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Board Wants Dual Credit Given for College Courses


SANTA CLARITA — High school students bored by their regular classes may soon be allowed to move up to college courses--and in doing so receive both high school and college credit.

The William S. Hart Union High School District board Wednesday night directed its staff to develop a policy that would give students dual credit for college course work.

"We really needed to do something to enhance and accelerate students' career and academic goals," said Gary Wexler, the district's director of curriculum. "This will provide students with transition experience from high school to community college."

Issues yet to be worked out include which students will be allowed to take part in the program, what college courses will be accepted for dual credit and how many classes a student will be allowed to take.

Students enrolled in the district's three high schools are currently allowed to take classes at College of the Canyons, the local community college. But they receive only college credit for the work.

Last year, 195 high school students were enrolled at both Hart district high schools and College of the Canyons, Wexler said, with 109 of those students from Saugus High School.

The proposed change allowing students to earn both high school and college credit was made possible by a state law adopted two years ago, Wexler said. So far, several districts, mostly in San Diego County, have taken advantage of the change.

Board member Paula Olivares warned that, in switching to a dual credit system, only students who are likely to succeed in college courses should be allowed to participate in the program.

"I just have concerns about the middle-of-the-road student," Olivares said. "If care wasn't taken in what courses and how many courses and which students are allowed to have dual credit, kids may be allowed to go to community college and fail."

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