JC Classes: is getting ahead worth it?

By Katie Cederborg

The conveniently located Santa Rosa Junior College provides extensive opportunities for a select group of students here at Santa Rosa High School. But, as Spring enrollment begins, it is important for students interested in picking up courses at the Junior College to consider the intensity of the courses they choose to enroll in.
On top of the heavy workload that can be burdening in AP and honors classes at Santa Rosa High School, JC classes can be overwhelming, especially with volunteering and extracurriculars. “Students also have to be comfortable with the balance of time they already have committed to SRHS, their extracurricular activities, and their families,” counselor Kris Bertsch-Rydell said. “For some, a college class on top of their already demanding schedule may throw off everything to the point of failing classes or having a nervous breakdown.”
On the contrary, teachers often recommend that students take a JC class in order to get ahead. World Language teacher Emma Zavala said, “I always recommend students take JC classes since it would help them get ahead if they decided to go to college.”
The free tuition can also be a benefit, because these courses can count towards both high school and college graduation, but if your grade in a class is poor, the grade will show up in your college grade point average. To be advised on how heavy a class workload is, Counselor Blaire Murphy said, “students need to work with their school counselor to find the appropriate class for their level and to support their goals for graduation and college and career.” Murphy made clear that the best way to judge whether or not a student is ready for a junior college class is by looking at how successful they are in their high school classes.
Counselors also recommend that students are not just academically prepared, but mature enough to be in a classroom setting with adults who have graduated from high school and some who have graduated from college. “The class make up of students is very different from high school,” Bertsch-Rydell said, “and any high school student thinking of taking a course at the JC needs to feel confident in their academics, maturity, and ability to communicate with and for adults.” This also depends on the student interested in taking the class.
The goal is to learn, and if being in a classroom full of adults will keep a student from excelling, then they should consider whether or not taking a junior college class is the right choice.
Ultimately, the best way to decide whether or not to take JC class is to talk to a counselor. The decision should be informed, rather than a whim. Classes at the Junior College will not be easier, and students should gauge this based on their classes at Santa Rosa High School. “It is important that students don’t get overwhelmed and that they leave time in their schedule for family and friends and to do things that they enjoy,” said counselor Ms. Murphy

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