College district to vote on keeping Early College High School open

COSTA MESA — Coast Community College District trustees plan to vote Wednesday on a deal that would keep open a high school that allows students to earn college credits.

The trustees are expected to vote on renewing a memorandum of understanding with the Newport-Mesa Unified School District to operate Early College High School.

"Programs like Early College High School and Credits for College have a way of just really ensuring that [high school] students are really prepared for the next step," said Ted Boehler, interim dean of Coastline's Costa Mesa campus.

Early College, which opened in August 2006, allows students to get a high school diploma while earning either an associate's degree or a vocational certificate, or completing two years of college credits toward a bachelor's degree.

"They do get a chance to see what the expectations of college are and that they can be successful," Boehler said.

The memorandum would extend the agreement one more year to June 1, 2012, after the original five-year agreement expired July 1.

The college district is being more prudent with its financial obligations by moving toward shorter-term commitments during uncertain fiscal times, Boehler said.

Despite the one-year deal, Coastline has included Early College in its long-term plans, said Coastline spokeswoman Michelle Ma, adding that the high school is slated to move to the college's Newport Beach facility when it opens in fall 2012.

The agreement's expiration coincides with the end of a $500,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The program will stay intact with only minor changes, such as fewer art classes to focus on courses that are transferable to four-year colleges, Boehler said.

The new agreement continues Coastline's obligation to cover students' college tuition, rental textbooks and field trips related to college classes. The college is still working out how to cover the costs of the rental textbooks, Boehler said.

The agreement lists Coastline's financial obligation at $40,000 for a part-time counselor and an administrative support employee.

Newport-Mesa Unified's obligations stay pretty much the same, with the addition of another full-time employee, said N-MUSD spokeswoman Laura Boss.

The N-MUSD school board won't consider the agreement until after school begins Aug. 10, but the superintendent is expected to approve the agreement until the board can vote at its Aug. 30 meeting, Boss said.

The Coast Community College District board meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the district boardroom, 1370 Adams Ave., Costa Mesa.


Interested in going to Early College High School?

School starts Aug. 10, but the enrollment is open until Aug. 20. Open enrollment for the spring closes Jan. 20. To fill out an application go online to

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