For most students, the cost of a college education is a concern — but the Delta College Dual Enrollment program is not only intended to provide a low-cost option, but also expose high school students to a more advanced curriculum.
Although first conceived in the early 2000s, the Dual Enrollment program was postponed due to the 2008 recession that led to Stockton filing for bankruptcy in 2012. With Stockton’s economy improving in recent years, the idea was brought back to life and approved last year by the California legislature.
Funded by the state, the Delta College Dual Enrollment program (DCDE) aims to provide high school students with a chance to earn college credit in a fashion similar to that of Middle College High School. Students will be able to take college courses directly after school hours.
“[The Delta College Dual Enrollment program] gives us the same benefits as students attending Middle College, making me feel less guilty about choosing Bear Creek over Middle College,” senior Sonia Sandhu said.
The DCDE program is designed to help with college expenses and to demonstrate to students the value of a higher education. Taking free college courses through this program will help soften college’s impact on wallets, since the cost of college courses at regular universities can be up to thousands of dollars.
“Although I’ll only be able to take one course, it’s still a great opportunity to save some money and I plan on taking full advantage of it,” senior Harminderjeet Kaur said.
Even just that one class can save students hundreds to thousands of dollars. For a standard three-unit class at a community college, in-state residents typically pay between $135-$750; the cost rises to between $300-$1650 for out-of-state residents. Public and private universities are much more costly, with classes costing thousands of dollars to total a yearly average tuition of $9410.
“Even just applying to college is expensive,” senior Narong Vang said. “These classes can mean the difference between food and starvation.”
The biggest drawback with the program is the availability of the courses. Starting in the spring of 2017, each high school will only offer one class.
“We do plan on expanding the number of courses available at each high school to around two as the program picks up steam,” Dual Enrollment Program Manager Michelle Diguilio said.
However, students are not limited to taking the course their high school offers; they can also take classes in neighboring high schools. This spring, McNair and Lodi will offer English 1A and Psychology, respectively, while Bear Creek will offer Sociology 1A.
For more information on the program or to enroll, students can go to the counseling office or check the Delta College website for the Dual Enrollment program.