As Chelsea Devia walks through campus, it begins to settle in that her high school experience is coming to an end. With a heart warming feeling of satisfaction, she realizes how many of her goals are about to become reality.
“It surprises me how many students that started off with me did not get as far as I did even though they have received the same help and education as me,” Devia said.
This is not a typical high school graduation. Devia is one of the few Middle College High school students graduating today with both a high school diploma and an Associate’s of Arts degree.
The number graduates receiving Associate’s of Arts degrees varies every year, but this year about one third of MCHS students will do so according to Principal Claudia Flint.
“They certainly leave with a lot accomplished due to all the college credit they complete, which gives them a head start compared to other high schools,” Velina Espinosa, a MCHS counselor said.
MCHS, which is situated at Santa Ana College, provides the opportunity for underserved students in the Santa Ana district to have access to and achieve high school and college through a dual enrollment at SAC.
“During my time in the program, I have worked extremely hard to complete both high school and college requirements. With double the work load, I have depended on myself and the help of teachers and counselors to stay on track” she said.
With a limit of 300 students to be enrolled, the district targets students that have the academic potential but may not be working to their full potential. To get priority enrollment, they prefer students to score proficient on 7th grade California Standardized Testing, a 2.8-3.5 GPA, and to be economically disadvantaged.
The small environment gives students more one on one attention from teachers and counselors, and creates stronger bonds with each other.
While this year’s senior class gives their last goodbye, Middle College High continues to serve students with fulfilling education opportunities.
“We do more than just help each other out, we become family,” Devia said.