FAQs

Why would I want to attend the Mt. SAC Early College Academy?

The Mt. SAC Early College Academy offers students who demonstrate a love for learning the opportunity to meet academic and career goals by providing high school classes and college classes concurrently in the school day. Our environment is challenging, yet supportive and motivating. All the Mt. SAC Early College Academy students are expected to take college courses and earn significant college credit toward their future goals. Depending on their selected pathway, students may even earn their AA degree upon high school graduation.

Who can apply?

Students who are motivated, mature, disciplined, have good attendance and demonstrate academic potential are ideal applicants.  Students must have above a 2.0 GPA for consideration.

How can I apply?

To apply to the Mt. SAC Early College Academy, you must submit a completed application by the indicated deadline. Applications for the next school year are usually available around January.

Where can I get an application?

Applications are available online or from your student's WCUSD middle school counselor starting from January to mid-spring.

What is the application procedure?

Once the application is submitted, it will be reviewed for completeness and accuracy. Failure to follow the instructions on the application completely and accurately will disqualify the application from further consideration. The admissions committee begins reviewing applications in the order they are received and admission is granted on a first come, first served basis. We have 100 seats available per grade level, and once those seats are filled, other qualified applicants will be placed on a waiting list.

What kinds of things do you look for in a prospective student?

Our students are generally looking for a more challenging high school experience than they would get at a traditional high school. Students at the Mt. SAC Early College Academy tend to be highly self-motivated, mature, independent, responsible, hard-working students who possess a desire to be an active participant in their education.

Can I attend this school if I do not live in the WCUSD attendance area?

Yes! You will need to call us to obtain the necessary paperwork that will be filed with the district.

What if my student needs special education services?

Mt. SAC Early College Academy is committed to providing academic, life, college, and career success for all students. A full inclusion model is offered for students seeking support services. Academic needs are addressed in the regular program through small class sizes and individualized assistance and/or accommodations when needed.

I missed the application deadline. Can I still apply?

It is highly unlikely that there will be space available after the application deadline has passed. You are welcome to submit your application after the deadline, however the probability of acceptance is extremely low.

I have submitted my application. Now what?

Most students who have submitted applications will be notified from Mt. SAC Early College Academy after the Application Committee reviews them. This process typically takes about 4-6 weeks after the application has been submitted. Those who have been accepted will be required to formally accept the offer and complete additional paperwork for both the high school and college. Failure to respond to an acceptance offer by the date given will forfeit your acceptance and result in your space being offered to another student. Accepted students are required to attend a New Student Orientation at Mt. SAC during the summer. Parents are required to attend a New Parent Orientation during the New Student Orientation.

My student was NOT accepted. Can I appeal this decision?

Students who have not been accepted this year are permitted to reapply the following year. Keep in mind when applying that many students who are not accepted are very qualified candidates, and as much as we would love to be able to accept everyone who applies, we cannot. We receive multiple well-qualified applications for a very limited number of spaces. However, we will retain all qualified applications in the event spaces open up. If a student who has been accepted chooses not to attend, fails to accept their offer of admittance, or fails to show at the start of school, their space will be offered to another qualified candidate who may have originally been placed on the wait list.

How does college enrollment work?

Students are enrolled in high school and college coursework at the same time. As real college students, Mt. SAC Early College Academy students apply to Mt. SAC, select, and add the college courses they wish to take. Students take their high school graduation requirements at the Academy and they take some of the A‐G requirements and the college general education courses through the college. Each major term (Fall and Spring), the Mt. SAC Early College Academy students may take up to 11 college units. Juniors and Seniors who demonstrate academic achievement and success at Mt. SAC may qualify for an overload of college units in the major terms (15 college units).

Are there requirements to maintain enrollment?

  • Yes. All Mt. SAC Early College Academy students are required to:
    • Maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher
    • Attend all classes every day
    • Be on time to all college and high school classes
    • Demonstrate the ability to make mature, independent, responsible, and productive choices at all times
    • Follow all Mt. SAC and WCUSD rules at all times
    • Be enrolled in a full schedule each semester (up to 15.0 college credits)
    • Receive no marks lower than a "C" in any college course
  • The Mt. SAC Early College Academy may withdraw a student from the program for not meeting academic, attendance or behavior requirements at any time. Students who drop below a 2.0 GPA are placed on an academic probation contract.  Students who continue to not meet the requirements, or who are dropped from any college course, either by the instructor or the student, without approval from the the Mt. San Antonio College Academy counselor, may be referred back to their school of residence. This includes single infractions.

Is transportation provided?

  • Students enrolled in at least one unit at Mt. SAC can get a Foothill Transit Class Pass, a reusable electronic card that gives Mt. SAC students unlimited access to Foothill Transit buses. There are two bus stops within a 15 minute walk from Mt. SAC Early College Academy.
  • Other options:
    • Students who are able to drive may do so
    • Parents/students may arrange carpools
    • Those who live close by may walk or ride a bike

Are there lockers?

