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New college-credit avenue approved

Local students will soon be able to earn college credit from a private university in Los Angeles County while completing high school courses in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District.

During a study session of the district’s school board Tuesday, Charles Hinman, assistant superintendent of secondary education, introduced a partnership with Marymount California University in Rancho Palos Verdes that would allow juniors and seniors to concurrently enroll in high school classes and college courses covering mostly the same material.


School board members unanimously approved the agreement during their regular meeting.

Under the plan scheduled to start this fall, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes at Newport-Mesa high school would be paired with corresponding college courses at Marymount.


“This allows students to get college credit for a college class that the Newport-Mesa Unified School District offers,” Hinman said.

The program is built upon the familiar AP and IB systems, but it adds extra course work administered by Marymount and changes one key outcome.

In AP and IB classes, students take a test at the end of the year to determine if they get college credit for the course work. But in the concurrent enrollment system, students would get two transcripts, one with a high school grade from Newport-Mesa and one with a college grade from Marymount.

Students will still be able to take standard AP and IB classes, Hinman said.


“If they don’t enroll in the Marymount portion, and pay the fee, they don’t get the Marymount transcript college credit,” school board member Martha Fluor said.

That transcript would guarantee the credit is accepted at UC and CSU colleges, Hinman said. It would still be accepted only at the discretion of other institutions, just as with AP credit, he added.

The program would attach to AP and IB classes currently offered at Newport-Mesa campuses.

The district’s teachers would run the high school portion of them, and adjunct Marymount faculty members would oversee the college part, which would be completed by students at home during off-school hours, according to Hinman.


Those instructors could be the same people if Marymount decides to hire Newport-Mesa teachers as faculty.

In most cases, “We’ll be inviting them to serve as adjuncts, and they’ll make the decision whether or not they want to,” Marymount President Michael Brophy said.

The program would come at a cost.

Students would pay up to $350 per unit, although the exact price has not yet been determined.

The cost to the district, however, is nothing, Hinman said.

“It’s actually going to be a net gain to us,” he said.

Fifteen percent of the students who enroll in the classes will have costs covered by scholarships provided by Marymount, Hinman said.

“I really think this is just absolutely fabulous,” Fluor said.

Marymount plans to start promoting the program soon; mailers will be sent to families of AP and IB students in June, Hinman said.