One of the best things a high school student can have on their college application to make them stand out is one or two A's in community college classes. This is particularly the case since many high schools are moving their grades to pass/no pass for the spring term.
We've put together a list of 20 summer community college classes that we would recommend for high school students this summer. Please note that some of these classes have prerequisite class requirements. And just because one college does not let you take a class, does not mean another will not (for example IVC may not allow a student to take a math class, while OCC allows the same student to sign up for the same class).
You will need your high school counselor to sign off on a form before you sign up the class, a process that takes some time. All these classes are currently open, but they may run out of space, so take action quickly.
We picked classes from four Orange County Community Colleges: Irvine Valley College (IVC), Saddleback College, Orange Coast College (OCC), and Golden West College. There are many other classes and schools out there, these are just a few examples.
1. ASTR 20 - General Astronomy (IVC)
Description: A general introduction to the science of astronomy and the methods astronomers use to interpret their observations of the Universe.
This class is offered at Saddleback under the same name. A very similar is offered at OCC under ASTR A100 called Introduction to Astronomy and at Golden West College under ASTR G100 under Introduction to Astronomy.
2. BIO 1 - The Life Sciences (IVC) Description: An introductory general education lecture course in biology. Includes cell and molecular biology, physiology, genetics, ecology, and evolution. This is a good course for students planning to take AP Biology next year. 3. BIO 3 - Humans and the Biological World (IVC) Description: This general education course examines the basic principles of the biological sciences as it relates to humans. This goes in less depth as Bio 1 and is intended as a class for students that will not end up with a biology related major. Chemistry 3. CHEM 3 - Fundamental Chemistry (IVC) Description: This is a good introduction to chemistry course. It is a good course for students planning to take AP Chemistry next year. This class is offered at Saddleback under the same name Communication Studies 4. COMM 1 – Communication Fundamentals (IVC) Description: A fairly easy course that offers students an opportunity to understand and use the components and processes of oral communication. Student presentations required. This class is offered during the school year in some IUSD schools including Woodbridge High School. Computer Science 5. CS 1 – Introduction to Computer Systems (IVC) Description: Provides an overview of computer hardware, software, information systems, networking, and Internet terminology. Introduces Microsoft Office applications and computer programming languages. Most students find this to be a fairly easy course. If a student already knows some programming languages they should aim for a more difficult class. 6. CS G130 – Survey of Computer Science/Info Tech (Golden West College) Description: This class surveys computer science and information technology with emphasis on computer business applications. The student will be exposed to computer concepts including components of a computer, operating systems, utility programs, terminology, communications, networking, internet usage, ethical issues and computer application software, such as word processing, spreadsheets, database, database query and presentation software. 7. CIMP 8A – Programming with Python (Saddleback) Description: Introductory course exploring concepts in Python programming. This is a really good class for students that think they might want to go into Computer Science, but do not have previous programming experience. 8. CS 36 – C Programming (IVC) Description: Introduces the C programming language. This is a more advanced class, do not take it if you do not already have some level of computer science knowledge, including programming. 9. CS 38 – Java Programming (IVC) Description: Focuses on application development using stand-alone Java programs and Java applets. This is a more advanced class, do not take it if you do not already have some level of computer science knowledge, including programming. 10. Golden West College: CS G175 – C++ Programming Description: This course will cover the fundamentals of software development using the C++ Language. This is a more advanced class, do not take it if you do not already have some level of computer science knowledge, including programming. Engineering 11. ENGR 21 – Introduction to Engineering and Technology (IVC) Description: Introduces educational requirements and employment opportunities in engineering and related technologies. This is a fairly easy class which could be helpful for an upper classman that is not sure if they want to major in engineering or not. I would not recommend this being the only summer community college class you take, it can be paired along with another class. This class is also offered at OCC as ENGR A110 and Golden West College as ENGR G101 12. ENGR 20 - Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving with Matlab (IVC) Description: This is a good class for a highly motivated upper classman that knows for sure they want to major in Engineering. It is challenging, but if you can get permission to take it, the class will look good on your college application for an engineering major. Covers the creation, execution, and debugging of MATLAB/Simulink programs to perform engineering related applications. Entrepreneurship 13. ENTR 200 – Pathways to success (IVC) Description: Promotes entrepreneurial thinking across disciplines and assists participants in developing a process for transforming ideas into sustainable success. Good for an advanced student interested in entrepreneurship or making their own business. Environmental Science 14. ENV 1 – Introduction to Environmental Studies (IVC) Description: Takes an interdisciplinary approach to environmental studies; includes topics in biology, ecology, chemistry, geology, economics, health, and politics. A good course for a student that wants to take AP Environment Science next year (but check with your high school counselor to make there is not rule restricting what classes you can take if you sign up for this). This class is also offered at Golden West College as ENVS G100 Journalism 15. JRNL 40 – Mass Media and Society (IVC) Description: Studies the relationship between mass media and society. Includes media functions, responsibilities, practices, and influences, as well as media law, ethics, history, and global and local media. A good course for a student interested in a future career in journalism. This class is also offered at Saddleback as JRNL 1.
Mathematics 16. Math 2 – Pre-Calculus (IVC) Description: The equivalent of a high school pre-calculus class. Your school may allow you to take this and then skip forward to AP Calculus. Some colleges are more strict than others for pre-requisites. This class is also offered at Saddleback under the same name, at OCC under Math A170, and at Golden West College under Math G170. 17. Math 10 – Introduction to Statistics (IVC) Description: Teaches students to collect, organize, describe, and analyze data using the appropriate statistical tools, including graphical and numerical techniques. A good class for students planning to take AP Statistics next year. However check with you high school counselor to make sure taking this class does not put any restrictions on what classes you can take at high school. This class is also offered at Saddleback under the same name, at OCC under Math A160, and at Golden West College under Math G170. Persian (Or Other Languages) 18. PRSN 1 – Elementary Persian (Saddleback) Description: This conventional college-transfer introductory course begins the process of developing fluency in speaking, reading, writing, and listening. I do not recommend taking this class to fulfill your language requirement, but rather if you just want to take a general course over the summer to show you can take a college level class. There are also similar classes in other languages like Spanish, French, Korean, and others. 19. PRSN 21 – Introduction to Persian Culture (Saddleback) Description: Traces the development of the culture of Persian-speaking nations including history, philosophy, political ideas, literature, music, arts, science, geography, and customs and its influence on the United States and the World. Conducted in English. I do not recommend taking this class to fulfill a specific requirement, but rather if you just want to take a general course over the summer to show you can take a college level class. There are also similar classes for other cultures at most colleges. Psychology 20. PSYC G100 – Introduction to Psychology (Golden West College) Description: This course is an introduction to the scientific study of behavior. The class is helpful for students that want to take AP Psychology next year. However some schools may impose a restriction you if you take this class (and not let you sign up for AP Psychology), so make sure to check with your high school counselor first. Questions? Call or text us at (949) 232-7866 Email Us at email@example.com Check out our YouTube and Telegram Channel for the latest blog articles and updates on upcoming events