Advancement opportunities for Orcutt Academy students
Orcutt Academy offers a wide variety of AP, honors, and concurrent enrollment classes, as well as other opportunities to take advanced classes through College Now.
The benefits of these classes include preparing students for any difficult courses they may take later in high school or college, as well as giving them a GPA boost after freshman year. A competitive GPA allows students to appear more appealing when applying for colleges and scholarships, and some may even allow students’ college credit through Allan Hancock College to be applicable.
After freshman year, students can receive a GPA boost for any AP, honors, concurrent enrollment, or College Now classes they may be taking with a C or better. This boost makes an A worth 5.0, B worth 4.0, and C worth 3.0.
AP and concurrent enrollment courses make it possible for students to receive college credit, and can also prepare students for the possibility of becoming full-time college students. AP classes prepare students to take AP tests, which, if they score at least a 3 on the test, will correlate to college credit at most colleges. Some concurrent enrollment classes allow students to take a college course on our high school campus as well.
College Now is an excellent opportunity made available to Orcutt Academy students. This program allows high school students to take certain classes at Allan Hancock and receive college credit for them. You must be at least a junior in high school to take advantage of this, however, freshmen and sophomores are able to take them if they fill out the necessary paperwork. High school students can take up to six units at the college, or they can even take more if they file an appeal. Students have the option of taking classes both on campus and online, and at both campuses: Orcutt Academy and Allan Hancock College.
Mrs. Cedillo, OA’s academic counselor on campus, highlights how important it is for all incoming freshmen is to at least try out College Now classes to take advantage of this opportunity, and see if college is the right fit for them – while they are able to take free classes. Cedillo states that College Now classes are “a good way to be exposed to opportunities that you have.” One of the other benefits to taking College Now courses mentioned by Cedillo is the fact that these classes are “saving [students] so much time and so much money” compared to taking courses as a full-time college student and paying tuition.
Cedillo says that the best time for high school students to try taking Hancock courses is during the summer, because during the school year it may be more difficult to balance demanding college courses on top of a full load of classes at Orcutt Academy and any other activities students may be involved in. Cedillo states that taking classes during the summer is very beneficial, saying that students can “use that time to move forward [with their education]”.
“It’s saving you so much time and so much money”
However, the one drawbacks to these classes is that many students are overloading themselves with too much work. Cedillo says that the counselors want to see students succeed in their classes, and do not want to set them up for failure.
For future freshmen of Orcutt Academy, talk to your counselors frequently! They want you to succeed, and they know how to help you.