Many Yuba College students may not realize it, but there are high school students among us. They are part of the Concurrent Enrollment program.
“Concurrent Enrollment students are high school students who are taking additional courses at Yuba College,” explained David Farrell, Dean of Student Development at Yuba College.Concurrent Enrollment students go through a process different than that of other Yuba College students. An aspiring CE student has to pick up a form at the Information Desk in the 100 building. The student then must have the form signed by a parent and their high school principal or County Superintendent of Instruction.
The Board of Trustees opted two years ago to waive the enrollment and unit fees for CE students, who now only pay the $6 student services fee at time of enrollment. CE students come from high schools all over the Yuba-Sutter area.
“We’re trying to connect with local high schools to encourage students who have met most of their graduation requirements to come to afternoon classes and get a jump on college,” said Farrell. “We get students from all over. We get them from schools such as Wheatland, Lindhurst, Marysville, Yuba City, Colusa and Live Oak.”
“Currently, there are between 350 and 400 Concurrent Enrollment students enrolled at Yuba College,” Farrell continued. “That number is growing since the Board of Trustees made the decision to waive the enrollment and unit fees for the students.”
“We monitor the performance of the Concurrent Enrollment students into the following semester,” said Farrell. “We assess their maturity level. If they demonstrate immaturity, they might be asked to cease the program.”
The reasons high school students choose to go through the CE program are various.
“I’m in the program because several of my siblings went through the (CE) program,” said student Holiday Davis. “Here at Yuba College, they treat the students with respect.”
Sheryl Hott, Director of Little Oak School, is an advisor for some CE students. She has advised these students for many years.
“My students are usually highly ambitious,” said Hott. “They set their sights for a four-year state college or university.”
To register, CE students must wait until open enrollment. “Concurrent Enrollment students have the lowest priority among Yuba College Students,” explained Farrell. “They’re coded in the system. They’re not considered continuing students.”
This fact is the cause of an ongoing disagreement between Yuba College administration and CE students and their advisors. Because CE students must register during open registration, most of their required classes are filled by the time they are allowed to register.
“Waiting for open enrollment has hurt those of my students who are trying to transfer to a four-year college or university,” said Hott. “There’s a question of equity. Concurrent Enrollment students are making a bona fide college record.”
Hott continued to say that she thinks CE students should be allowed to enroll at the same time continuing students do.
“Also, when the college gives statistics in its catalogues about students receiving degrees from Yuba College, they include the Concurrent Enrollment students,” said Hott. “If the college includes them in these statistics, why shouldn’t they be allowed to enroll at the same time as the other students?”
“Most of the classes necessary for requirements are taken by the time we’re allowed to register,” said student Katrina Seagraves. “We end up having to stay at the Junior College level longer.”
Farrell confirmed, “Parents of Concurrent Enrollment students often complain about the open registration issue. It’s a special program. Regularly enrolled Yuba College students should have priority.”Although the registration issue remains a controversial topic, the Concurrent Enrollment students are generally pleased with the program.
“I really appreciate the fact that I was able to take classes here at Yuba College,” said Davis. “I’m eternally grateful to the college for the opportunity.”
“I think it’s a great opportunity for students,” said Farrell. “With the costs and curriculums at the high schools getting cut, students are coming here to take fine arts, vocational and academic core classes, and it can benefit them when they’re ready for college.”
Hott concluded, “Programs like Concurrent Enrollment are the new wave in education.”