Want to get an edge on college? Here’s why you should take community college courses in high school.
Why Should You Take Community College Courses in High School?
College-bound students assess and reassess their chances of getting into their dream college. Parents and guardians try to ensure they provide everything to succeed. Everyone wants to get a leg up on their student’s college education. Test scores, GPA, and extracurricular activities are essential to getting into that dream college. Taking community college courses in high school helps many students achieve their goal of getting into a top tier university.
While there are many different paths toward achieving the goal, there is one many people overlook, take community college courses in high school.
1. Early College Programs
Early college programs allow students to earn college credits while still in high school, saving thousands of dollars in tuition and fees. But despite the benefits, many students are not taking community college courses in high school.
2. An Array of Courses
Community colleges offer an array of classes. These classes can help students diversify their application or find coursework to boost their skill sets.
Students can also take courses that will satisfy their future requirements in university. For example, U.C. Berkeley requires a Shakespeare class. I took it at community college before I transferred. It fulfilled the coursework beforehand and freed up my schedule later. I also saved money.
Students who take community college courses in high school are better prepared for university.
3. Is It Less Prestigious?
There is the perception that community college is not as prestigious as four-year colleges and universities. This perception is not entirely accurate.
In my experience, community colleges vary, but many offer quality education and have advantages, including lower tuition costs, smaller class sizes, and more flexible schedules. It also allows high school students to experience a taste of the expectations and culture of university life.
Taking a community college English course, for example, would easily be more difficult than taking a high school level course. Students capable of handling that level of English would surely be capable of successfully completing state tests.
4. Dual Enrollment Courses
Some high schools may not have the resources to offer dual enrollment courses or may not encourage students to participate in early college programs. If you experience this issue with your school, contact your local community college. They may have a solution for you.
In addition, courses count for more points than regular high school courses. Last year my niece had a 5.0 because she took several community college courses.
5. Creating Partnerships
Sometimes schools do not know how to accept community college credits or do not know the programs exist. Addressing this issue may require more funding for schools and districts to support early college programs and professional development opportunities for high school teachers to learn how to teach dual enrollment courses effectively.
However, universities do accept community college coursework. You might still need to take your core coursework through high school but may still acquire credits for university through community college.
My roommate at U.C. Berkeley graduated high school with 2 A.A.s before graduation. She started university with upper division coursework, allowing her to triple major.
6. A Taste of College
College can be a daunting experience for anyone, but it can be particularly intimidating for high school students who have never been to college. This fear can be addressed by providing students with the resources and support they need to succeed in early college programs.
Successful students in these early college programs demonstrate to university admissions the student’s seriousness and readiness for serious study. Not to mention, it helps to have a recommendation from a community college professor, especially if they are someone in the field of study the student wishes to join.
Many community colleges require high school students to show a 3.0 GPA or higher to apply. Students may be discouraged from applying if they don’t meet GPA or test score requirements for early college programs.
However, some community colleges offer alternative pathways to enrollment, such as placement tests or interviews, or getting caught up in credits. For students who don’t meet eligibility requirements. Check with your local community college for details.
Early community college enrollment is an excellent opportunity for high school students to get a head start on their college education, save on tuition costs, and provide students with a taste of college life. It may also alleviate the pressure to balance equity and achievement for students.
Community colleges also offer an array of courses for high school students. Students who are unsure of their major can try different types of classes. Students can take courses to fulfill the requirements for university.
Completing necessary coursework early college programs may also provide the advantage students need to get into their dream college.