Part 1: IVC-SHS joint effort offers free classes for students. Part 2: SAVAPA visits the Chocolate Factory.
EL CENTRO — Imperial Valley College and Southwest High School have come together to offer college courses to high school students.
The students who take part in these classes are under dual enrollment, which means that although they are still in high school, they have the opportunity to receive college credit(s).
“The California Community College’s Chancellor’s office added a new program which required community colleges to offer college general education courses to high schools,” said Counseling 120 instructor Veronica Soto.
Soto, along with other counselors, established the Counseling 120 course by adding all of the successful elements from other college prep classes. Soto’s class was previously offered to only incoming college students.
“The goal of this class is to help students get a clear plan on how to be successful in college,” Soto said. “I consider this class as a whole semester
long counseling appointment … this class has been successful since 2008.”
Each semester offers a variety of classes in subjects like communication, counseling, psychology and history.
Each class can earn the students three units of college credit. High school students can take up to four courses in one school year.
These classes are offered after school, two days a week, about an hour and a half long, and last throughout the whole semester.
“I’m taking advantage of this opportunity because I’m a senior and going to college next year. So, any money and time I can save now is great,” said Nathan Garcia, 17.
One benefit of taking college classes in high school is that students automatically become registered at IVC.
Taking these classes is a way for students to get ahead in completing college required classes, which will save them a lot of money because the classes are completely free, as well as the books.
“Students can save $138 by taking this counseling class itself, plus another $56 on the book,” said Soto.
Desert Oasis offers these classes for their students as well.
“I was really excited when I heard that they were offering these classes at DO because they usually exclude this school from most school events such as sports, clubs and other extracurriculars,” said German Gastelum, a 17-year-old junior at Desert Oasis.
Although the idea of having to stay after school to take a higher-level class may sound a bit overwhelming, many students have taken this opening opportunity to get started on earning their college credits.
“I love that they give us the chance to get a head start in our general education for college, and we don’t have to pay for a single thing,” said Jennifer Vasquez, 16.
A sign at the entrance of Imperial Valley College.