James Membreno/ Courier John Muir High School now offers college courses to highschoolers on campus. Illustration was made on October 16, 2018.
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Pasadena City College (PCC) continues to reach out and bring higher education directly to local communities with its new edition, John Muir High School. Starting this semester, John Muir High School students and PCC students can both take credit and noncredit classes at PCC Northwest.

PCC struck a deal with the Unified School District for a lease of 10 years, at $150,000 per year. According to Dr. Robert Bell, the Assistant Superintendent and Senior Vice President of PCC, the new lease agreement will not effect student’s tuition.

“Student’s cost for classes will not be impacted. Students who take the credit classes will have the same cost as if they were taking classes at Colorado or Rosemead. All of the classes we offer that are non credit are non fee based anyway,” Bell said.

The new addition will join the Rosemead, Foothill and the flagship Colorado campuses, and will be offering “concurrently enrolled classes” or dual enrollment. The subjects include mathematics, U.S. history and sociology. Other services include academic support and career guidance. The non-credit courses available generally target adult learners who are looking to improve their skills for the workforce with courses in business, adult high school diploma classes, English as a second language, or ELS. The classes will start at 3 p.m. and end at 8 p.m.

The idea for this campus originally began for high school students to take core college classes immediately after their regular school day. It then expanded as a back up for college students to take classes they originally couldn’t fit into their schedule on other campuses. The discussions expanded between school boards to then offer a campus comparable to the Rosemead Campus.

“The Northwest area of our region, Altadena, has traditionally been ‘underserved’ in a sense that most residents in that area, the only way they can access the opportunities at PCC were to come to the Colorado campus,” Bell said in an interview. “ [It was] very similar to the views we had and decisions that we made for the area to the southeast when we opened the Rosemead site. The district is recognizing the opportunity, and from my perspective, the obligation, to serve the larger segment of our district area.”

Berlinda Brown, a PCC Board of Trustees member who was instrumental in the opening of the new branch said in an email, “I’m excited to see this come to fruition, and looking forward to see how this transforms the community.”

Sociology professor Siobhan Goldberg said, “I like it, there are only a few custodial things that are bad, but overall it’s fine, the parking is fine, the students are good. It’s a good campus, more convenient for most of the students who need to get here. The staff was very welcoming on the first day, making sure everything was fine for me.”

When asked why specifically the location of John Muir High School, Brown stated, “to create a college going culture in Northwest Pasadena, to increase college completion for the underserved population, and to increase access and college readiness for students.”

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