Students take advantage of early college

Cal Schwartz, staff writer

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The early college program at Paradise Valley Community College aids students in getting ahead in their college careers.
“It is extremely helpful because by the time you get done with high school you have a year of college done with,” said Cassidy Gross, a junior.
The Early College program can help students obtain a year’s worth of college credits, and at the same time earn credit for high school courses. However, most out-of-state colleges will not accept the credits.
“The benefits for a lot of students is that it helps get you acclimated to college expectations, college going culture, college rigor and curriculum at an earlier age, so that by the time a high school student graduates from high school, that transition from high school expectations and college expectations is made much easier,” said Audrey Moreno, director of the Puma Early College Program.
With college-level work assigned in class, the amount of homework is also equivalent to college level classes. But, because Early College students only have four classes at the high school and the rest of them at the college, the workload is very similar to a regular high school student.
According to the Paradise Valley Community College website, only year one and two college courses are offered with the Early College program.
Starting in sophomore to junior year summer, the ECP allows students to complete the basic requirements for college before even stepping foot on the actual campus. English, math, multiple sciences, and a few select electives are offered for Early College students at the satellite campus.
The Paradise Valley Community College website also shows the financial benefits of the Early College Program. Earn college credits at the price of a community college while also having textbooks provided by the high school. Each credit hour costs $85, with an additional $15 each semester.
In addition, the Paradise Valley Community College website states that students that wish to apply to the Early College program must “meet the general eligibility requirements of meeting proficiency on the AZMerit or PSAT 93 or SAT 930 or ACT 22 or completion of the Reading Accuplacer test.”
If none of these are completed by registration, applying students will not be allowed to participate in the program.
“Some out of state colleges do not take the credits, but I know for the most part that a lot of them do,” said Ashley Gamez, a junior who is currently in the Early College program.
Although a few out of state colleges do not accept the college credits, Maricopa Community Colleges, Arizona’s state universities, and many out-of-state colleges do accept the credits and allow students to complete many basic college courses.