De Anza: Opening new doors

Dipika Srihari

More students chose to enroll in quarter-year classes at De Anza

Many MVHS students seem to love school more than the average teenager. A shocking 84 percent of students out of 70 person poll administered by El Estoque,  spend their evenings or free periods studying university-level material in local community colleges such as De Anza, Foothill, San Jose, and Evergreen.
In recent years, guidance counselor Sylvia Lam says that the trend, especially for seniors, has been to take fewer classes at school and then take a quarter-year’s class at De Anza. Lam says that a quarter year class at community colleges is equivalent to a full year’s or a full semester’s worth of an advanced placement equivalent at MVHS. In short, students are getting more credits in less time.
However, every advantage has its shortcomings, and these quarter-year classes are no exception.  While the difficulty of a class always depends on the student who takes it, many feel that De Anza classes are lenient compared to the classes offered at MVHS.
“[Community college classes are] obviously easier than their MVHS equivalent,” senior Michelle Yuen said. “[Students who take community college classes] don’t care about the substance [of the class] as much as the image [to colleges] they present when they take it.”
Perhaps this lack of substance can explain exactly why 88 percent  of students who have taken classes at a community college felt that college classes are, in general, easier than their MVHS AP class equivalent. Students also scramble to the De Anza registration centers in order to escape the stringent scheduling system that administration implemented this year. Students could not add any class after the start of the school year.
Senior Kiran Kanekal was one of many who signed up for a community college class to overcome the inflexible scheduling regulations. After dropping Physics at MVHS because it was too easy, he signed up for Physics at De Anza and is now getting AP credit for his work.  Kanekal notes the varied difficulties of classes from his previous C programming class to his current Physics class.
“Programming C was the easiest class I’ve ever taken in my life,” Kanekal said. “I barely did any studying. That would count as one of those BS classes.”
Furthermore, students who didn’t have a full set of classes received holes in their schedule instead of a free first or seventh.
For example, math teacher Colin Anderson’s seventh period Statistics class is half empty, but his second period Statistics class is jam-packed.  Lam explains this imbalance of classes by saying that many seniors who take this class, unwilling to stay in school until 3 p.m. would rather take the class at De Anza twice a week and have their seventh periods at the end of the day.
Senior Deirdre Chen argues that people take De Anza classes not because it is easy, but because a variety of classes is offered.
“If you sign up for a class at De Anza, you really want to take it. You really want to be there,” Chen said.
So whether students really do love school enough to take extra classes or they are just looking for an easy grade, De Anza has become the popular choice.