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 MiraCosta College Dual Enrollment Program Creating Career Opportunities for High School Students

students walking on campus sunny dayA new MiraCosta College dual enrollment program at Surfside Educational Academy in Oceanside is setting the standard on how a collaborative approach in earning college credit for high school students can also result in new job skills and gainful employment.

The partnership between Surfside Educational Academy and MiraCosta College began last year with a one unit, college-level Career and Life Planning course. The success of that course led to offering Introduction to Hospitality Management, a three unit class launched this spring. Twenty-two students are currently enrolled in the class and have priority consideration to interview with Hyatt Hotels for a position at the new Mission Pacific and Seabird Resort hotels in Oceanside.

"The team at Surfside is immensely grateful for the incredible partnership and support from MiraCosta College,” said Surfside Educational Academy Principal Eric Frandsen. “We are excited to continue building our partnership with both MiraCosta and Hyatt as we create additional opportunities for our students.”

Zhenya Lindstrom, MiraCosta College’s Dean of Instructional Services, praised Frandsen and his staff. “This program illustrates how amazing the people who work at Surfside are and how committed they are to their students,” she said.

The partnership is illustrative of the expanding dual enrollment program at MiraCosta College, where the number of students in the Oceanside Unified School District taking dual enrollment courses has increased nearly 60% in the past four years to 411. Nearly half of those students end up enrolling at MiraCosta College after completing high school. Dual and concurrent enrollment allows for high school students to take college-level classes, while benefitting from having enrollment fees waived. High school students can enroll in up to 11 units of credit in the spring and fall semesters and up to eight units in the summer.

“Our dual enrollment program is growing by leaps and bounds,” said Benjamin Gamboa, MiraCosta’s Associate Dean of Career Education. “Students are experiencing very high success rates through this dual enrollment initiative and students are being presented with opportunities for meaningful work-based learning, as well as employment opportunities in their areas of interest.”

Especially important is that dual enrollment doesn’t leave any demographic behind. “We want to ensure these programs serve the underserved communities in our region by working with K-12 districts to create meaningful pathways,” said Lindstrom.