Middle College Information
Middle College is a collaboration between Santa Barbara City College and the Santa Barbara High School District, particularly Alta Vista Alternative High School. Its purpose is to give high school students an opportunity to gain a range of skills that provide motivation and support for their lifelong personal, academic and social growth. Middle College targets students who are seeking methods other than those offered at traditional high schools for achieving a high school diploma; and who are interested in pursuing high academic endeavors and/or career exploration.
Middle College Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Middle College is an independent study, dual enrollment program coordinated between the Santa Barbara Unified School District and Santa Barbara City College. It has been designed to help bridge the gap between high school and college. Middle College teachers provide support and direction to students attending classes on the SBCC campus.
11th or 12th grade students from any SBUSD High School may enroll in Alta Vista Alternative High School’s Middle College. Juniors may take up to 10 college units and seniors may take 11.9 college units, in addition to the weekly high school assignment they complete independently. (10th graders may be considered if openings are available.)
If a Middle College student finishes with Alta Vista Middle College, they will receive an Alta Vista Alternative High School diploma. Alta Vista holds graduation ceremonies at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens.
MC students can take any of the SBCC courses for which they qualify. Before enrolling, students and their parents/guardians meet with a Middle College teacher or counselor and evaluate the student’s high school transcript, SBCC assessment scores and academic goals to choose the courses that will best meet each individual student’s needs and interests.
Students are assigned to weekly, one-on-one meetings with a Middle College teacher. At that meeting, students will review the work they completed over the previous week and receive a new assignment for the upcoming week. Assignments typically focus on current events from news magazines or internet sources with emphasis on critical thinking, creative problem solving, and effective written and oral communication. Additionally, students will read a Book in Common and do a project each semester.
Yes. Many Middle College students have been accepted directly into four year colleges and universities. Middle College typically enrolls upperclassmen that have completed their math and science requirements. If there is A-G coursework that needs to be completed, those courses can be taken through the college as long as they are UC approved/transferable. Students who want to go directly to a university from high school are strongly encouraged to take English 110/120.