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Early College Credit

Early college credit opportunities provide students with a way to earn college credit and get a head start on their education and career goals. Orange County students can take college courses and earn credits towards a degree (Certificate or Associate’s) or the credits can be transferred to other colleges/universities. Students can accomplish this by taking courses through articulation or dual enrollment.  


Early College Credit Definitions

Articulated courses allow high school students to receive college credit for classes they complete in high school. Students may elect to include credits earned through an articulated course on their college transcript. The articulation process eliminates the need for duplication of courses at the college level.

What is Articulation?
Articulation is the process of evaluating courses to determine whether coursework completed at a high school meets the requirements at a community college or post-secondary institution.  Agreements made can include course-to-course equivalency for dual credit, credit by exam or advanced placement.

For more information about the articulated courses available on your campus, contact your school counselor or ROP career specialist, or view this articulated course list.

Dual enrollment provides avenues for students to take college courses at community college for FREE or at a very low cost.  Students can take these course through structured programs at their high school or on their own at a community college  (aka concurrent enrollment). Dual enrollment programs allow students to save time, money and jump-start their college transcript. Students register for these courses through the “special admit” process. Talk to your counselor to learn more about dual enrollment.

Click on the appropriate community college below for more information on the articulation and dual enrollment process.

Newport-Mesa Unified School District has an Early College High School completely dedicated to offering students a blended model of high school college preparatory classes along with onsite college courses through Coastline College for dual enrollment purposes. Students who attend Early College High School have the opportunity to earn up to two years of college units under a dual enrollment arrangement by completing all their general education college units and in some cases, earn associate degrees from Coastline College by the time they graduate from high school. For more information on how to apply to Early College High School, please visit their website or call (714) 424-7990.

Participating Colleges

saddleback college logo
Orange Coast college logo
fullerton college logo
irvine college logo
coastline college logo
santiago canyon logo
Santa Ana college logo
golden west college logo
cypress college logo