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Program for Effective Access to College
Advancement Via Individual Determination




Program Description

The goal of the SB Unified PEAC college readiness and access program is to help close the achievement gap and change the trajectory of low-income, first generation college students. PEAC provides a system of academic and social-emotional support to guarantee students are prepared to enter a university.

Santa Marcos High AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) provides an integrated support program for motivated students to advance beyond high school and into a four-year university. Students from underrepresented backgrounds or the first in their family to attend college, who nevertheless are motivated to work hard and attend the university, should consider applying to be in the AVID Elective. We are justifiably proud of our AVID program and our students’ success in overcoming obstacles and breaking stereotypes.

Throughout all four years of the PEAC & AVID program is integrated, and personal counseling. Our PEAC & AVID counselors stay in constant communication with students, parents, and AVID teachers to ensure student success and advancement. In addition, counselors facilitate recruitment and registration of prospective PEAC & AVID students from our feeder junior highs as well as from within SMHS.

PEAC & AVID Courses

PEAC 9th - 12th Support System & Services

  • Students receive priority scheduling in Honors and Advanced Placement classes
  • Students are in PEAC groups of 6-10 for English, Math, and Science
  • Enrolled in AVID elective class (Advancement through Individual Determination)
  • Academic Counselor dedicated to PEAC & AVID Students
  • PEAC Mentors: Graduates of SB Unified & AVID, and enrolled at a local college
  • Daily dedicated study space and college tutors at a PEAC Learning Center
  • PEAC Summer Institute: 9th Grade Bridge, Youth Leadership Program at UCLA, and Bridge to College at SBCC for college credit
  • Parent education and engagement opportunities


We focus on academic organization and study skills.  Biweekly, formal tutorials with CAL-SOAP, Pathways, and PEAC tutors are a large part of the program.   We also take day trips to colleges in the local area.


The focus continues on study skills and academic success. Students begin to investigate colleges, and we traditionally take an overnight field trip to visit Southern California universities.


In the Junior year the focus is on academic support during what is typically the most difficult year of high school. We also provide SAT test prep, and all AVID students will take the SAT and ACT college admissions tests in the spring. Also, we traditionally take an overnight field trip to explore Northern California colleges. Only students previously enrolled in AVID 10 are eligible for AVID 11.

AVID Senior Seminar

Seniors get personalized assistance in applying for colleges and, after admission, applying for financial aid and scholarships. A highlight of the senior year is the PEAC & AVID Senior Celebration, where all PEAC & AVID seniors from area high schools are honored for their success. AVID Senior Seminar students must have completed AVID 11.

PEAC & AVID Instructors & Counselors

Justin Howe

AVID Coordinator, AVID Elective Teacher


Tommy Riparetti

AVID Elective Teacher


Alpha Ramirez

AVID and PEAC Counselor


Jeff Ashton

AVID Elective Teacher


Miguel Vences

AVID Elective Teacher



Shawn Ricci

AVID Elective Teacher


Vic Ramirez

AVID Elective Teacher




AVID Elective Teacher


Katherine Hilzer

AVID Elective Teacher