New DVC program saves high school students time and money


Stephanie Alves, Rosa Armendariz, Taylor Harrison and Meranda Broder

Chelsey Schallig, News Editor

Mt. Diablo Unified School District high school students have the opportunity to earn college credits when enrolled in the College Now program offered at Diablo Valley College.

MDUSD leaders went to DVC to start a dual enrollment program after California approved the Assembly Bill 288-College and Career Access Pathways in 2015. It allows Contra Costa Community College District to form partnership agreements with local school districts to give access to concurrent enrollment opportunities for high school students.

“College Now gives students the opportunity to achieve high school and college academic success which gives them the chance to explore and pursue career aspirations,” says Rosa Armendáriz, DVC Interim Dean of Student Engagement. 

The College Now program started fall 2016 for eleventh-grade students and will become available to both twelfth and eleventh-grade students for the 2017-18 school year. This program gives high school students the chance to prepare themselves for future college experiences in an academically-challenging environment.

College Now has a diverse background of students whose needs are not being met by the comprehensive high school.

“The main focus of this program is to encourage success academically,” says Mandy Ganz, MDUSD Counselor.

The first part of their day consists of English, U.S history and advisory taught by MDUSD teachers and additional DVC courses with other community college students. Counseling 120 is a requirement for those who are enrolled which is taught by Taylor Harrison, DVC Counselor.

“High School students have access to college-level coursework and the chance to provide them with opportunities to engage in a college-level course,” says Armendariz.

Students who want to apply must show a high level of motivation and maturity, and be ready for an academic experience. Applicants must have a history of satisfactory attendance and behavior to qualify for the new program. There is a total of 30 students who were accepted for the Fall 2016 program.

“DVC gains from this program because it adds to the diversity and experience on campus. Those enrolled in regular DVC courses contribute to and learn from the college environment,” says Armendariz.