Taking College Courses While in High School

High School Special Enrollment

Nea learners have the opportunity to benefit from college-level instruction through High School Special Enrollment at local community colleges. Learners can take in-depth, accelerated courses at any of the Peralta colleges including Berkeley City College, the College of Alameda, Laney College, and Merritt College. Learners can also enroll at Chabot and Foothill Colleges.

  • Taking at least one college course is a Nea Graduation Requirement
  • One semester/quarter at the community college = 1 year of credit at Nea
  • All community college courses are weighted for 1 extra point on your GPA.
    • E.g., an A = 5.0 instead of the traditional 4.0. 
  • Some community college courses can be transferred for credit at your college or university of choice.
  • Entering college with transferable units can help you graduate college early and save your family a significant amount of money.
Logos of Peralta Community Colleges, including Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College, Merritt College

Classes Learners Take at Community Colleges

  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Calculus
  • Statistics
  • Economics
  • Arabic
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Mandarin
  • Spanish
  • American Sign Language
  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Nutrition
  • Physiology
  • Ethnic Studies
  • African-American Studies
  • Asian-American Studies
  • Mexican-Latin American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • English
  • Creative Writing
  • Poetry
  • Auto Tech
  • Aviation Mechanics
  • Welding
  • Art
  • Apparel Design
  • Architecture
  • Graphic Design
  • Photography
  • Music
  • Guitar
  • Orchestra
  • Piano

Things to Consider

  • Students with C's or higher are eligible to register for classes at the colleges.
  • College classes must not interfere with your core class schedule.
    • Schedule college classes after school or online to avoid conflicts.
  • Concurrently enrolled high school students have tuition, and most fees, waived.
  • Choose courses that can be transferred to your college or university of choice.
    • To view which courses are transferable to UC's or CSU's, visit Assist.org
  • Look up reviews for your professors to get an idea of how the class will be run.
  • Consider taking courses with other Nea learners to have a support system for going to class, textbooks, and studying.

Note: If you plan to take community college classes during/after high school and then transfer to a UC or CSU, you should learn about the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). Completion of the IGETC meets all lower-division general education requirements at most CSU and UC campuses, and some independent colleges and universities. Each Community College has its own IGETC Form:

Textbooks Graphic--A pile of books with covers of different colors
  • You will be responsible for finding and paying for textbooks. 
  • Some courses have a "Zero Cost Textbook" notice within the search which means you can access all of the course materials for free. 
  • Courses with an electronic component may require new digital books. 
  • Consider a textbook rental service to reduce your costs.
  • Many learners have already taken classes at the college, so ask around before purchasing a book. Some learners donate books to Nea for other learners to borrow for free. Check out the shelf in the Counseling Office to see if your book is there.

If you enroll in over 6 units, you'll be required to pay a Transit/Health fee. This means you'd qualify for an Unlimited AC Transit EasyPass for the semester. Peralta Students qualify if they complete the following:

  • Enrolling in 6 units or more
  • If you drop under 6 units, you no longer qualify for EasyPass, and your card will be deactivated
  • Must pay AC Transit EasyPass fee (about $45)
  • Must have a Peralta student ID card.