College prep is a big component of secondary education.
But what about actually getting a true head start on college?
A representative from San Joaquin Delta College last week gave the school board an update on a program that will be rolled out this fall to allow high school students on Manteca Unified campuses the chance to cross-enroll in actual collegiate courses that give them dual credit. It will allow for students to get some of their general education requirements out of the way before ever stepping foot onto a college campus.
And the best part? It’s free.
Despite the fact that courses at California’s community colleges are currently $46 per unit, Delta would be able to get the average daily attendance money from the State of California, which would offset those costs and make the program free for those who want to participate.
The majority of the classes, the representative said, would be in the transfer pathway to allow students to clear necessary undergraduate classes, but with the success of be.tech a handful of vocational classes might also be available for students who are looking to join the workforce and not obtain a collegiate degree.
In order to facilitate the transition, the district would require principals and counselors to work closely with Delta College and to get students who are interested to sign-up for the college classes that would also take care of their high school requirements for graduation.
How those college courses would compare with the rigorous Advanced Placement courses that are standard on high school campuses currently – that allow students to exceed a 4.0 GPA – was not discussed.
A series of informational meetings are currently in the works for the next several months to educate parents on the opportunity that the program affords their child and how they can best take advantage of it.
While the opportunity on this scale is new for the district, it isn’t a new concept. Students at Modesto’s Valley Charter High School have the chance to follow the same path at Modesto Junior College, and Lodi’s Middle College High School utilizes Delta’s campus in a similar fashion. Certain Manteca Unified teachers in the past have had agreements with Delta College that allow their students in certain AP classes to obtain college credit by simply enrolling and paying the unit fee.
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