SRVUSD high schools partner with DVC in CollegeConnect program


Kevin Yang, News Editor

Starting in the 2016-2017 school year, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD) will pilot a dual-enrollment program allowing a select group of juniors to take classes at both their high school and Diablo Valley College (DVC) at the same time.

    This program is called CollegeConnect. According to a SRVUSD’s statement, CollegeConnect “provides SRVUSD students with accelerated learning in the company of other college bound students, while preserving their high school experience.”

    CollegeConnect students will split their regular school day schedule between high school and the  DVC San Ramon campus. In other words, these students will spend roughly half of their day at a SRVUSD high school spend the rest of the school day at the DVC campus in San Ramon, taking classes at both.

    Students interested in the program apply during their sophomore year and start taking high school and DVC courses concurrently in their junior year. During their first year in the program, CollegeConnect students take four regular high school courses and two college courses per semester. Currently, CollegeConnect students can choose from a list courses in English Communication, Social & Behavioral Sciences, or Arts & Humanities to take at DVC.

    The courses at the high school and at DVC will not overlap. For example, if a CollegeConnect student chooses to take and English Communication class at DVC, he or she will not have to take English 11 or AP Language and Composition in his or her high school schedule.

    In senior year, the classes that will be taken at DVC will be decided between the student and DVC counselors.

    According to the SRVUSD’s statement, students can complete up to 30 units of credit that are transferable to UC and CSU colleges. This number of units is roughly equivalent to one year of study at UC or CSU, meaning that CollegeConnect students would be able to graduate from a UC or CSU campus a year early.

    This year’s pilot program will take 15 students from each of the SRVUSD high schools (60 students in total). Students apply to the program by filling out the CollegeConnect application (which includes four essay questions) and by receiving two teacher/counselor recommendations. Only students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and a 3rd quarter term report with a GPA of 3.0 or higher are eligible to apply. A panel of SRVUSD teachers, counselors, and administrators will evaluate the applications and select the 15 students in each school who will participate.

    According to SRVUSD superintendent Mary Shelton, the program will give students the opportunity to push their boundaries academically in ways previously not available in high school.

    “We are excited to provide this unique opportunity and hope the program will allow students to gain the experience, confidence, and skills they need to accelerate their academic career,” Shelton said.