By Dr. Elñora Tena Webb
Hopefully, like a growing number of folks, you’ve heard about “Concurrent Enrollment.”
It’s an opportunity provided to California’s youth that encourages them to enroll in their local community college to earn credits towards their high school diploma and two-year college degrees.
For most youth who leverage this opportunity, they accelerate through the work required to complete their diploma. It also has another benefit: it ensures that our youth can fulfill up to the first two years of their 4-year undergraduate requirements; thus, the 3-for-1.
A number of alums and current students who have opted to do this come to mind, including Dalvster “Dalvin” Butler who graduated from his OUSD high school the same month he graduated from Laney College, earning three Associate of Arts degrees.
Immediately, thereafter, he enrolled in and graduated from Georgetown University with his Bachelor of Arts in Government and subsequently attended Johns Hopkins University where he earned his Masters of Science in Education Studies.
He has served as an intern for various organizations and elected officials, including Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
For many youth, enrolling in a community college ensures that the disconnects they felt in high school are replaced with rigorous engagement, learning, achievements and successful completion of high school and community college courses—and for a growing number of students, also a college degree.
Beyond the obvious economic benefits—people with community college and bachelor’s degrees annually earn upwards of $1 million more than those with only a high school diploma—these youth and young adults mature and emerge as college-educated scholars while allowing themselves to enjoy this important life-affirming journey.
Arguably most important, quality community college experiences do something that is nothing short of transformative. They help our students see themselves as valuable because they are valued; they expose them to ideas, concepts and experiences that are relevant to their lives; they meet their learning needs in order to help each student learn how to learn more effectively; and they equip them with tools to design and develop productive and rewarding lives.
Laney College is continuing its legacy of promoting concurrent enrollment. Working with all the local unified school districts, we welcome all high school students.
In Oakland, we are very lucky to have Supt. Antwan Wilson and Deputy Supt. Bernard McCune who are committed to concurrent enrollment.
In our Peralta Community College District, we are building an even stronger partnership with the Oakland schools so that the shared student success goals we seek can be achieved.
Laney College is a remarkable setting for facilitating such ends. The community college is an inspiring place with the myriad of events and fine and performing arts of painting, graphics design, sculpturing, theatre arts, music and dance.
Laney enables our youth and young adults to acquire college-level knowledge and skills. Students sit side by side and otherwise engage with other college students as they study a multitude of subjects.
We are also proud of being a hub for industrial and advanced manufacturing education, while offering culinary arts and much more, including construction trades such as carpentry, welding, electricity and electronics technology, wood technology, and construction management.
Concurrent Enrollment Next Steps:
To enroll in Laney College, follow three steps, which are located at http://web.peralta.edu/admissions/high-school-students/
Dr. Elñora Webb is president of Laney College in Oakland.