Published : Wednesday, July 27, 2016 | 6:06 PM
The increasingly popular dual enrollment program that allows Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) high school students to take select PCC courses and earn college credit is expected to be approved for the upcoming 2016-2017 academic school year Thursday evening at the PUSD School Board meeting.
“First and foremost, we want our students to see themselves as college-going while they’re still in high school,” said PUSD Secondary Education Assistant Superintendent Dr. Marisa Sarian.
The pilot program surfaced in the fall 2014 school year and has grown substantially. It is approaching its third academic season, having started with just four classes district wide and gown to a proposed twelve starting this fall.
The high schools that offer PCC credited classes include Blair High School, John Muir High School, Marshall Fundamental Secondary School, Pasadena High School and CIS Academy.
“Dual enrollment courses are courses that students can take to earn both high school and college credit at the same time. The courses are offered at the high school where there are equivalent courses offered at PCC,“ said Sarian. “They actually have to go through the application process with PCC just like any other student starting the college process would.”
According to a PUSD Board of Education report, the dual enrollment program is intended to support the 21st century idea that career and workforce readiness are in alignment with preparedness. It aims to help young people compete in the new economy, realize their full potential, increase high school graduation rates, and increase college attendance and graduation rates while helping families in the region prosper through higher education.
“We’re utilizing our PUSD teachers. The teacher who teaches the course has to qualify both PUSD hiring standards and meet the minimum qualifications and hiring procedures to be an adjunct professor with PCC,” said Sarian. “Many of them have to have advanced degrees in their subjects or other requirements that the college qualifications list.”
Students who enroll in the program are made aware that their performance stays on their college record and every class is transferrable and counted at PCC. Eleven of the twelve courses are transferrable to a four-year university and are all conducted during regular high school hours Monday through Friday. Enrollment numbers are expected to reach about 400 students District wide.
Courses offered include art, engineering, mathematics, physics, music, culinary arts and more with each PUSD campus offering different courses.
According to Sarian, the main reason the School Board must approve the memorandum is due to the agreement between PUSD and PCC that the District pays for the total cost of books and materials that are required by PCC curriculum for proper instruction.
“We waive the fees for the students who elect to be in the Dual Enrollment Program,” said Sarian.
Additionally, students have to meet the PCC requirements to qualify for enrollment including completing prerequisites, entrance exams and other steps that PCC requires.
‘It’s great seeing students feel encouraged when they succeed early on in these types of courses with more academic responsibility.” said Sarian.