senior Families

Preparing For College

Download a pdf of these slides

Timeline to College

Junior Year


  • Check for college visits at your high school; attend presentations by college representatives during the fall semester
  • Do your research: start contacting colleges, reading blogs and making a list of the schools you want to visit
  • Take the PSAT
  • Learn about the differences between the SAT and the ACT and register to take the exams
  • Find out which schools require/recommend the SAT II’s
  • Attend the local Visual and Performing Arts College Fair


  • Continue any test preparations that you feel will benefit your ability to do your best
  • For schools you can’t visit, begin contacting schools via email and request information
  • Attend a National Portfolio Day


  • Keep your grades up and study for your standardized tests
  • Start a file of all of your college materials; find out what your schools of interest require with their applications
  • Finalize summer opportunities for courses and volunteer work


  • Start thinking about ideas for your essay
  • Work on your portfolio, audition or monologue
  • Draft your resume

Senior Year

  • Finalize college lists
  • Ask teachers for letters of recommendation if you need them
  • Think about an early admission for one college; make sure your test scores and transcripts are sent to the school
  • Revise your resume
  • Continue working on essay
  • Create a calendar for all of your deadlines; include applications, supplemental materials and letters of recommendation
  • Attend presentations by college representatives visiting your high school
  • Finalize documents required by your school counselor


  • Most CA applications are due this month.
  • Finalize and submit Common Application if applicable
  • Start private school applications


  • Finalize resume of your extracurricular activities, awards and volunteer work
  • Confirm all transcript and test scores have been sent
  • Finalize and submit all remaining applications

January - Graduation

  • Send midyear report
  • Verify application status
  • Make your final decision and notify the schools you will not be attending
  • Submit your deposit by May 1st

Sample Questions to ask
Admissions Counselors or Program Directors

  1. Who are the instructors? What is their background and industry experience?
  2. What is the student-faculty ratio?
  3. What programs are available in my area of interest? What types of courses are offered?
  4. How difficult is it for students to register for required courses?
  5. How flexible is the curriculum? Can I design my own program? Can I take classes outside of my major?
  6. How many students transfer out of the school during or after their first year?
  7. Can the student sit in on a freshman class when they visit the school?
  8. What are the admissions requirements: Standardized tests? Portfolios? Essays? Interview? Letters of recommendation? Does the school offer financial aid and merit scholarships?
  9. Does the school provide all of the necessary equipment needed for the student to learn and work in their field?
  10. Are there enough studio and/or rehearsal spaces and adequate resources for the students?
  11. Who are their students? How many undergraduate vs. graduate students are there?
  12. Does the school offer opportunities to study abroad?
  13. Does the school invite industry members to talk to classes about their fields?
  14. Does the school provide a list of recent graduates, where they are working and/or provide access to current students or graduates for opinions of the school and program?
  15. Does the school have an ongoing advisory board with industry members to help review course materials and changes to the industry?
  16. Are career services offered to help students develop the knowledge, experience and skills to build and sustain a professional practice and become successfully employed?
  17. Does the school promote their graduates to the industry through organized interviews, student showcases, etc.? Is there a system in place where industry members are given an opportunity to interview graduates?
  18. What percentage of graduates goes immediately to work in their field? What percentage goes on to graduate school?