Culver City Edition Lead Story Local News

Culver City schools enter pact with West L.A. College

CULVER CITY — It will be easier than ever before for Culver City high school students to earn college credit right on their own campus thanks to a new agreement with West Los Angeles College to offer college and career access pathways through dual credit courses in computer science, technical production for theater, and architecture.

The AB 288 agreement, signed at the Culver City school board meeting Jan. 23, allows students to take classes provided by West L.A. College at Culver City High School and Culver City Park High School, to earn college credit. Those classes will fulfill both diploma and college degree requirements and will be offered tuition-free.

“We are very excited about this new AB 288 partnership that allows our students to take dual enrollment classes and earn high school and college credit simultaneously,” Culver City school Superintendent Leslie Lockhart said. “This is yet another way that we can offer students a chance to follow their career goals and get a head start right on our high school campuses.”

“Reaching them where they are is critical to helping our young people connect to college and succeed in higher education and the workplace,” said Sydney Kamlager-Dove, president of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees. “This partnership reduces barriers to entry by allowing high school students to become comfortable with college processes from the familiar place of their high schools, and it’s tuition free — that’s a win-win for all.”

“This demonstrates how both institutions working together can capitalize on their strengths to increase access to college and meet the needs of students in the communities we serve,” LACCD Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez said. “I look forward to more of these signings across our nine colleges.

“West L.A. College has offered concurrent enrollment courses at Culver City High for years,” said Aracely Aguiar, the college’s vice president of academic affairs. “Through the AB 288 partnership, classes can be offered as dual enrollment for high school students to get high school and college credit simultaneously. Working with Culver City Unified, are creating pathways in computer science, technical production for theater, and architecture that lead to employment.”

“In one year, West Los Angeles College will celebrate its 50th year.” college President James M. Limbaugh said. “If you know anything about the college’s history, you know that Culver City’s residents and school board were instrumental in the establishment of this campus that serves Culver City, West Los Angeles and other surrounding communities.

“So we are particularly pleased and excited to be entering into this agreement that expands our partnership with the outstanding Culver City schools.”

Assembly Bill 288 was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in October 2015. Introduced by Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, it allowed community colleges and nearby school districts to enter agreements for the purpose of offering or expanding dual enrollment opportunities for students who may not already be college bound or who are underrepresented in higher education, with the goal of developing seamless pathways from high school to community college for career technical education or preparation for transfer, improving high school graduation rates, or helping high school pupils achieve college and career readiness, according to the state Chancellor’s Office.