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Concurrent Enrollment: A fast start to a slow education

Jul 06, 2009
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When that final bell rings in your 6th period class- that last ring for freedom- the last thing that may be on your mind is summer school. Were you summoned to summer school by a teacher or counselor? Are you going to summer school to get ahead? Either way, the term 'summer school' has coined the reputation of being “wretched”, but there's always a brighter side to such “wretched” things. Summer school may not be a horrible idea after all.

High school students enrolling in local community colleges for earning high school credits and college units simultaneously is called Concurrent Enrollment. This trend is catching on among high school students all around the country. Not only during the summer is concurrent enrollment offered, but throughout both Fall and Spring semesters of the school year. High school students are able to take community college classes and participate part-time as a college student while still enrolled at their high school.

Why would a student choose to take the path in concurrent enrollment? There are many reasons!

-It is a perfect opportunity for a student to be challenged in a course or topic that they would like to learn more about and get ahead in their academic career. Maybe a student has the ability to juggle more than their average school day schedule, or maybe they would like to get a start on their General Education for college. Students can always check with the community college whether or not the units from the class they are interested in suffice for units at a 4-year university they are interested in enrolling in after they graduate from high school.

-The price of tuition is extremely cheaper than the tuition at a 4-year university. At California Community Colleges, the price per unit is $20, while most classes offered are 3 units. That's $60 a class! Comparing to the rising price of a California State University education of approximately $400 per class, going to a community college is smart move. But don't think that the education at a community college is less than an education at a 4-year! There are highly qualified professors teaching classes out of the goodness of their hearts. They are there to help you at a more personal level.

-If you are not sure about your area of study, community colleges may be able to help you with that! The only thing holding you back from achieving complete happiness at your university of your choice is your major. Probably you have a few set in your mind that you are interested in, but have no idea what the workload is like. That's okay, because community colleges are here for students to test the water before they jump right into a major. They are equipped with many different classes to satisfy your academic wants and needs. So you're interested in Criminal Justice, but your high school doesn't offer any similar courses? That's also okay, because your local community college might have a few!

So, having the right mindset for college is great. Having college units is even greater. This may be an opportunity that you won't ever have again, especially with this economy- the money that you could be saving could be invested in some way that can help you with your future. What you do with your saved time and money is up to you, but know that you made a good choice by enrolling in concurrent enrollment.

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