Accelerated College Department




The San Diego Community College District's Accelerated College Program was established in 1963 by Dr. Robert Heilbron, President of Mesa College, in response to the need expressed by parents, advanced students, and high school administrators for academic work in political science and mathematics to augment the curriculum of the secondary schools. Students never have to leave their high school campus, Mesa College classes are taught during the regular school day, integrating seamlessly into students high school schedules. Classes are taught by Mesa College faculty, and students earn transferrable college credits upon successful completion of the course.  High school students may enroll in political science and/or mathematics courses and earn up to 21 semester units of transferable college credit without leaving their high school campuses. Our enrollment of approximately 1000 students provides evidence of the continuing need in our community for high quality college-credit courses provided by academic specialists to accelerated students in San Diego's high schools.  Please contact the Accelerated College Program department chair, Dr. Jarred Collins, to discuss possible course offerings at your high school.

Transferability of College Credits

San Diego Mesa College is part of the State of California system of higher education. Accelerated College Program classes are sections of courses regularly taught at Mesa College. Therefore, credits earned in the Accelerated College Program are transferable to all California State Universities and all branches of the University of California. In addition, Accelerated College Program units are accepted by most private colleges and universities in California, and across the country, although some may impose various restrictions requiring petitions or placement tests. Receiving universities may allow the credits to be used for: subject requirements as a prerequisite for a major or related course, units toward a major, units toward graduation, GE requirements of the university (e.g. American institutions or quantitative reasoning), GE requirements of a college (e.g. depth and breadth for College of Arts and Letters), and/or course equivalency. You should consult your college catalog or evaluator for policies in this area. 

The Accelerated College Program and Advanced Placement (AP) Courses

Both Accelerated College Program and Advanced Placement (AP) courses allow students to take rigorous college level classes from excellent teachers on high school campuses. Advanced Placement courses are offered by the high school, so credits are used for the diploma; college credit depends on the results of the exam in May which the student may elect and pay to take. Accelerated College Program classes are provided through Mesa College, so no high school credit is given toward the diploma. Transferable college credits at Mesa College are earned by all successful students.

Students are selected for the Accelerated College Program by their high school counselors on the basis of previous grades, teacher recommendations and /or placement tests.  Over 90% of our students pass and earn college credits.

How does the Accelerated College Program affect San Diego High Schools

Each high school is allocated faculty positions (CPU's) by the San Diego Unified School District based on its student population, according to the District's formula, without consideration of our program. Our presence reduces the number of student who must be enrolled in high school classes. High schools can therefore reduce class size and/or assign release time for special purposes.