The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

More high school students are enrolling in classes at El Camino

North High Student student Genasyn Bantad, 15, and her family listen to presentations at the Dual Enrollment workshop on Saturday, May 4. The workshop, which took place at El Camino College East Dining Room above the Bookstore, was hosted by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi who represents the district from Gardena to San Pedro. (Kae Takazawa| The Union)

Getting ahead and challenging herself are the reasons a 15-year-old North High School student decided to take El Camino College classes.

Genasyn Bantad, who has taken eight college classes, said she loves taking her history class in an El Camino program.

“It’s not too hard to balance, it’s really enjoyable,” Bantad said.

California offers the $250,000 Middle College and Early College Grant for high schools in the state to support dual enrollment, which is a status of high school students in the college district to take classes at a college.

Dual enrollment in California generated $2.8 million in the 2022 to 2023 academic year, according to the Apportionment Reports from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

There were 275,653 special admit students, which are dual enrolled, in the 2022 to 2023 academic year.

The $2.8 million funds were generated from 41,532 Full Time Equivalent Students (FTES) from the special admit population.

FTES is calculated by summing the hours students are enrolled.

El Camino offers two programs for high school students in the college district to help them expand their pathways to higher education.

Early College Program

Bantad is in the Early College Program, a partnership with North High, which the Torrance Unified School District Board of Education approved in November 2021.

Students from ninth grade are able to apply for the program and take college classes on their high school campus.

As going to law school is her goal, Bantad said the program allows her to “get a headstart on everything.”

“I think it’s just like a higher level of learning,” Bantad said.

The TUSD applied for the $250,000 grant for North High last year and received it in March, Career Technical Education and Dual Enrollment Coordinator for the TUSD Emma Biggs said.

Biggs said it helps the TUSD fund professional development for the teachers who are teaching in the program or collaborate with El Camino professors to have its students take field trips to the campus and advertise the program.

“I think it relieves a lot of pressure,” Biggs said.

In the fall of 2024, the first cohort of 69 students in North High will study on campus.

Dual Enrollment Program in El Camino

The Dual Enrollment Program is another program where 12th graders can take classes on the El Camino campus mostly in the afternoon, after their high school schedule.

The Chancellor’s Office Datamart says the number of dual enrolled students in El Camino has increased by more than six times in the last 10 years and the biggest increase came in fall 2022, when the college saw more than 10 times bigger enrollments.

Michelle Arthur, El Camino Dual Enrollment Program coordinator, said the dual enrollment has increased over the last three years by 80%.

The number of high school students taking college classes at El Camino College has been relatively higher than the average among overall community colleges.
The number of high school students taking college classes at El Camino College has been relatively higher than the average among overall community colleges.

El Camino has partnerships with 24 high schools to offer classes including Redondo Union, Shery, South, West, and North High School.

North High has the largest number of students studying at El Camino.

“El Camino is really well known in the community, I would say up and down the state,” Arthur said.

Dean of Library and Learning Resources Crystle Martin said the Dual Enrollment Program used to be in the Student Services side of the college under outreach, but it moved to her division in November of 2022.

The Dual Enrollment Program includes an outreach component such as working with specific classes and the deans to connect the requests of the high schools, Martin said.

Getting the program under the Academic Affairs helps bridging connections with other deans on campus.

The total cost of salary for those working in the Dual Enrollment Program reaches $207,096 and $1,000 is allocated for supplies.

Dual Enrollment in California

California Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi said dual enrollment overall in California community colleges has been growing as it saw a 56% increase from 2015 to 2016.

Muratsuchi, who represents the district from Gardena down to San Pedro, said he wants to continue to build on this success.

“We want to encourage more high school students to take advantage of dual enrollment opportunities, especially underrepresented students from underrepresented communities,” Muratsuchi said.

Los Angeles Pierce College has the largest dual enrollment rate of 11%, compared to the other four colleges reviewed by The Union.

El Camino College saw an increase in the  percentage of dual enrollment, status of high school students taking college classes, in fall 2022.
El Camino College saw an increase in the percentage of dual enrollment, status of high school students taking college classes, in fall 2022.

The college also has the Dual Enrollment Program and another program called the Concurrent Enrollment Program which allows not only high school students but also middle school students to take any classes Pierce offers.

LA Pierce Coordinator of Outreach and Onboarding Julia Mendoza said the increase in dual enrollment is seen because LA Pierce’s Dual Enrollment Program is just one point contact. Mendoza oversees high school and community outreach and dual enrollment registration.

“One of the things that has helped us a lot…our dual enrollment is that everything got in housed into our area,” Mendoza said.

Those high schools Pierce has a partnership with are split into two groups and taken care of by the two Student Services representatives.

For the Dual Enrollment Program, Pierce has a partnership with 27 high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District including Taft Charter High School and Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies.

Mendoza said the program has grown a lot in the last two years through “strengthening the relationships with high schools.”

“We are working with our high schools a lot closer right now than we ever have,” she said.

Mendoza explained having a team available helps strengthen the connections.

Cerritos College has almost the same ratio of dual-enrolled students as El Camino.

High school students taking Cerritos’ classes are under the Educational Partnerships and Programs.

The program Director Colleen McKinley and Dual Enrollment Manager Jonae Varela said the college has 18 high schools including two private schools.

McKinley said the department is fairly new and discussions on how to bring college classes to the high school students started after the California Legislation AB 288 was passed in 2016.

Cerritos had three classes from summer 2016 to 2017 and is currently offering more than 200 classes for dual-enrolled students.

Santa Monica College declined to speak to The Union because it has only five high schools in the district while the other colleges have more.

“Santa Monica is kind of a smaller city on the coast and doesn’t have as many high schools around it as LA Pierce would have in LA County,” Research Fellow at California Education Lab and the Wheelhouse Elizabeth Friedmann said.

Friedmann explained the trend of the Dual Enrollment Program that she saw through her research.

“We do see some campuses that have strong partnerships, some high school districts have strong partnerships with their community college and have a lot of dual enrollment there,” Friedmann said.

She believes those colleges that have more partnerships with high schools in the district have a larger number of dual-enrolled students.

“The geography matters,” Friedmann said.

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