College options abound beyond AP classes

Middle College and dual enrollment offer college credit

Megan Perez, Staff Writer

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Middle College is an experience that upcoming juniors and seniors can sign up for that helps them achieve college easier and more quickly. Juniors Grace Cho and Rafa Belamesh share their thoughts and why they chose the Middle College experience. The Campbell Union and Los Gatos school districts help their students find classes they would enjoy more than an average high school class. 

Middle College allows students to finish their high school credits for junior and senior years while getting credit for college as well. It gives students more freedom and treats them like adults. Cho is a new student at Middle College. 

“I wanted to pursue Middle College because I felt like I wasn’t getting my full potential,” said Cho “I just didn’t like the high school environment where you are always constricted,” Cho said, “I just wanted to try a new environment where I could be more of myself and to take the classes I actually want to take.”

Going into the applying and interview step of enrolling, there are two essays to be written. After the essays, comes the interview process. However, not all applicants get to this step. Cho is grateful she got in though, because she doesn’t have to deal with the troubles of high school.

“High school is stressful because there is a lot of people fighting for popularity and a lot of people are fake. Middle College is about being yourself and being true,” she said. One source of negativity that came to Cho’s mind was not seeing her friends as often as she would like. “I do miss socializing with friends so I do try and go to as many High school dances and football games as I can,” Cho said. 

Another student that switched to Middle College this year was Belamesh. She likes the independence that middle college offers 

“In high school, usually teachers would do things for you, like make appointments,” Belamesh said.  “but here you really have to take control of things.” 

 If students want a challenge but don’t feel quite ready for classes that are three hours long, require a lot of determination and time, Branham offers dual enrollment classes that happen after school. Dual enrollment classes are a class you can take after school on any subject students want to take. They help gain credits for college, yet students stay on campus.

College and Career counselor Patricia Perez said that middle college is a solid option to get a head start.

“You get a taste of the college classes without ever leaving the Branham campus and they are taught by West Valley faculty,” Perez said. 

Branham administration is also trying to gather student input on what type of classes they would enjoy. As of now, students can take classes like ASL (American Sign Language), Calculus, sports medicine, and childhood development.

Next semester’s Dual enrollment classes will be released before the first is over. If students would like to go to West Valley, they can get up to 6 units for each class they take which is enough to graduate and get ahead in college studies. there will be an info night at West Valley around February.