Yes, we have PE lockers to store their PE items. However, students are expected to bring their class materials and keep them in their backpack on a daily basis. Due to our block schedule of classes, students usually only need to bring half of their school items on a daily basis.

Will I need to pay for my high school or college textbooks?

No, you do not need to pay for your high school or college textbooks.

How much does it cost to attend?

There are no fees for tuition, books, or materials for high school students who enroll in dual enrollment courses at Mt. SAC Early College Academy. International students on F-Visas are required to pay college fees.

How much homework will I have?

Student homework will vary from class to class. You can expect 1-2 hours of homework for each class.

What are the start and end times for a typical school day?

Students will have personalized schedules that meet the needs of the individual and their course requirements. However, classes can begin as early as 8:45 am and end as late as 3:44 pm. Some classes may require additional hours outside of regular school times. On occasion, students may be required to be in attendance on a Saturday.

Is there an athletics, choir, band, or theater program?

Not at this time. However, students may choose to become involved in a number of other extracurricular activities available.

Are there dances, activities, etc.?

Yes. We have rallies, dances, and club events, as well as various college events for our students. Students may also attend events at other high schools in the district with prior written approval of the Academy principal.

Will students be able to fulfill the University of California A-G requirements?

Yes. All graduates will have completed A-G requirements.

If I decide that I want to return to my previous school, can I?

It is expected that students remain at the Mt. SAC Early College Academy for a minimum of one year. Students and parents should give our program serious consideration before making the decision to attend.

What is the difference between the Mt. SAC Early College Academy and dual enrollment?

Mt. SAC Early College Academy allows students to enroll in college courses as early as ninth grade and complete more college courses in a four-year period than allowed in a traditional dual enrollment program, which usually limits students to taking no more than two college courses per semester in the 11th and 12th grades.

Are Honors, Advanced Placement, or International Baccalaureate classes offered?

No. However, Academy students may earn transferable general education college credit through dual enrollment. Please note that dual enrollment classes do not factor into a student's grade point average. However, for university acceptance, transferable college classes receive the same GPA weight as AP and Honors classes.

What is the difference between the Mt. SAC Early College Academy and Advanced Placement?

The major difference between the Mt. SAC Early College Academy and Advanced Placement classes is that Academy students will have a college transcript and will receive college credit as soon as they successfully complete a college class, whereas AP students must complete the course and score a minimum score on the national AP exam in that subject area in order to be considered for credit. The minimum AP exam score accepted for college credit varies by institution.

Why are students encouraged to earn up to two years of college credit through Mt. SAC Early College Academy?

Earning a college degree at a young age can help inspire students to continue their college education and enhance their employment prospects. There is also a significant financial benefit to families, as all college credits earned through the Academy are free to students.

Is the Mt. SAC Early College Academy only for students who plan on attending Mt. SAC after high school?

No. Most Mt. SAC Early College Academy credits will transfer easily to other public colleges and universities. High school counselors and college advisors can answer questions about specific courses and colleges.  However, it is possible to complete an Associate’s degree from Mt. SAC while in high school at the Mt. SAC Early College Academy.

Can this school accommodate students with special needs?

Yes. All students at the Mt. SAC Early College Academy are mainstreamed in general education courses.  Accommodations for English Learners and Special Education students are offered on a case by case basis, and applicants will need to provide copies of accommodations upon submitting an application.

What types of classes are available?

Our students will be able to choose from a variety of courses that follow a sequence of courses designed to maximize dual high school and college credit and can be applied to IGETC requirements, an Associate of Arts degree, or various workforce certificates. As student demand for other programs increases, we will explore offering additional degree plans that apply to the students’ chosen pathway towards a degree or certificate at Mt. SAC.

Are the college classes for high school students only?

Yes. Only Academy students will be enrolled in our credit earning college courses.  Please keep in mind that college courses require your student to participate respectfully and with maturity.

How many courses may I take?

Dual Enrollment students are permitted to enroll in a maximum of 11.0 college units during the Fall or Spring Semesters. Juniors and Seniors may enroll in up to 15.0 units.

Are there any courses that I would be restricted from taking?

Dual Enrollment students are permitted to enroll in a maximum of 11.0 college units during the Fall or Spring Semesters. Juniors and Seniors may enroll in up to 15.0 units.

Do prerequisites apply to dual enrollment students?

Yes. When a course has a prerequisite requirement, it means that a student must possess a certain amount of preexisting knowledge to be successful in the course.

When are classes offered?

Classes offered on high school campuses generally take place during the school day. Classes on college campuses are offered during the school day, in the evenings, on weekends, and online. It is important to understand that online courses maintain the same high standards as classroom courses and require significant self-discipline.

What Mt. SAC College resources are available to the Mt. SAC Early College Academy students?

Our students are provided a Mt. SAC student ID card, which gives them access to all student resources including college libraries, computer labs, and free tutoring.

Final Notes: The Mt. SAC Early College Academy is not a charter school or a credit recovery program, and does not graduate students early. We are looking for students who desire to be challenged while beginning their college career in a supportive and caring environment.

Thank you for considering the Mt. SAC Early College Academy.