New Early College Program Coordinator living the dream

Mia Estrada

Collegiate High School

Stepping into the Early College Program space, a group of genial staff members work diligently on their computers to support early college high school students.

More recently the program hired a new Early College Program coordinator, Emily Gonzalez, who has been working with various Del Mar College departments for seven years.

“I am very passionate about Del Mar College, this is where my life began,” Gonzalez said. “Del Mar College has changed my life for the better.”

According to Gonzalez, working in many departments has led her to have a greater understanding of the many areas the college has to offer, just part of the knowledge she plans to pass along to high school students just beginning their college careers.

Beginning with the 2015-16 school year, the Dual Credit Legislation passed an act, HB 505, that cannot limit dual credit courses or hours, and the grade level at which students can begin.

“Dual credit is increasing each year and with HB 505, the number of dual credit students will grow even more. The future is bright,” Gonzalez said.

An abundance of the population at Del Mar consists of Collegiate and Branch Academy students, who have an opportunity to receive college credit and graduate with their associate degree.

Although Gonzalez has been working with the program for a little over a month, she caught on fast. Gonzalez tells parents “your children are my children,” wanting to assist them to the best of her ability.

“I want to ensure that they know they have a helping hand along the way from the application to their last day of class,” Gonzalez said.

Cassandra Martinez, a Collegiate High School student, looks to a greater future for early college students.

“It’s better for high school students to take dual credit courses. They’ll save a lot of money and get school done faster. The future seems to be getting brighter,” Martinez said.

While being the new coordinator, Gonzalez has enjoyed every step of the way.

“I’m doing what I always wanted to do. I’m helping students achieve their dreams and to me that is a dream come true,” she said.

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