Photo provided by Southwestern College

Southwestern College hosts a dual-enrollment program that has allowed students from institutions including Chula Vista, Palomar and Hilltop High Schools to obtain college credits as early as ninth grade.

”Southwestern has a proven track record of dual enrollment success,” Christian said. ”They are reaching students as early as the ninth grade helping them earn college credit before graduation and showing them that the idea of college is attainable.

”This program removes obstacles to higher education and presents students with a clear path to achieving their dreams,” she said. ”The work Southwestern is doing aligns with the strategic direction of Vision 2030 which aims to make equity gains while acknowledging decades of systemic barriers and the impact on disinvested communities.”

Other educational leaders attending Wednesday include Mark Sanchez, superintendent and president of Southwestern College and California Community Colleges Board of Governors standing member Mary Salas. Assemblymember David Alvarez, D-San Diego, will give an update on a bill that would give students, regardless of what side of the border they hail from, access to California colleges at in-state tuition rates, a college statement read.

”When young people have access to higher education early, they build the confidence and skills they need to thrive no matter what their future looks like,” Sanchez said. ”We are pleased to host this convening and demonstrate just why, for hundreds of our students, dual-enrollment has made all the difference between them and achieving their dreams.”

According to data provided by SWCC, dual-enrollment not only gives high school students the freedom to explore academic and career opportunities but allows them to graduate from two- and four-year institutions years early. Additionally it improves a student’s odds of attending college and obtaining a degree, ” closing equity gaps long present among people of color and low-income families,” the college statement reads.

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