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Expand Ways High School Students Can Take College Classes

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Sonora, CA – Yosemite Community College District gives an update on its dual enrollment program, which it says is thriving.

This month, trustees of the Yosemite Community College District (YCCD), which includes Columbia College, heard an update about the dual enrollment program, which gives students free access to earn college credits while they are still in high school. Additionally, the high schools provide the students with college textbooks, with that cost declining as increasing numbers of college courses are taught using free online resources.

In the fall 2023 semester, nearly 2,200 high school students participated in the program. YCCD officials expect that number to go up for the spring semester. Trustees heard how dual enrollment continues to thrive at the college. There were 676 high school students from Tuolumne County, Calaveras County, and eastern Stanislaus County taking Columbia classes in the 2022–23 school year; this year, that number is projected to top 700.

The dual-enrollment classes are offered under a College and Career Access Pathway (CCAP) agreement between the colleges and a local high school district. Melissa Raby, Columbia’s vice president of student services, said the college has CCAP agreements with all of the local high schools.

“We have had significant success with dual enrollment courses and students,” she said. “The program is working. The courses are helping students reach college and succeed.”

Columbia high school students earn an A, B, or C grade in their college classes, earning an 87.8% success rate and a 93.8% retention rate, or percentage of students that finish the course. CCAP agreements must be renewed every five years. All the classes are held on high school campuses, and there are three ways to access them:

  • A college instructor comes to their campus to teach.
  • A high school teacher who is qualified to teach college-level courses teaches the class.
  • A college instructor teaches online or via video conferencing with the assistance of an on-site high school teacher.