By: Jacob Fisher
Have you been wanting to take more difficult classes, or classes beyond what are offered at d.tech? If so, concurrent enrollment may be for you.
Amit Harlev, a d.tech senior, is taking concurrent enrollment through CSM and Skyline because, he says, “I finished high school’s math curriculum and I wanted to keep taking math classes…Those classes would also count for college [credit].” Harlev said that the quality of the classes are “completely dependent on the teacher.” All but one of Harlev’s classes so far have been good. Harlev took two history classes and one was good and the other was not so good. “The tests were too hard. I think that 50% of the class failed. Every three weeks we would have a test with 100 questions. He would ask ridiculously detailed questions,” Harlev said.
Some students take concurrent enrollment to take classes that aren’t offered at d.tech. Katie Toye, a d.tech senior, took third year Chinese and chemistry through concurrent enrollment at CSM and Skyline. Toye says that, “In comparison to d.tech classes, like chemistry, I would say that it is definitely more rigorous.” Toye says her chemistry teacher had great online reviews, and despite the class having faster pacing than most d.tech classes, she enjoyed it. Toye’s online Chinese class, however, was not as enjoyable. Toye notes that “The challenge of learning a language online is very frustrating, especially when your teacher is not very responsive and did not give great feedback, and doesn’t really help you with pronunciation.” She recommends taking concurrent enrollment because at d.tech, “We don’t have finals, we don’t have midterms, or the regular class rigor, [of most college classes] so I would say definitely try it for at least a semester… I think people definitely have good experiences with them, I think based on your interest level and commitment level, and making sure that you have time for it.” The workload of a college class is usually more than a high school class, so it is a good way to show colleges that you are academically prepared for college.
At schools that offer AP classes, like Homestead High School in Sunnyvale, AP classes are what most students take instead of concurrent enrollment. Roy Fuccio, a Senior at Homestead High School, decided to take AP courses for math and environmental science. Fuccio decided to take a math AP because it was the next level offered at the school, and he knew he wanted to take a math class his senior year. Roy says that AP courses are like “college classes, so they are a little bit harder.” He said that even with the accelerated pace it was not hard to keep up because “the materials that the teachers give us are usually really helpful. In my math class we have a quiz every day just to make sure that you understand the material that you are learning.” One of the main reasons why people take AP classes is that they are designed to show colleges that you can handle harder classes, or simply to take the next level of classes offered.
According to d.tech’s website, “Over the last ten years there has been an escalation in the number of APs students are expected to take in an effort to differentiate themselves from their peers, with the result that APs are no longer considered the differentiating factor that they once were in the college admissions process… Students are not penalized for not taking APs when they attend a school that does not offer them” They want to see that you are taking the most difficult classes that your school offers. At Homestead, students are taking APs because they are the next level of classes offered, or simply to tick a box on their college applications. d.tech believes that community college classes show colleges that students are willing to go the extra mile to further their education.