SET High has a special relationship with Mesa College that allows students to take up to 3 college courses per semester once students have met the SET High graduation requirements and 2 college courses per semester once they have completed 10th grade. Motivated students can meet graduation requirements in their Junior year and then use their Senior year to complete 6 college classes at no cost to the student. An additional 4 classes could be taken in 11th grade, so SET High students have the ability to complete 10 college classes, more than a year’s worth of schooling, before they graduate!
In addition to looking great on college applications while still maintaining Freshman Eligibility (see below), our students can get a head start on college and save on more than a year’s worth of college tuition!
Why is it important to maintain Freshman Eligibility?
If it is possible to meet graduation requirements in 3 years, why not just graduate early? For students who are hoping to go directly to a 4-year college, they must apply directly from high school. Any students who graduate from high school and then enroll in a community college class, immediately become classified as Transfer Students and must complete 2 years of community college before they can be considered for admission. By remaining enrolled at SET High while the student takes community college classes, the student is still considered to be a high school student and maintains Freshman Eligibility for enrollment into college.
We happen to also believe strongly that few students have the emotional maturity to be successful in college when they graduate early and so we see the Senior year as a critical time for students to safely explore college and/or their passions while retaining the crucial support network of friends, teachers and mentors who can help them navigate life’s hurdles.
Why don’t you teach AP Classes?
We have chosen to emphasize college classes and honors classes instead of Advanced Placement classes because once we subscribe to an AP curriculum, we lose flexibility over what we teach and how we teach it. The school becomes defined by a single form of rigor, and any students who want to be seen as successful by colleges feel pressured to take every AP class that is offered. We wind up not teaching what we want to teach and students wind up not taking the classes they want to take. The result is miserable students who know how to study but who oftentimes hate learning. We can do better.
At SET, all of our students have the option to take honors versions of their core classes that offer a level of rigor that is in many ways superior to an Advanced Placement class. Our teachers decide the content and the pacing and oftentimes choose to go deep rather than broad. The course content is treated with the same level of academic rigor, but students emerge inspired by their teacher’s passion for the subject. Students who want to get college credit for a course can go even further and take a Mesa College class where they are guaranteed to get actual college credit if they pass the class. Contrast this with an Advanced Placement class where college credit is only offered if the student pays for and passes an externally administered exam, and even then, many colleges will not honor the Advanced Placement credit.
Avoiding AP gives us the flexibility and freedom to teach the content and skills that matter, but most importantly, it gives our students the permission to pursue an education that is personal and meaningful. Our students love learning because they choose to learn.
Students must get approval by SET administration and must have completed the 10th grade in order to take classes at Mesa College.