Record amount of high school students taking college classes

Students in a training class

SAN DIEGO — More than 2,100 San Diego high school students are taking classes at City, Mesa and Miramar colleges this semester, four times above last fall’s figure, the San Diego Community College District announced today.

The total last year was 547, the SDCCD reported.

The biggest jump was at Mesa College, with 1,000 more high school students taking classes.

Concurrent enrollment — where high school students enroll in community college courses and earn credits for both high school and college at the same time — received a boost last year when Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill expanding access to such programs by supporting partnerships between college and K-12 districts, while eliminating college fees for high school students.

The legislation cited research that showed dual enrollment is an effective way of improving the educational outcomes for a broad range of students, including those from underrepresented communities, according to the SDCCD.

The advantage for high schoolers is they can get a head start in accumulating college credits and avoid having to take placement exams.

“Thanks to the strong partnership and common vision between San Diego Unified and the San Diego Community College District, more than 1,000 more high school students have access to college course work and the opportunity to know that college is a very real possibility,” said Cheryl Hibbeln, the SDUSD’s executive director of secondary schools.

Mesa College has multiple courses at every high school in its service area, while Miramar College officials are working with nearby high schools to offer an array of additional courses both at Miramar College and at high school campuses, the SDCCD reported.