Hollister High School. Photo by Noe Magaña.
Hollister High School. Photo by Noe Magaña.

Information provided by San Benito High School District

San Benito High School District and Gavilan College have entered into a three-year partnership agreement that allows Hollister High School students to complete college credits at no cost while enrolled in high school. 

The College and Career Access Pathway dual enrollment program is designed to be responsive to the needs of students in our community “who may not already be college-bound or who are underrepresented in higher education,” according to the agreement approved by the San Benito High School District Board of Trustees in June. 

The agreement notes that students who complete college credit while enrolled in high school are more likely to earn high school diplomas, to enroll in community colleges and four-year colleges, to attend post-secondary education on a full-time basis, and to complete degrees in those institutions than students without these experiences. The program’s goals include developing seamless pathways from high school to community college, promoting college and career readiness generally, and career technical education specifically. 

“We appreciate the partnership with Gavilan College and the leadership of President Dr. Pedro Avila as our District works to expand learning and career opportunities for our students,” San Benito High School District Superintendent Dr. Shawn Tennenbaum said. “With the support of our Board of Trustees, we look forward to partnering with Gavilan College to expand educational programs in San Benito County. The sky’s the limit for future possibilities to support students in the community, both young and adult.” 

The superintendent thanked Claire Grissom, San Benito High School District’s coordinator of career and college readiness, and Elaine Klauer, the assistant superintendent of academic and instructional programs, for their support of the dual enrollment program. 

This past Spring, two Hollister High School sports medicine classes that paired with Gavilan Kinesiology classes were offered as dual enrollment options in the Career Technical Education (CTE) patient care pathway. This Fall, the dual enrollment classes at the high school will include a special projects work-based learning class, multimedia production arts, Metals 1, and Metals Fabrication. A vocational auto class will be offered as dual enrollment with Hartnell College in Salinas. 

To be eligible for dual enrollment, students must have earned a grade of “C” or better in their previous course in a CTE pathway. They will be encouraged by their instructor to complete dual enrollment forms to begin the path toward college credit, by applying, with assistance, to Gavilan or Hartnell. Students who choose not to complete the dual enrollment forms will still be taking the same course with the same teacher expectations and standards, according to Mrs. Grissom. 

The dual enrollment college credit courses at Hollister High are currently only offered within CTE course pathways, Mrs. Grissom said. 

Assistant Superintendent Klauer said: “We are really excited to partner with our local community colleges on the recent CCAP agreements. Dual enrollment programs provide a sense of motivation and ambition among students, encouraging them to set higher goals and strive for excellence. The exposure to college-level coursework will foster learning and open doors to future career opportunities, giving students a competitive edge in the job market.” 

Credit earned through the dual enrollment classes are transferable to any post-secondary institution, including junior colleges, California State Universities, the University of California system, private schools or trade schools. 

“We are proud to offer our students these dual enrollment opportunities,” said Superintendent Tennenbaum, “as they support our district’s commitment to college and career readiness for all students. We are proud to partner with Gavilan and Hartnell on this opportunity and look forward to continued growth of the program.”