Volume 8, Number 6
(Printer Friendly Version)
Member Spotlight: San Bernardino Valley College
Middle College High School
San Bernardino Valley College Partners With
San Bernardino City Unified School District
San Bernardino Valley College
San Bernardino, CA
What does 100 percent represent? It is simply the best of the best and there is no greater percentile. For the San Bernardino Valley College and the San Bernardino City Unified School District Middle College High School Program, it represents the number of seniors who passed the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) over the last four years. All 145 seniors were successful. Of that total, 49 of the graduating seniors received their Associate of Art degrees in tandem with their high school diplomas.
The six-year-old MCHS partnership began in 2001 to create small learning communities beginning with second-year high school students. The goal was to increase the college-going rate of students who are generally not college bound. The target populations of first-generation college-going youth, English language learners, ethnic minorities, and students underperforming in the traditional high school compared to their test score abilities made up an entering class of 75 10th graders that first year. SBCUSD counselors, administrators, and faculty participated in the interview and selection process. The students were then concurrently enrolled in high school and college classes. During the college portion of the day, students attend SBVC and take general education transfer-level courses that range from physical education to history and biology. During the high school portion of the day, students receive instruction in high school graduation required classes.
The strategies implemented in 2001 have clearly paid off. In April of this year, the MCHS program between SBVC and the SBCUSD was selected as a 2007 California Distinguished School by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell. The annual award recognizes some of the state’s most exemplary public schools.
“This program is a true success story of how at-risk students, when given the opportunity and small learning communities, succeed,” said SBVC President Denise Whittaker.
SBVC Dean Gloria Fisher and SBCUSD MCHS Coordinator Bette Vest were the subject of a 30-minute television show on San Bernardino cable TV station KCSB-TV3, which also featured a student from the program, Vanessa Olton, who garnered a 4.0 grade point average in all of her high school and college course work.