Why is the Middle College Program Gaining More Popularity


Nuha Maflahi, Reporter

As more alternative routes for education are being explored, there’s one program that has been increasing in popularity among high school students, especially students at Granada. This program is called Middle College, and it’s a way for students to gain more college credits and prepare for college. In Middle College, students will still be enrolled in whatever high school they go to, but instead of regular high school classes, they will take college courses at their local community college. The program started in 2015 with only 30 students and now it’s a program that supports 140 students, with demand still growing. More applications are coming in, especially from Granada students.

I personally went to the Middle College orientation because I applied myself, and I was surprised to see that there were more Granada students than any other school. Teachers have also had to fill out more and more recommendations as part of the Middle College application process.

Granada teacher Mrs.Gatehouse said, “I believe I’ve only filled out three [applications], since 2019 to this year… it was very few.” As for this year, Mrs Gatehouse said, “Yeah just this year, just last trimester, in my two sophomore English classes, I’ve filled out like 6 so that’s double, what I’ve filled out in previous years, in just one trimester.”

So why is Middle College becoming so appealing?

One of the reasons that Middle College is becoming popular is because of students’ desire to get a headstart in college. This sentiment was echoed in interviews with students, with teachers also noticing it. In an interview with Granada student Tanav Bhanushali (10), he said, “I wanna get a head start to my career. Mainly, I want to get into medical college and that takes a lot of years.”

Redha Jaweed (10) said she wants to do Middle College, “To finish my education early.”

At the Middle College Orientation students shared why they were interested and their reasons were the same. Students were planning to go to medical school or law school and wanted to save time, or they just wanted to get into the workforce earlier. One of the biggest benefits of taking Middle College is earning college credits during high school, so when students graduate high school they may already have one or even two years of college already done.

Students can also transfer to a four-year college easier. With college getting more and more competitive this is appealing to a lot of students. Mrs.Gatehouse agreed that college competitiveness is driving kids to Middle College.

“Even in like the last few years, it’s crazy how hard it is to get into college now, I mean looking at the numbers and talking to students that are like ‘well this college only accepts 2% of-’ and just like the percentages and the crazy numbers. I can see how, seeing those numbers as a high school student could be daunting and could be something where you’re like ‘What can I do to get where I want to be?’ So, I think the pressure of college and getting into where you want so you can do what you want to do, could also be a huge factor in why students want to do this.”

Students also want to do Middle College to get away from the rigidity of high school. Many students feel as if high school is not letting them do the best that they can and would like to experience a different learning environment.

Jaweed is one of those students who thinks that. “I think you can have your own unique experience at middle college because the high school experience isn’t all what it sounds like. I think for me being in a mature environment around people who value education the way I do definitely makes this program more worth it.” Students that are more mature want to be in a learning environment with more mature and independent people who think like them.

Tanav Bhanushali said, “The most important thing is for me, is that it finally lets me be free of kind of like strict control. I would say I’m more productive when my schedule is a bit more, kinda split up, so I can take little breaks here and there, instead of just having seven hours straight of just study.”

Waking up early to have to go through seven hours of just school can be a struggle for some students, and there has been some debate on whether it’s healthy for kids. In Middle College students have more freedom in picking which classes they would like to take and when. Las Positas College offers more of a variety of classes and students can choose to take classes with break time in between or they can take night classes. 

With the rise in popularity of Middle College, there are some wondering what this means for Granada with more students leaving to take Middle College. The teachers that got interviewed, however, don’t believe that it will be a problem. 

“I think that it’ll still be a small percentage, obviously it’s gonna be a little bit bigger of a percentage than it was…” said Mrs.Gatehouse.

Mrs. Avilla said, “I don’t see it necessarily affecting Granada in any way. I think it works really well for certain students and their personalities and their needs.”

While Middle College is clearly a very good program, students who take that route have to make a lot of sacrifices. The classes will be like college classes, meaning they will be more difficult. Classes most likely will be lectures, with no practice and time and students are expected to be independent and study and properly understand the material in their own time. Middle College students will also have to sacrifice time spent with friends, and they may grow more distant from them. This program is definitely not for all students and most agree. There are benefits to staying in Granada so not every student will choose to apply. In fact, most students this year chose not to apply. While that may change, it’s safe to say that the rise in students taking Middle College will not badly affect Granada.