Bakersfield College

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Early College FAQ

Through the Early College program, students at participating high schools have the opportunity to earn up to 60 college credit hours toward an associate degree or a certificate while earning their high school diploma. Course offerings begin in the 9th grade.
Bakersfield College currently offers nearly 400 dual enrollment sections each year across dozens of high schools. Students who enroll in dual enrollment courses earn college credits, free of cost. The Early College model embeds those courses into a scheduled pathway so that students have the opportunity to earn a certificate or degree in time for high school graduation.
There is no cost to the student to participate in Early College.
Enrollment fees at Bakersfield College stand at $46 per unit, as set by the State of California. If an Early College student completes all 60 units to earn his or her associate's degree while in high school, the student stands to save $2,760 in tuition alone, plus over $300 in fees. In addition, students will save hundreds on transportation and living expenses.
Each Early College high school site will work with Bakersfield College to identify a program of study that meets student needs. Programs of study may include certificates of achievement that build job skills and support academic goals, or associate degrees that are transferable to four-year universities.
All Early College courses are taught by professional faculty who meet at least the minimum qualifications as set by the California Community Colleges Minimum Qualifications Handbook. Bakersfield College department chairs and administrators evaluate all courses to ensure quality and rigor comparable to courses taught on the main Bakersfield College campus. BC Deans and discipline faculty also review and approve all faculty who teach each course to ensure the faculty meet established minimum qualifications.
High school students across the country have been earning college credit through Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses for years. However, a single exam at the end of the term will determine whether the student will earn college credit for the course.
Bakersfield College has been honoring high school performance for several years through our application of multiple measures of assessment to place students into transfer-level English and math courses. Multiple measures of assessment use other performance factors, such as cumulative high school GPA data and grades in specific courses. With these criteria, the college has placed more students than ever into transfer-level coursework with success rates consistently improving. Research has found multiple measures of performance to be more indicative of ability to succeed in a course than a single exam.
Bakersfield College began offering dual enrollment courses in area high schools in 2012. Student success data make it abundantly clear that students leave the program well prepared to succeed in college courses. In fact, high school students who enroll in BC courses have consistently higher course success rates exceeding 90%—well above our Institution-Set Standard.
Bakersfield College's Early College Program provides comprehensive support services and provides developmentally appropriate practices to ensure the students are successful.
If the instructor and student identify a student is unlikely to be successful, they will collaborate in determining the best course of action, including withdrawal from the course to avoid negatively affecting the student's GPA.
Early College works alongside the current educational curriculum of high school. Students can stay on track to meet the A-G requirements and all high school graduation requirements. Early College provides an opportunity for equal access and a bridge into college programs while in high school.
A major benefit of Early College courses is that the student automatically earns college credit for the course if they earn a passing grade in the course. Other college preparatory pathways like AP and IB courses require the student to pass an end-of-term exam at cost to the student. As research demonstrates, a single exam is not the best indicator of student success.