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.
This May we look forward to our first Early College graduating class of 23 students from Beckman High School. These students will receive both their high school diploma and an associate degree from Irvine Valley College in addition to being transfer ready for the university of their choice. Most of these students have already been accepted to a four year college, but colleges are still sending out acceptance letters at this time. One of the Beckman High School upcoming graduates, Borna Shirvani, has maintained a 4.0 grade point average in the Early College Program. Borna also serves on the Early College advisory team representing the student voice as we continue further develop the program opportunities.
Early College is fast becoming a popular program at the Irvine Valley College's District high schools. Overall Irvine Valley College and the participating high school districts in the Early College found the program to be an academically enriching and mutually beneficial to our shared student population. IVC will conduct student follow-up, and expect that the rate of baccalaureate degree attainment for these students will be significantly higher than for generic students and transfer students because of their age and academic background. For more information on the Early College Program you may contact the principal at the each of the high schools or Kathy Werle, Dean of Academic Programs at (949) 451-5565 at Irvine Valley College.
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.