Irvine Valley College (IVC) is committed to creating fast track educational opportunities for high school students interested in getting a head start on their college careers. An example of the College's creative high school endeavors is the Early College Program (ECP) with Tustin Unified School District and Saddleback Valley Unified School District.
ECP is a partnership that allows students to dual-enroll in classes at their high school and Irvine Valley College. In 2007, the Early College Program was started by IVC as a pilot program at Beckman High School (a local high school within the Irvine Valley College Service area). The program later expanded, first in 2008, to Tustin High School in Tustin and then in 2009, to El Toro High School in Lake Forest.
The purpose of the Early College Program is to provide the opportunity for academically qualified high school students to complete the Intersegmental General Education Course (IGETC) Certification and transfer to one of the UC or CSU campuses with almost two years worth of transferrable college credit, saving thousands of dollars in tuition and valuable time that can be directed toward a career or graduate work. This pilot provided for students to earn an Associate in Arts degree and transfer IGETC Certification, but after the initial cohort of students, the project has scaled back to provide for the IGETC Certification only. Students complete their high school diploma while taking IVC courses for both high school and college credit.
The classes offered at the high school are Irvine Valley College courses taught by Irvine Valley College professors. Irvine Valley College provides counseling and assessment services, which are contracted for by the high school districts through an annual Memorandum of Understanding. Every student in the program has an education plan that outlines the courses they will take at IVC.
Professors from IVC are provided orientation to the high schools and staff development workshops on campus. IVC faculty have access to high school principals and vice principals to deal immediately with student/school issues and parental requests for information as they arise, and the IVC's Office of Instruction is responsible for overall coordination of this program.
ECP classes are held in the morning before the first period at the high school for 9th through 11th graders so students can easily transition to their other high school classes and still be involved in the extracurricular activities such as athletics and arts at their high school. Seniors take their college classes at IVC in the early morning. Classes are open to other college students in addition to ECP students.
In May 2013, more than 50 high school students from Beckman HS, Tustin HS, and El Toro HS received their IGETC certification and participated in commencement exercises at Irvine Valley College. Many of these students were accepted to four year colleges including a number of those in the University of California and California State University systems as well as other colleges out of state.
Overall, Irvine Valley College and the high schools participating in the Early College program have found the program to be academically enriching and mutually beneficial to our shared student population. For more information about the process of applying to the Early College Program, please contact the responsible administrator at the high school. For other general inquiries about the program, you can contact Keith Shackleford, Dean of Health Science, Kinesiology and Athletics at 949-451-5398.
For more information regarding the Early College Program at a specific high school, please visit the high school pages linked in the box at the left.