A majority of colleges and universities in the United States offer dual enrollment for high school students who want to take college courses while they are still in high school. These courses can be used to get ahead and complete some college courses or to substitute required high school classes for college classes that are more appealing to them. Local community colleges, such as Irvine Valley College (IVC) and Saddleback Community College (SCC), allow students to enroll in their system for free and offer courses on the college campus or online. Since high schools cannot afford to provide students with every subject that may be of interest to them, enrolling in college classes is a great way to explore different subjects and to gain more knowledge in specific areas of study.
Taking classes at the campus also offers students the opportunity to explore subjects that most high schools do not offer. This allows students to be exposed to many career paths; therefore, students can have a more accurate understanding of what major and career path they want to pursue before applying to college. Not only can students get ahead with college work by taking community college classes, but they can also save hundreds to thousands of dollars since the courses are free for high school students.
Many University High School (UHS) students have already started taking classes at one of the colleges and are pleased with the experience. Layla Bina (Sr.) took a Cultural Anthropology class at SCC over the summer. She said she is glad that she took the course at Saddleback because “it opened [her] mind to thinking differently,” in ways that the standard UHS curriculum courses do not. Yasmine Nouri (Sr.), has also taken several classes at SCC and enjoyed her experience. Nouri said that taking college classes was a good decision because she was “able to explore potential majors that she found interesting,” and she now feels that she is “prepared for college and the coursework.”
Although high school students have the option of taking AP classes during their high school careers, taking college classes provides students with more options to choose from. Students also do not need to take a test at the end of the year to determine if the class counts towards college credit. Although UHS does not add on the extra grade point average (GPA) point, the majority of universities will add on the extra point when recalculating a student’s GPA during the admissions process.
Written by MONICA LAFERLA