Valerie Deutsch graduated with distinction from UCLA’s College Counseling program–a renowned program of seven graduate-level courses and an intensive practicum all focused on counseling a range of college-bound students. Valerie works with a wide range of students interested in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social/behavioral sciences.
As the Associate Director of the Arts Council Santa Cruz County, Valerie created Open Studios and was the first director of Spectra–a statewide model for arts education. She later served as the Development Director of music education for the Monterey Jazz Festival. Valerie has worked with many educational organizations in program planning and with artists to receive fellowships, major commissions, and competitive grants. She worked as a college advisor at Georgiana Bruce Kirby, a college preparatory high school in Santa Cruz, California, and served on the Board of Directors of Gateway School where she was instrumental in strengthening their commitment to student-centered learning.
Valerie is also an accomplished writer with three family travel books published by Viking Penguin and St. Martin’s Press, as well as magazine articles and museum catalogs. She has volunteered as a writing coach for Peer Forward, a national nonprofit that partners with schools to strengthen college-going culture and increase college enrollment for low-income youth.
The energy and passion that led to Valerie’s successful 35-year career in education, writing and the arts have carried over to her college consulting practice where she utilizes her research and strategic planning expertise. Her experience provides a unique foundation to help young adults build cohesive narratives throughout their applications as they articulate their personal journeys and achievements.
A 40-year resident of Santa Cruz County, Valerie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree with high honors in art history from UCSC. She is married to sculptor Richard Deutsch and serves as the creative director of their studio. With sculpture in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution and the de Young Museum, their public art commissions include significant projects for Stanford University’s Schools of Engineering, the Oakland Museum of California, the University of Delaware and major urban plazas for San Francisco, Oakland, and Washington DC.
Valerie’s ongoing professional development includes annual visits to a minimum of 20 colleges each year to better understand the right match for her students. She stays connected to professionals in the field by attending conferences and workshops all over the country and through her membership in the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), Western Association for College Admission Counseling (WACAC), Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA Professional Member) and the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA). In addition, she is an active member of the Consortium of Women in College Counseling (CWICC) and shares resources with college counselors locally through her participation in the Monterey Bay College Counseling Consortium.
The mother of two young adult daughters, Valerie is deeply aware of the importance of nurturing and providing guidance, structure, and motivation to young people as they transition into adulthood.