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Early College Program Paves Fast and Low-Cost Route to Degree and Career for High School Students

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Media Contact:Aya Abelon; Public Affairs

NORWALK, Calif. - January 19, 2021 - This summer, Cerritos College will launch its Early College program in partnership with three local high schools: Bellflower High School (Bellflower Unified School District), Norwalk High School (Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District), and Whitney High School (ABC Unified School District). Thirty 9th grade students in each high school will participate in the program.

The Early College Program provides high school students the opportunity to earn up to 46 UC/CSU transferrable units. Students who finish the entire program will earn a high school diploma while also  completing the entire Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). This is a series of courses that California community college students can complete to satisfy freshman/sophomore level general education requirements before transferring to most colleges and majors at CSU and UC campuses. Cerritos College tuition is waived for the program, and each school district pays for participating students’ textbooks. 

Students who complete the program will shorten their time in college, saving college tuition costs for approximately one or two academic years, which could translate to a tuition cost savings of up to $26,000. Students will also have the option to earn an associate degree by taking additional Cerritos College classes.

“We are excited to offer the Early College Program to our area high school students,” said Dr. Jose Fierro, President/Superintendent, Cerritos College. “Exposing youth to college education early will help them build confidence and the positive mindset they need to achieve academic and career success later in their lives. This is especially crucial for underserved students.”

“Continued education is important for our students, and the Early College Program helps our students fulfill their educational goals. We are very proud to partner with Cerritos College to provide this excellent opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Mary Sieu, Superintendent, ABC Unified School District.

The Early College program will add a well defined pathway to the current range of class options our students have to learn and grow as students and individuals by creating an accelerated program that will open doors, and opportunities for our students,” echoed Laura Sanchez-Ramirez, BUSD Board President. 

“For the past several years, our students have benefited from enrolling in dual enrollment classes, participating in the President Scholars Academy, and by taking high school courses articulated with Cerritos College. The addition of the Early College Program presents another opportunity for our students to gain valuable college and career experience at no cost that will benefit their future,” said John M. Lopez, Superintendent, Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District.

About Cerritos College: Cerritos College serves as a comprehensive community college for southeastern Los Angeles County. Communities within the college’s district include Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, La Mirada, Norwalk, and portions of Bell Gardens, Lakewood, Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs and South Gate. Cerritos College offers degrees and certificates in more than 180 areas of study in nine divisions. Annually, more than 1,200 students successfully complete their course of studies, and enrollment currently averages 23,000 students. Visit Cerritos College online at


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