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The UCS Advantage

The UCS Advantage

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Utica Community Schools strives to provide a world-class college and career readiness program for its students. Programs, personnel, and events are in place to ensure that each student is given the resources needed to build a promising future. 


UCS District-wide College and Career Events


Check the UCS website and our weekly UCS Update e-mail messages for details on these events as dates get closer.

  • Academic Blitz (typically held in January or February each year)
  • Career Expo (typically held in March each year)
  • College Fair (typically held in April each year)
  • Career Focus Luncheon (typically held in May each year for 6th grade students)




Naviance is a college and career readiness platform that helps connect academic achievement to post-secondary goals.  Students can login to Naviance using their usual UCS username and password.  Parents also have the ability to login via the school’s Naviance Family Connection page. Schools distribute parent login information.  Naviance offers students the tools needed to:

  • identify careers of interest
  • plan high school courses (the plan created is known as an Educational Development Plan or EDP)
  • research post-secondary options including colleges, universities, and trade schools
  • set goals for the future
  • build a resume which records volunteer, extracurricular, and work experiences
  • organize the college application process
  • access information about scholarships

Learn more at our Naviance page


Advanced Placement Program


Utica Community Schools offers a strong and growing Advanced Placement program.  Students have the opportunity to engage in rigorous coursework as early as junior high school to challenge themselves and improve their academic preparation. 


Pursuing Advanced Placement coursework can allow students to earn college credit even before high school graduation.  This defrays costs for families and expands educational opportunities for those who participate.  Research consistently shows that students who participate in rigorous, advanced coursework during high school are more likely to enroll in and graduate from college. 


UCS students take more than 1,900 Advanced Placement examinations each year in 27 subject areas, with the majority receiving college credit.

Learn more at our Advanced Coursework in UCS page

Specialty Programs


In addition to the opportunities for rigor offered at our four comprehensive high schools, UCS also offers three specialty high school programs.  Students can apply to these programs during 8th grade. Information about the application process is located at the UCS Specialty Program page.

  • Utica Academy for International Studies (International Baccalaureate Program)
  • Utica Center for Science and Industry
  • Utica Center for Math, Science, and Technology


Partnership with College Board and Khan Academy


Standardized test scores on the SAT or ACT are key factors considered in college admission decisions.  UCS is working closely with the College Board to connect students to free SAT test preparation provided through the College Board and Khan Academy.  There is a positive correlation between increased time spent using Khan Academy and increased SAT scores.  Learn more about connecting to Khan Academy at our College and Career Tests page.


Knowledgeable and Supportive Staff


UCS has an outstanding team of dedicated and caring professionals who collaborate to guide students through the career exploration and college application process.  These individuals work together to actively provide a college and career development program that includes classroom presentations, one-on-one assistance, and school events. Students seeking college and career guidance should visit the Counseling Office at their school for assistance.  The following staff members are available to guide students:

  • Counselors
  • Career Development Facilitators
  • School-to-Work (Co-Op) Coordinators
  • Work Study Coordinators




Input from the students and families we serve is essential to our ongoing efforts to provide our students with a world-class college and career readiness program.  Please feel free to reach out at any time with questions, concerns or suggestions.


Career Development Facilitators
Dyann Pugliese - [email protected] - Eisenhower High School Cluster and Utica High Cluster
Susan Kanda - [email protected] - Henry Ford II High School Cluster and Stevenson High School Cluster