Summer Opportunities: Community College Courses
By Dr. Gina La Monica
Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the range of courses offered at community college. Often, high school students can earn both college and high school credit after successfully completing these courses. Additionally, many community colleges are now offering online options for courses in nearly every discipline since the onset of COVID.
The first step is to inquire at your local high school about taking a course at a community college. Thereafter, there is a mandatory dual registration form which must be signed by an administrator or advisor before you are allowed to register. Private schools often approve the college course but do not allow the class to be used for high school graduation requirements or incorporate the class grade into final high school transcripts. On the other hand, public high schools will include college courses on high school transcripts, giving students double credit and a weighted grade for each class, increasing a student’s potential GPA beyond 4 ,0.
To find a community college course, you can check the list of colleges in California at the following website: https://www.cccco.edu/Students/Find-a-College/College-Alphabetical-Listing. A partial list of courses is available at the following website: https://cvc.edu/. If you can’t find your online course on this list, you can simply check the different community college online schedules separately to find the best course for you. Make sure the class has seats available. Classes end quickly, so start early at least a term before you want to enroll. Once you find a community college course that interests you, check out the professors on Rate Your Professor at the following website: https://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ Make sure the teacher instructions match the type of course you are looking for. . Not all ratings are accurate on this page, but you’ll see trends and common instructor reviews to help you gauge which instructor is right for you.
After identifying the college course, go to https://home.cccapply.org/ to apply for the college you wish to attend. Complete an application and within 24 hours you will receive a personal email from the college with instructions on how to register for your course. Find the dual enrollment department on this campus to find the dual enrollment form. Complete the form and send it to your advisor for approval. Once completed with all signatures, submit this form to the Dual Registration and/or Admissions Office. If you want to take a math or English course, you may need to submit your transcripts to demonstrate prerequisite knowledge for those courses. Each college has its own prerequisite processes, so be sure to check with the Dual Enrollment and/or Admissions office for the prerequisite process.
Regularly check your emails, including college email; you will need to create an email account with the college you plan to enroll in. Once the High School Dual Enrollment form has been submitted and you have been approved for the course, you will receive a date and time to enroll. Register quickly because, as mentioned above, classes fill up quickly.
Summer is a great time to review your high school plan, making sure you’re taking the optimal courses for college admissions. Taking a range of courses, including community college ones, will increase your chances of gaining admission to the college of your choice. Surprisingly, California community college courses are free for high school students, so take advantage of this unique opportunity.
Dr. Gina La Monica holds a doctorate in education and has worked as a high school counselor, college administrator, and professor at numerous universities and colleges including the University of California, Los Angeles, Lutheran University of California, California State University, Northridge, San Diego State University, etc. She was a full professor and an expert in vocational technical education and adult learning. She currently teaches at a local college and assists students of all ages, from kindergarten through college, with career exploration, college admissions, learning assessment, tutoring, and education plans. .
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Dr. Gina La Monica