By LIZZIE LACEY
City College and the San Diego High School Media, Visual and Performing Arts Academy, have come to an agreement to allow students at the high school to enroll in City College classes.
The goal is to provide continued academic enrichment and decrease the dropout rate by allowing students to get used to the idea of going to college.
The high school is one of the six schools funded under the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grant.
Thirty faculty and staff members from San Diego High School–, including Principal Shirley Rehkopf, met with City’s Winston Butler, dean of the School of Arts, Humanities, Communications and Telecommunications, President Terrence Burgess, Vice President Larry Brown and Vice President of Instruction Ron Manzoni, as well as the Visual and Performing Art faculty to begin what they hope will be a model program for both schools.
There are currently 20 high school students enrolled in photography, music, dance, drama and art at City College.
Ten of these students can be seen in the SDCC production of Grease from October 27 – November 12.
According to June Richards, the co-chairwoman of the Visual and Performing Arts Department, “for years and years getting children to walk across the street, they call it ‘the Great Divide’, has been very difficult. There’s a huge barrier and I’m going to knock it down.”
“I love working with the older kids,” said Mandy Antos, an eleventh grade student at San Diego High School. She wants to study theater at UCLA and is thankful for this opportunity “to see how college works.”
The memorandum of understanding includes courses in the late afternoon and evening in the entire spectrum of the Visual and Performing Arts at SDCC.
If San Diego High students have finished their high school coursework they can attend classes during the day.
The advantages to students are clear. The collaborative program helps foster college-ready students, especially among lower income students, by allowing them to earn college credit while still in high school. Enrollment fees are waived.
According to San Diego High School senior Joy Monticino, “It’s cool, and it’s free.”