Frequently Asked Questions
- What are articulated high school & ROP courses?
- What does Credit By Examination mean?
- What does the former "2+2" articulation mean?
- Why shouldn't credit be granted toward the associate degree itself for articulated high school courses?
- What value does articulation of high school courses have if it doesn't produce actual college credit?
An articulated high school course is one in which a determination has been made that a course offered at the secondary level is comparable to a specific community college course. In the Tri-Valley area, this determination is made by the discipline faculty from the high school (or ROP) and Las Positas College (through a formal process approved by the Las Positas Curriculum Committee). Course, which had previously been identified as 2+2, fall into this area, and should now be referred to as "Noncredit Articulated High School Courses".
Articulated high school courses can be applied to Las Positas Requirements, but cannot (per Title 5 Code) be granted college credit, unless the student or course has also qualified under the Credit by Examination process (see discussion below). There are several advantages to pursuing articulated courses at the high school level. Students moving from high school to Las Positas College will be much better prepared if the expectations of the college faculty are met through the preparation provided by high school teachers. Articulated courses can also meet certificate and major requirements for some degrees (primarily occupational) at Las Positas. This enables students to go directly into the more advanced courses when they reach college. (Student still need to meet full unit requirements for these certificates and degrees.) Articulated courses will be clearly noted as such on college transcripts (even though no credit will be assigned).
In the past, Las Positas College allowed Articulation with local area High Schools and ROPs under agreements known as "2+2". If the High School and college faculty determined that 2 courses were comparable (based on course outlines) then students received college credit for this work.
Changes in California Educational Code have now set a much higher standard for granting college credit for high school work, with key points of the new policy being:
- Credit for High School/ROP work can only be earned through the Colleges Credit By Examination Policy.
- The college curriculum committee must oversee the process.
- Articulation agreements must be periodically reviewed to ensure continued comparability of both the outline and the final exam.
Status of previous "2+2" agreements
- Students who completed High School/ROP "2+2" courses in academic year 2002-2003 will receive college credit.
- As of fall 2003, all existing "2+2" agreements were converted to Noncredit Articulation agreements valid for 2 years (through Spring 2005)
- If a High School/ROP wishes to extend the agreement or apply for Credit by Examination, they must follow the instructions as outlined on this website.
Through the Credit by Examination process, high school students may receive credit at the college level for some articulated courses. Credit by Examination means that a student has satisfactorily passed an exam approved or conducted by Las Positas College faculty.
The College faculty members who normally teach the college course must determine the nature and content of the exam. Such credit may be granted only to a student who is registered at the college and in good standing, and only for a course listed in the Las Positas College catalog.
Students may individually approach a Las Positas College instructor and petition to take an exam for a particular course. Any student applying for Credit By Examination will be expected to provide documentation of extensive expreriences preparing the student tin the subject matter.
Additionally, in some instances, a high school instructor can obtain approval from the college discipline faculty to give a final exam at the high school level that meets Credit by Examination criteria. In either case, student's transcript will be noted to show that credit was earned by examination. (Units will not count towards 12-credit residency requirement of the college).
Why shouldn't credit be granted toward the associate degree itself for articulated high school courses?
The law requires that the associate degree include at least 60 semester or 90 quarter units of college coursework. An articulated high school course, while reviewed as comparable by college faculty, still is not fully equivalent to a college course in several ways. College faculty have minimum qualifications beyond that required for high school teachers. The level of preparation of students in college courses in generally higher. Degree applicable college courses have required levels of reading, writing, and computational skills above that required for high school courses. University-transferable college course have even higher standards. College students go through rigorous assessment and, in many cases, must meet specific prerequisistes, to assure that they have these essential skills.
These standards and practices are in place to assure students that the college courses they take meet the rigorous requirements of four-year universities (in the case of transfer courses) and of employers (in the case of vocational courses).
If high school courses were known to be counted toward the overall associate degree requirements in California, our associate degree would come into disrepute with the four-year public segments, with independent colleges and universities, and even with community college systems in other states. It would be contrary to accepted higher education practice to count high school coursework toward a college degree.
Also, if high school courses were allowed to result in community college transcript notations that misleadingly give the appearance that the student has actually taken the articulated college class, our system's transcripts would come to be regarded with suspicion by other higher education institutions and by employers.
What value does articulation of high school courses have if it doesn't produce actual college credit?
Articulation has many values. Most occupations require some post-high school education, and community colleges are the primary source of that education. Students moving from high school to community college will be much better prepared if the expectations of college faculty are met by the preparation provided by high school teachers. The dialog required by articulation is design to assure this alignment.
Students who take advanced, articulated high school courses and master competencies of comparable entry level college courses do not have to retake those courses, but may be placed directly into second-tier courses. Let's suppose an Automotive Technology degree requires 24 units in the major, consisting of a set of courses in a sequence: AT 1 which is required before taking AT 2 and so on. If AT 1 is articulated with a comparable high school course that the student successfully completes, that student can start at the college immediately with AT 2.