In an effort to demystify college, dual enrollment for college extends to middle school.

Soft SkillsFour Los Angeles Unified middle schools have a dual enrollment agreement with Los Angeles Harbor College. Professors visit the school campuses once a week, and 140 middle school students go to the college campus for a Saturday session.

“It’s really a way of demystifying college,” said Steve Gebhart, principal at Dana Middle School in San Pedro. “They can see the campus and see that college is really not that far away — in reality, it’s only 5 miles from their house.”

This is also an opportunity for public schools to provide attractive options to middle school students who might otherwise enroll in charter schools.

“This is part of an overall effort to make our schools competitive with any charters in the area,” said District South Superintendent Christopher Downing. “We want our students back and this is part of that effort.”

The pilot program in Local District South offers courses in journalism, basic medical terminology, and engineering. It is free, and for some offerings will provide college credit which will reflect on student transcripts when they graduate.

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