Both College of the Sequoias and West Hills College Lemoore offer dual enrollment programs for high school students to get their foot in the door.
Dual enrollment programs are not new, and college courses have been offered to high school students for many years now, and the partnerships between both institutions have only flourished as more students continue to take these courses.
“We've been doing dual enrollment for a very long time, we have families and students getting a jump start,” said WHCL Pathways Director Giselle Simon. “These classes are free, and are no cost to the family aside from textbooks.”
WHCL Dean of Student Services, Jody Ruble said their 2016 fall semester saw over 300 students enrolled in their dual enrollment program.
“It’s great for these students, because they are familiar with the institutions, they know what we are about, and it’s an opportunity that is available to every student,” Ruble said.
Apart from the dual enrollment programs offered at WHCL, Lemoore Middle College High School is also on campus, and 100 percent of those students take college courses starting their freshmen year.
In order for students to gain eligibility for these courses, they are required to take a placement test, and meet certain prerequisites before they are allowed to sign up for these courses just like any other college student.
Most of the courses tend to be general education courses, but there are also other classes offered like career and vocational training as well as certification courses in a varied number of fields.
WHCL offers a culinary program at Avenal High School, and Sierra Pacific High School offers an emergency medical technician program.
Brandon Hildreth, Director of Dual Enrollment for College of the Sequoias says the process of taking courses is very easy for students, and they go through the same process as any college student signing up for classes.
“They get familiar with college applications, registering for classes, checking college emails, and they learn to navigate some of the college expectations,” Hildreth said. “They finish classes on time, they understand what college courses are, and these students are getting an opportunity to take college courses for free,” Hildreth said.