Starting this spring semester, PCC will offer dual enrollment courses at John Muir High School to allow students to complete college courses while still attending high school.
This comes as a result of Gov. Jerry Brown signing Assembly Bill 288 (AB288), establishing the College and Career Access Pathways Act.
The dual enrollment program allows high school students and the public to take the college courses offered. This will give people in the area who have no means of traveling to PCC’s main campus the opportunity to still take classes.
PCC currently offers dual enrollment programs at other high schools in the surrounding districts but, according to Kathy Scott, associate vice president of academic affairs, John Muir High School will be the first school to offer concurrent enrollment courses and after school college courses.
When it came to deciding which courses would be offered, Scott worked with a number of groups on campus in putting together a list of high demand general education courses.
“It’s a collaborative effort between PCC and PUSD,” Scott said.
Brown signed the bill on Oct. 8 and praised it in a letter to the members of the California State Assembly.
“I believe these flexible, locally based arrangements will be useful, and I encourage local governing boards to consider these dual enrollment partnerships as they work to improve student success and time to degree,” Brown wrote.
John Muir High School and other high schools in the district have recently seen a decline in enrollment and, according to PCC Superintendent-President Rajen Vurdien, this program will give PCC an opportunity to be present in the area and give students and locals access to quality education.
“The school district, the city and the college worked together because success can only happen if all the parties are interested in the development of the area,” Vurdien said.
Assembly Majority Leader Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, authored the bill and believes “students who are struggling academically and are at risk dropping out may benefit the most from dual enrollment.”
“Dual enrollment is not a new idea, but there is a growing awareness that low-income students and those who are first in their family to go to college benefit tremendously from early exposure to college work,” Holden added at a press conference held on campus Wednesday morning.
Vurdien said PCC has engaged more than 500 students, giving them early access to college education. And school districts in South Pasadena, San Marino, Pasadena, Arcadia, La Canada, Temple City and El Monte Union have all expressed interest in dual enrollment.
“I am able to confirm that we have signed letters of intent with all seven school districts within the Pasadena community college district area,” he said.
John Muir High School sophomore Christian Myles, 15, said the program has already helped her and will continue to.
“This program actually let me go to PCC last year … I already know that I want to go to school in Oregon so it helped me already know what I need to do in order to get there, what classes I need to take and what responsibilities I need to have,” Myles said.
According to Myles’ mother, Myisha Myles, her daughter “has excelled and is such a better student because of it.”
PCC will have their own building on campus at John Muir High School with nine dual enrollment classes offered: Graphic Design, Personal Growth and Development, Design Tech, Video Production, Psychology 1, Speech 1, two sections of Sociology 1, English 100 and Spanish 1.
Classes will start January 11, 2016.
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