Mesa College “Fast Track” Partnership
Through a unique partnership, junior and senior students take classes at Mesa College. These classes are UC/CSU transferrable and many receive weighted and dual credit. Tuition is waived for participating students and each student’s course(s) are reserved before registration opens for the semester.
Beginning in their junior year, students can enroll in Mesa College courses. Before taking a course, a student must take an English placement exam and attend a mandatory orientation. Each semester, including the summer, the student must meet with either their school counselor or AVID Coordinator and Mesa counselor to receive academic advising and ensure enrollment in an appropriate course.
After the semester concludes, the Kearny SCT administration receives the grades from Mesa coursework to ensure students aremaking adequate academic progress.
Kearny SCT is a strong proponent of the dual enrollment program for the following reasons:
- Offers a wider variety courses to students: Through the Fast Track program, students are exposed to a wider course selection than traditional AP and IB. For example, students can enroll in courses such as Astronomy, Anthropology, Ethnic Studies, Music Appreciation, and Philosophy for which there is no equivalent AP or IB exam. All courses must be CSU/UC transferable.
- Promotes post-secondary education for a wide variety of students: Unlike advanced courses that target only high achieving students, Kearny Complex’s dual-enrollment program allows all junior and senior students to access post-secondary education.
- Experience authentic college rigor/environment influencing later post-secondary success: Fast Track students are immersed in the college environment. In each Mesa course, only a small percentage of seats are reserved for high school students. The Mesa professors do not have any way of distinguishing between college and high school students. Therefore, the Mesa professors do not ‘water-down’ the curriculum, allowing the high school students experience authentic college rigor and environment.
- A remedy to “senioritis”: Dual Enrollment programs are often cited as an antidote to senioritis, by providing an incentive for students to achieve their senior year. Unlike traditional high school students who find no purpose in their senior year, Fast Track students must achieve in their courses to continue in the program. Most importantly, the community college coursework is an essential component to the students’ post-secondary plans.
- Earn college credits prior to graduation, saving time and money: Fast Track students can complete up to eleven college courses prior to high school graduation saving time and money.
- Since Kearny SCT is on the 4x4 schedule, many seniors elect to graduate ‘early’ and spend the spring term at Mesa College enrolled in at least 12 transferable college units.