College in High School: Summer Classes for High Schoolers

Many community colleges offer summer classes (READ: “Summer School Survival Kit“) for high school students that can either be used for high school credit or for college credit (READ: “5 Things to do Before You Go to College“). This is a lot of work – an Orange County private tutor will help you do well – and responsibility on your part but the rewards could really be worth it! Before you go ahead and sign up there are a few things to think about:

1. Do you want to use the credit for high school or college?

2. If you want to use it for high school, will your school accept the credit? For example, if your passion is photography and you need an art credit, but your high school offers painting, they will very likely not approve your photography class at the local CC. However, if you attend a private school, you may be able to make a case for your photography passion if that particular high school doesn’t offer photography. The school may appreciate your ambition or they may say no; you won’t know until you ask.

3. If you want to use it for college, check to see if the universities that you are applying to will take it. Electives are more likely to be approved than core courses but it is imperative that you check ahead of time (Check out our in-home college admissions consulting services). If you know that you will be attending Irvine Valley College in the fall, then it is very likely that you can use summer courses from IVC, even if you are under 18 and currently enrolled in high school. Check out the Irvine Valley College website to get more information.

4. Do you want to get the college experience before showing up for the first day of freshman year? Many students feel completely overwhelmed on their first day of college or university. Rest assured that this is totally normal and everyone else is feeling it too. A nervous stomach mixed with a heavy dose of excitement mixed with hopes and dreams and a dollop of sheer terror. Don’t worry, I felt the exact same way back when it was my turn to step foot on campus for the first time.


You want the college experience

For arguments sake, let’s say that you have been given the go ahead from your academic counselor, you have been accepted to take classes as a high school student OR you just want to get the college experience. These are some of the benefits you could get from taking one or two classes on campus:

1. There will be no reason to feel scared because if you decide that it isn’t really for you at age 16 or 17, you can finish out one class and go back to the traditional high school experience at the end of the summer.

2. If it IS for you, you will feel totally awesome walking onto campus – whatever campus that might be – on the very first day and think to yourself, “hey, I’ve got this, this is my second time at college!”

3. You will become accustomed to the discipline and structure of a college classroom. College and university are VERY different from high school and the professor will treat you the same as anyone else in the class. You will get a chance to see what it’s like to reach college level deadlines and meet a post-secondary level of academics and responsibility.

4. Even if you aren’t planning to attend a community college after high school, it will look pretty impressive on your 4-year university application.


Don’t know what class to take?

If you want to get the college experience but don’t know what to take, think about trying something a bit outside of your comfort zone. You will be taking all of your CA state approved classes at your local high school so I suggest thinking about one of the following:

1. Take a class in your favorite elective subject. Check out all the classes for this summer here: Class Schedule Irvine Valley College

2. Try your hand at fine arts: IVC only has one drawing class this summer but if you are willing to drive on down to Avery Pkwy, Saddleback College has tons of art classes this summer, check it out: Saddleback College.

3. Here’s that photography class I was talking about at IVC: Beginning Digital Photography.

4. Saddleback has more photography available (they are sister schools and Saddleback has a bigger arts facility).

Keep in mind that high school students get to sign up last. Hey, I guess that’s fair, right? So if you want to sign up for a class that is “closed”, try showing up on the first day to petition. Lots of folks change their mind at the last minute so why not take their spot?

Before showing up, you will have to actually become a student at IVC or Saddleback so make sure to do this way ahead of time. You can do that here: IVC Admissions or here: Saddleback Admissions. We realize it might be a little too late in the summer to consider one of these classes, but keep them in mind for next summer. Until then, make sure you’re all caught up in math and science for the fall with an Irvine academic tutor from TutorNerds.

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