New legislation to make pathway to college easier for high school students

The California Community College Board of Governors signed into effect legislation that gives high school students increased access to college-level courses, on Nov. 4, 2015 in Pasadena, Ca.

Assembly Bill 288 was led by Assembly Majority Leader Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, and will develop a “partnership between high schools and community colleges” allowing high school students to take community college courses to make their transition to college easier, according to the press release sent out by the CCC Chancellor’s Office’s Director of Communications Paige Marlatt-Dorr.

Concurrent enrollment is defined as enrollment in two or more educational institutions by means of accessing more courses and opportunities. AB 288 will allow enrollment up to 15 units “if certain conditions are met and prohibits any fee from being charged to high school students in [College and Career Access Pathways] courses,” according to the press release.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed the AB 288 in October.

“It’s a big transition from high school to college, and getting a ‘taste’ early is a way to ease into the differences between the systems,” said Cosumnes River College’s Outreach Specialist Peggy Ursin.

The goal of AB 288 is to develop a pathway that is smooth for high school students and also allows them to figure out if college is something they want to pursue.

“Expanding dual enrollment is critical because it increases opportunities for students to pursue certificates and degrees or transfer to four-year institutions,” said Board of Governors President Baum in the press release.

There has always been a concurrent enrollment agreement in place between high schools and community colleges, but the establishment of new programs makes it possible to increase awareness for students, families and communities.

CCAP is a collection of services that will focus on transporting high school students, who are not already thinking about college, to vocational colleges and community colleges to prepare for transfer or career fields.

“I think creating a diverse set of clear educational pathways to help students realize their educational goals, including the option of dual enrollment, is very worthwhile for students, the college and the state,” said Kathleen McLain, Dean of College Planning and Research and the College Equity Officer.

AB 288 will allow thousands of high school students to experience the college environment and make their choice to go to college or not. AB 288 has been receiving a lot of praise because of the communal impact for both high school students and community colleges.

“I think it’s positive for those who are motivated,” said Public Information Officer Kristie West.

“I’m sure it’s not easy for a high school student to attend a college class, but for those who do, I believe they will find it very rewarding.”

Holden is hopeful that AB 288 will change how students view higher education and he looks forward to the opportunities high school students will find, according to the press release.

AB 288 takes effect in January 2016.