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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take courses at a local community college to fulfill my graduation requirements?

No. Graduation requirements must be fulfilled during the school day at El Camino. Students are allowed to take courses for enrichment purposes for math and foreign language. Students are also encouraged to take courses that begin to build them a college transcript and earn them elective credit at El Camino. Students must have a minimum GPA of a 2.0 for concurrent enrollment at a local community college. 


What happens when I repeat a class?

Colleges do not accept D’s so many students choose to retake a class they may have earned a D in for a better grade. Students cannot earn credit twice for the same class. When a class is repeated, the credit is taken away from the lower grade and given to the new grade so that the new grade is calculated into the GPA.


What courses do I need to take to be ready for college?

Many students and parents think that the graduation requirements and the “a-g” college entrance requirements are two completely different sets of classes. If students complete their graduation requirements with C’s or better and take and pass algebra 2, a second year of the same foreign language and a year of a college prep elective with C’s or better while meeting the minimum GPA they will be ready for college. 


Do I have to take honors or AP courses to get into college?

A question that counselors are asked often on college recommendation forms is the difficulty of your course load, compared to other college-bound students at your high school. Colleges are looking to see how much you have pushed and challenged yourself and where you stand. It is better to take honors and AP courses and earn C’s than take regular-level courses and get straight A’s.


What do colleges mean by “Validating” classes?

There are certain subject areas that allow for a D to be earned in the fall semester without having to be made up as long as the student earns a C or better in the spring semester.  This rule applies to math courses, foreign language and Chemistry only. The D will still be worked into the GPA. 


Is it true that your sophomore and junior year course selection are the most important for college?

The reason that your sophomore and junior years’ course selection is important is because these two years are used to calculate your “a-g” college GPA. This is the GPA that will be used for your college eligibility. You want to make sure that you take as many “a-g” courses as possible because non “a-g” courses will not be worked into this GPA.