10 Benefits of taking Community College Classes while still in High School

JMJ 47  *Taking a cc class while in high school can reduce the stress level of the first semester in college.  The self-confidence built from taking a prior class, can increase chances for a successful first semester.  It can also help you as a parent to slowly let go of your child as they are becoming more independent.

Ring the School Bell 47/180 days

All the troops worked through the morning and early afternoon, getting through their academic lessons.  Later in the afternoon,  it was time to drive Sabrina to her interior design course at College of the Canyons.  The clock had been set back an hour so it got so very dark by the early hour of 5:30pm.  I didn’t like the idea of her walking back to the car in the dark after class, but luckily the students were smart about it. Her newfound class companions huddled together in safety as they walked back to the roundabout.

The roundabout is a convenient area where the parents can drop off and pick up their kids.  It’s a little tough for me because most of the time I sit waiting in the student pick-up area, while waiting for Sabrina, so I have to find something to do.  It is just too far to drive back home while she is in class and I don’t always have errands or feel like doing them.  And at this point in my life, I didn’t have a smartphone to entertain me yet!  Often what I do to make good use of the time available, is to write bills for John’s office or other personal paperwork.  Paperwork is like housework in my life, it is always there!  But tonight there was no natural light for me to work in my car.  Luckily I spotted one  street lamp that provided just enough light for when it got beyond dusky.   Hopefully, no other parents will get the same idea, next class, and take my spot!

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Sarah’s first day at Los Angeles Pierce Community College (future photo!)

I would like to take this opportunity to list the benefits of taking a community college class, while still in high school.  Sabrina, Sarah, and Melissa all have taken several cc classes and highly recommend it!

  1. It looks good on college applications.  Prospective schools will know that your child can handle a college level course, and that will positively affect the admissions officer.
  2. Homeschoolers may not have as many opportunities to take an AP course, so this might be a viable alternative. Another related benefit is that there is no AP test to take and pass.
  3. A community college class gives a glimpse into college-level work.  From what I have seen, many times the work required in a college level class is not necessarily harder, just accelerated in terms of the amount of work expected. (carefully plan the semester so your child has enough time to study for the class)
  4. It allows the time to explore an area for a possible major at a 4-year university.  Sarah loved her weather class (in the future) so much that she decided to major in geography, which involves a lot of earth science.
  5. General education credits taken at a community college count towards a 4-year degree in many states.  Check your community college for details.  Sarah finished a semester’s worth of GEs, and Melissa is on target for completing one full year.
  6. It saves money.  Some states, such as California, don’t charge community college tuition to high school students. This could potentially save even more if an associates degree is earned here rather than a 4-year university.
  7. The classes are composed of more serious students, in many cases, than in a traditional high school.
  8. Your child can select classes based on personal strengths and interests, or take a class in an area their parent is having trouble helping them with. I had trouble teaching advanced science concepts, although I tried with Sabrina and then Sarah.  I warned Melissa about this, and she then decided to take physical science/lab at the college, while only 15 years old.(obviously in the future) It was a bit accelerated but I cleared her school schedule a bit so she could devote the time needed to do well.  She is beyond thrilled that this class will also count towards her general education science credits when she enters university in the future.
  9. Taking a cc class while in high school can reduce the stress level of the first semester in college.  The self-confidence built from taking a prior class, can increase chances for a successful first semester.  It can also help you as a parent to slowly let go of your child as they are becoming more independent. As Sabrina mentioned to me, “It helped me get used to being in a classroom with other kids, since I had been homeschooled for so many years.”
  10. Last, but not least, taking a cc class can give your child the idea of whether college is right for them.  Maybe it is not.  They might ultimately decide to explore other vocational arts, instead, or join the family business. Who knows what they will do, but at least taking a class or two or more at a community college, can help give them the direction they might need.

Any other benefits you can think of?

Here is a link with community college insights, which you might find useful:

https://www.communitycollegereview.com/blog/why-high-school-students-should-take-community-college-classes

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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is an excerpt of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs.

May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine.    Annette

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Sarah

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