Application Process

What factors are taken into account for acceptance into the CREST program?

The review team looks at a combination of current grades in English, Science, Math, and Social Studies, recommendations from teachers, and the online interview the student completes. The review team is looking for leadership experience, community service, a willingness to work in collaborative groups, and a growth mindset. We believe these are the attributes of a STEM leader.

What do you look for in an ideal candidate?

  • Students who are academically advanced with an orientation to Math and Science.

  • Students with a passion for STEM subjects or a career in STEM

  • Students who thrive in working in diverse collaborative groups

  • Students with a growth mindset that are willing to try new things, maybe fail, but learn from their mistakes and try again

  • Students who are willing to put in the time and effort to create relevant projects that could impact the community

  • Students who wish to become professionals and ready to succeed in the next educational level and at work

  • Students who want to make a change in the world

What are the requirements to apply to CREST? Do students have to be in honors classes to apply to CREST?

There are no requirements to apply to CREST and students do not need to be currently in honors courses. That being said, honors courses do a good job preparing students for the rigors of a four-year, honors and AP STEM program. Additionally, grades are a large factor in the review as performance in 8th grade is usually a good indicator of success in high school.

What is the application process? (See Apply to CREST)

  1. Complete the CREST application

  2. Send the Recommendation Form to a Math or Science teacher, another teacher, and leader in the community such as a coach, religious leader,  or community service sponsor.  Family members may not submit a recommendation.

  3. If you are not a current PV Schools student, please send the current grade report for 8th grade. Current PV Schools students do not need to send grades, we can access them.

  4. Complete the online interview

If you are not attending a PV school currently but live in the PV school district are you eligible to apply?

CREST is open to all students regardless of residence. You do not need to be a PV Schools student; in fact, about 40% of CREST students are from outside the PV Schools District. Transportation is not provided for students who live outside of the PVHS enrollment boundaries.

Is there a placement test for entry to the CREST program?

The CREST program does not require a placement test for enrollment in CREST or PVHS. 

If you are taking Geometry in 8th grade, what is the sequence of math courses in high school?

The required Math sequence can be found on the CREST Website under Programs of Study. The next required Math course after Geometry is Honors Algebra 3/4. 

Will Family Tours and Student Shadows be held this year?

As of this date, no tours or shadowing will take place until after January 4, 2021. In December, we will review health conditions and district guidelines to determine if we will start Tours and Shadowing after Winter Break. Virtual Tours of the three strands are available on the CREST website on the Tours and Shadowing webpage

Besides curriculum, what are the main differences between CREST and DAAPS?

DAAPS, the Digital Academy of Advanced Placement Scholars at Shadow Mountain High School,  is an advanced literature and writing program geared towards the student who wishes to study the humanities at very high levels. More information can be found here. CREST is designed for the student who is interested in an intensive four-year STEM curriculum to go along with their high school studies. PVHS offers all the same Honors and AP courses that all PV Schools High Schools offer. PVHS also offers an AP Diploma as well as the CREST Seal for those students who qualify. Hear more about the PVHS AP Diploma program.

How many applications do you receive on average each year and how many students are accepted?

We receive about 200-250 applications each year, and we accept up to 50 students in each of the three strands: Bioscience, Engineering, and Computer Science, for a total of 150 students.

Can I apply to more than one strand?

You may only apply to and be accepted into one strand. Once accepted, you may take courses in other strands if there is room in the course and in your schedule. Many students take other strand courses.

Do you get to know the strand you're primarily interested in before you begin?

Students choose the strand they are most interested in studying. 

Life at PVHS for a CREST Student

How is CREST different from other subject matter programs?

CREST is different from other subject matter programs in a number of ways. CREST students do receive direct instruction, take notes, and complete tests and quizzes. The knowledge learned in these activities is the basis for the next part of what we do. CREST students participate in hands-on and relevant application activities such as DNA sequencing labs, Computer Aided Design projects, robot design, build, and programming problems, and other activities that are designed to develop the technical skills needed in their respective area of study. While CREST students are developing knowledge and technical skills, they also develop and practice the necessary 21st Century skills of collaboration, cooperation, communication, and leadership and teamwork. 

Not only do students work to master these skills, as a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, CREST students learn valuable workplace skills such as being on time, resume writing, interviewing techniques, public speaking, and interacting with industry professionals that ground student's course work in real life applications.

Is CREST an “elective”? Is it just a few hours of their day or an entire program?

CREST is a Career and Technical Education (CTE) elective program. Students generally take one or two CREST courses per year. Please see the CREST Programs of Study

Do CREST students interact with other students attending PV High School? 

CREST students are PVHS Trojans first, CRESTys second. Students attend all non-CREST classes with other PVHS students. CREST students are athletes, student government leaders, mechanics, welders, club members, dancers, musicians, singers, actors and stage hands. CREST students do all the great things that other high school students choose to do.

Is there an option to take a dual enrollment courses in lieu of AP courses while enrolled in CREST?

Many of the AP courses taught at PVHS are dual enrollment. Some of the CREST courses are also Dual Enrollment. The CREST graduation requirement for AP courses in Math and Science must be met in order to “graduate with distinction” and earn the CREST Seal on the diploma. There is no CREST requirement for Honors or AP courses other than CREST courses and the AP Math and Science requirement. Please see the CREST Program of Study.

What is the block schedule?

PVHS is the only PVUSD high school with the block schedule. Students attend four classes of 86 minutes each day, earning four credits at the end of each semester. PVHS students can earn eight credits per year for a total of 32 credits by the conclusion of high school.

What if the student discovers that this isn’t the right program for them after a few weeks?

In general, after 2 weeks, students may not drop classes without penalty. PVHS is on a block schedule so classes only last one semester. Students may switch strands at the end of the semester, provided there is room in the new strand and the student has worked to accepted standards. Students who find that CREST does not work for them may drop the program and take other courses.

Is the internship still a part of the program?

The internship program is an integral part of the CREST program. In order to graduate as a CREST completer, students must complete a 200-hour internship. This is one of the highlights of the program, providing students an opportunity to learn about working, apply their knowledge in the workplace, and make important decisions about their future.

What are the CREST graduating requirements?

The CREST graduation requirements are outlined in the CREST Programs of Study. In general, students must complete all CREST courses, four credits of Math and Science at the Honors and AP level, two credits of a World Language, and all the other requirements for high school graduation. 

What are the typical courses taken during each year for each strand?

Since each strand is different, please see the Programs of Study.

Do you have a list of college acceptance for graduating CREST students?

CREST students attend colleges all over the United States. CREST students have attended MIT, Berkeley, Princeton, University of Texas, Austin, and many other schools. Students tend to enroll in state universities because that is where they can earn many scholarships. In general, students are accepted to their university of first choice.

What kinds of awards and scholarships do CREST students earn?

CREST students are regularly recognized as National Merit Scholars, Flinn and Baird Scholars,  and often earn the ASU and UA Presidential Scholarship, and the NAU Lumberjack Scholarship. Former students also earned prestigious awards at schools outside of Arizona such as the McDermott at the University of Texas, Austin. CREST students have also earned various medals at Career and Technical Student Organization (HOSA and SkillsUSA) National Conferences, served as President of both HOSA and SkillsUSA national organizations, won medals at the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair, and consistently earn 1st place at in the eCybermission state and regional competitions. CREST students have also been National CTE Presidential scholars.