A growing number of students from Milpitas High School, Calaveras Hills High School and Milpitas Middle College High School are taking advantage of what Milpitas Unified School District’s Dual Enrollment program with San Jose Evergreen Community College District has to offer: earning a high school diploma and college credits simultaneously.
“It is about getting a headstart,” said 16-year-old MHS junior Damian Elizondo, who is taking college courses for the first time this semester. “Overall, it has been a great experience.”
On a typical school day, a Dual Enrollment student will take four high school classes in the morning and then head to the SJCC-Milpitas Extension for two Dual Enrollment classes, which are the equivalent of 20 (each class is worth 10) high school credits. For students needing transportation from one school to the other, SJCC-Milpitas Extension Director Michael Mooney was able to get them Eco-bus passes, and Principal Karisa Scott assures that they are connected.
“To graduate high school and start off college already having units it’s a deal that I could not pass up,” said 17-year-old CHHS senior Aeries Xiong. “The administration here is amazing and so supportive. The teachers allow us to be more independent in doing our work. I love it.”
Principal Scott, who oversees about 250 total students between her duties as Dual Enrollment Coordinator, Middle College HS Principal and MUSD Virtual Pathways Secondary Coordinator, recognizes the benefits of having such a program. After two years, a full-time student will amass over 20 college units that count as both college and high school credit.
“My hope is that every student is able to realize they can access college courses while still in high school, and that they recognize and overcome any barriers to achieve their goals,” Scott said. “We have the support and resources for them to be successful. We offer peer tutoring, free college textbooks and materials, college counseling services, and have students self-assess via progress reports. We also work collaboratively with SJCC to build a community for students here at our beautiful joint use campus."
There are currently three Dual Enrollment pathways including Computer Science (Technest), Education/Social Work and General Education. Classes are established in collaboration with the SJCC Extension to ensure students can take all the courses necessary to fulfill their pathway.
“I teach them how to be successful in college and show them the resources and programs that are available,” said Professor Zaina Hamid, who teaches Guidance 130 College Success. “College is a mystery to them. We give them an insider view that helps ease them into college.”
MCHS junior Nandana Kurup, 16, said she found out about Dual Enrollment from a presentation and the opportunity intrigued her so she decided to find out more about it.
“I’m the first person in my family to go to college in the United States. My family [attended college] in India,” said Kurup, who enjoys the college environment. “They have different expectations in college. You get to do it your way, but you’ve got to be on top of things.”
Fellow MCHS junior Kaitlyn Nguyen, 16, was drawn to the variety of courses offered in Dual Enrollment. “I get to choose what classes I take and what not to take,” she said.
Those interested in discovering if Dual Enrollment is right for them should visit https://mmchs.musd.org/dual-enrollment or contact Karisa Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org and set up an appointment today.
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NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING:
The governing board of Milpitas Unified School District will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.