College classes to be held during high school hours

The Assembly Bill 288 authorizes California community college districts to enter a formal partnership agreement with local high school districts. This will establish college career access pathways, which will act to expand access to concurrent enrollment opportunities for high school students.

While some members of the Academic Senate support AB 288, they raised concerns on how to establish the bill during Monday’s Academic Senate meeting in the Great Hall.

Vice President of Student Services Dixon Peters spoke about the assembly bill at the Academic Senate meeting.

“There are concerns by teachers on how to make this work. We are currently offering college courses at high school sites and have for years; that is the current enrollment,” Peters said. “The difference is that AB 288 allows us to focus more on a pathway course to college. This allows high schools in districts such as LAUSD, for example, to offer college courses at the high school sites.”

According to Dean of Student Services William Marmolejo, if high school students take classes that Pierce College is offering, those classes may count as credits towards their academic planning guide (APG) requirements for high school.

“So a student can get full credit for college, as well as credit for their graduation, but classes must be approved by the high school for that purpose and if it is, we will offer that class,” Marmolejo said.

As far as the concerns of working college course work into a high school curriculum, Marmolejo said that what he would do is sit down with the instructor and find out what the issue is with the class. Marmolejo said he would find a prerequisite that could be used as a replacement for the student, if he or she is not at the level they are expected to be.

“High school college courses are the best thing for high school students because it gives them a pathway to get either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree,” Marmolejo said.

Biology professor Raymond Wells is in favor of the idea as long as it is treated as a college course and it meets college standards.

“Loyola Marymount, which is a private college, is offering their courses at San Pedro High School, and it’s a popular idea,” Wells said. “The most important role high school college courses play is that they build a bridge for students to receive college course credit.”

Instructor of psychology Angela Belden thinks the program needs to be looked over some more before it’s finalized.

“It is not a good or bad idea. It is just going to be a very hard sell for faculty members to teach these courses,” Belden said.

The idea of implementing more courses for Chicano studies so that Pierce could offer an associate transfer degree in that field was also brought up at the meeting. However, it was subsequently denied.

“We got the viability studies for Chicano studies approved. This is pretty much the idea that an AA degree in Chicano studies is viable and should be offered by the school and we should take the time to build and put courses together,” said professor of political science and economic criminal justice Kaycea Campbell. “However, the document had a very particular line that seemed to indicate that something was not the whole story. ”

Lastly, this year’s graduation ceremony was discussed and it will possibly take place at Shepard Stadium. There will also be 50 percent more online course units offered increasing success rate.