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Dual Enrollment Reinforces K-12, Community College Partnerships

Last fall, an assembly bill was signed that ensures that high school students can continue to take community college classes on high school campuses.

This legislation recognizes the importance of enabling innovative partnerships between K-12 districts and community colleges – partnerships such as the longstanding one between Citrus College and the Claremont Unified School District (CUSD).

Over the years, the two educational institutions have worked together to prepare students for college, helping them stay on track toward achieving their career goals. One way they have done this has been by providing dual enrollment opportunities.

Claremont High School and San Antonio High School are two of eight schools within the Citrus Community College District that currently offer Citrus College classes. Participating schools are provided with a customized dual enrollment program that is unique to their students' needs. At Claremont High School, students have the opportunity to take English 101, Counseling 160, Art 199, Music 113 or American Sign Language for college credit. San Antonio High School students can enroll in Counseling 160 for college credit. In addition, dual enrollment students have access to the same services that are available to traditional Citrus College students.

Completing college coursework while enrolled in high school is beneficial to students, their families and the community. Students who take advantage of Citrus College's dual enrollment courses will save on the cost of college fees and become better prepared for future college and workplace success. It helps families save for post-graduate education, which often lacks financial aid, and can provide students who wish to join the workforce with the skills and knowledge necessary to enter vocational fields.

The advantages of dual enrollment are why I was such a proud supporter of Assembly Bill (AB) 288, the original legislation that expanded high school students' access to concurrent enrollment opportunities. My fellow board members and I actively advocated for its passage more than four years ago, and I personally met with then-State Senator Carol Liu of the 25th District to discuss the bill's benefits just minutes before her committee considered the legislation. My granddaughter, who was high school-age at the time, accompanied me on my visit to speak about its advantages from a student perspective.

When AB 288 was signed into law in November 2015, I joined other California community college members, representatives from the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office and the bill's author, Assemblymember Chris Holden, at a special celebration in Pasadena. We knew that AB 288 would pave the way to strong academic success by enabling a broader range of high school students to take college courses at their high schools.

With the signing of the follow-up bill, AB 30, last fall, the future of dual enrollment in California was secured. In the months and years ahead, I anticipate that this legislation will enable the relationship between Citrus College and CUSD to continue to grow. I have no doubt that our collective commitment, passion and knowledge will increase student success rates in Claremont and throughout our region.