By: Emily Leung
If you are interested in earning college credits while challenging yourself in a new environment, enrolling in concurrent classes at community colleges may be a good way to expand your knowledge and improve your chances of future college admissions.
Concurrent classes are college level courses for high school students to take community college or online. These classes provide an opportunity for high school students earn extra credits and experience the feeling of a college environment. However, concurrent classes mainly serve to enrich high school students, and it is still recommended that they take core classes at Mills High School.
To get started, students need to get an enrollment application and course catalogs from the career center. The course catalogs provide information on the classes offered, course requirements, fees, registration instructions, and a campus directory. When students have selected their courses, they can visit the websites for Skyline College and College of San Mateo, and register for concurrent enrollment. In order to register for a class, students need parent and counselor approval beforehand. Students must also satisfy any prerequisites depending on the courses they would like to take.
There are many advantages to enrolling in concurrent classes. For example, there are classes offered at community colleges that Mills High School does not offer. These classes include accounting, sign language, community relations, and police reporting. Although students are expected to supply themselves with the required textbooks and workbooks for each course, they may enroll in concurrent classes for free. Concurrent classes may also reduce the number of courses students have to take in college and allows them to get an early start by gaining college credit.
There are also disadvantages to taking concurrent enrollment classes that students should be aware of. Firstly, college classes tend to be much more difficult on average than high school classes, because students are learning a new subject at a much faster pace. Students must also adapt to a new environment and a different campus, which could hinder their learning pace. Additionally, concurrent classes do not fulfill certain high school graduation requirements, such as Career Technical Education (CTE) and Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) credits. Most importantly, students may be unable to interact with teachers. This loss of interaction would cause communication and requesting for help to become more difficult, as students will have to depend solely on themselves to research, study, and complete assignments.
Regarding concurrent classes, Mills’ Counselor Rachel Mack strongly supports students who want to take concurrent classes. “Students who take concurrent classes are competitive applicants for college,” she says. “If colleges are able to see that the students can be successful in college-level classes already, then that’s highly predictive of students being successful at the college levels as well.”
Concurrent enrollment courses provide students a good change to maximize their opportunities in high school and allow them to gain early college credits. The enrollment deadline is June 15th, so if you are interested, enroll while you can.