Why MVHS students take De Anza classes

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Why MVHS students take De Anza classes

Roshan Fernandez

With course selection wrapping up for students of all grades, the buzz around campus over the past few weeks was all about what classes students would take next year. Honors American Literature or American Literature? AP US History or US History? Algebra 2 or Algebra 2/Trigonometry? These were among the many questions posed by students in day to day discussion with their friends. But for some students, there was a whole different matter: choosing to take De Anza courses.

College and career advisor Le-Xuan Cao explains that the number one thing colleges look at during admissions is the student’s transcript. This includes grades and test scores, but equally important is courses selected. In terms of classes, Cao says that the most important thing in the eyes of a college is to achieve balance. They don’t want students who took every single AP course, but they do expect students to challenge themselves.

And this is likely one of the reasons that students choose to take courses at community colleges such as Foothill College, Mission College or De Anza College. These courses are qualified as college level courses and take place in a college environment, making them much more challenging.

“Students take courses at De Anza because they want to challenge themselves, and it helps them get ahead,” Cao said. “And those students can also write on their college apps ‘Hey look, I did all these college level courses [as a high schooler].”

“Students take courses at De Anza because they want to challenge themselves, and it helps them get ahead. And those students can also write on their college apps ‘Hey look, I did all these college level courses [as a high schooler].”

– Le-Xuan Cao

Another reason students are interested in taking De Anza courses is because of the institution’s wider variety of options. De Anza offers many more courses than MVHS, which is an advantage for someone looking to explore new areas. Sophomore Apoorv Pachori explains that he is interested in taking AP Hindi at De Anza next year because it is not offered at MVHS.

“I think taking Hindi will help boost my GPA and my transcript, because it does count as an AP class,” Pachori said. “And I feel confident that I will do well, considering that Hindi is my native language.”

However, Cao adds that De Anza courses are not necessarily the right way to go for every student. She suggests for students to first talk to their guidance counselor, and only if it is recommended should they proceed to sign up for De Anza courses. She cautions students to carefully make their decision, keeping in mind if this is what they truly want, because the grades received in these courses follow students for life.

“Later on in life when you are applying to graduate school, they will ask to see the grades from the De Anza courses you took during high school,” Cao said. “Because they are [also] considering those courses to be a part of college.”

All in all, Cao explains that De Anza courses can be very challenging for a high school student, and although they are feasible for some, they definitely are not suitable for everyone.

“The most important thing is that you enjoy yourself, because high school is a one time experience,” Cao said. “Just be a teenager, have fun, get enough sleep, but at the same time try to challenge yourself. It’s all about finding the right balance.”