Middle college is an alternative education program that is held at the College of San Mateo. There, students are able to take high school courses as well as ones offered by CSM to earn both high school and college credit.
“High school is not for everyone and people should be able to have the opportunity to transfer to other schools if they think that BHS is not the right fit for them,” said college and career advisor Jonathan Dhyne.
Middle college has many more choices for classes and resources that high schools in the SMUHSD offer.
“Middle college has a wider variety of classes to choose from compared to BHS, which allows you to pursue or figure out your passions,” said Anya Ahuja, a current junior at middle college student.
Middle college and high school is different in that the environment allows students to have more independence with their studies and allows them to explore their passions.
“The high school classes in middle college is around the class size of BHS, but there is more independent learning and freedom involved” Ahuja said.
Additionally, middle college provides students with some insight on college life and what it means to be mature and independent. Students are in control of their own learning and should ask for help when they need it. Middle college gives people the opportunity to make connections in the future and to really explore one’s interests and be more involved.
“I want to attend middle college because I feel like it has a wider selection of classes, a more flexible schedule, and I can have a smoother transition into college life” said Alexis Sawyer, a current sophomore who is considering middle college.
However, middle college may not be the best choice for everyone. It is a college setting, meaning that there will be older students in the classes rather than students of the same grade level.
“I feel like I would miss out on the high school experience if I attended middle college and I would not know anyone in my classes,” sophomore Olivia McCaa said.
Students are afraid that they will miss out on important high school experiences, which dissuades them from transferring to middle college. They think that they will not be able to attend dances or sports teams, but they still can because they are a part of the district and members of their home school.
“Students are still technically BHS students and can still attend school events and sports, they just take classes at CSM, but still have the benefits that BHS students have,” said Dhyne.
Additionally, students can earn college credits for free by taking classes at middle college. So, by the time students have graduated high school in middle college, they will not only have completed the required amount of high school credits, but they may have also fulfilled some college credits that can reduce the amount of time they are in college for.