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 many students interested in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social/behavioral sciences.
Valerie is an accomplished writer with three family travel books published by Viking Penguin and St. Martin’s Press, magazine articles, and museum catalogs. 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, significant commissions, and competitive grants. She was a college advisor at Georgiana Bruce Kirby, a college preparatory high school in Santa Cruz, California. She served on the Board of Directors of Gateway School and was instrumental in strengthening its commitment to student-centered learning.
A first-generation college student, Valerie has volunteered as a writing coach for Peer Forward. This national nonprofit partners with schools to strengthen the 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 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 Smithsonian Institution and the de Young Museum collection, public art commissions include significant projects for Stanford University’s Schools of Engineering, the Oakland Museum of California, the University of Delaware, and significant urban plazas for San Francisco, Oakland, and Washington, DC.
Valerie’s ongoing professional development includes annual visits to at least 20 colleges each year to understand the right match for her students better. She stays connected to professionals in the field by attending conferences and workshops all over the country and through her membership in the Independent Educational Consultants Association and the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA). In addition, she 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.