Arts Schools Network (ASN) recently awarded Citrus College the 2021 Higher Education Award for its support of arts education.
The annual honor is given to educational institutions or arts partnership programs that continually promote arts education in K‐12 schools. Specifically, ASN highlighted Citrus College’s partnership with the California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley (CSArts‐SGV), a tuition‐free, donation‐dependent public charter school in Duarte that offers students a college‐preparatory education and preprofessional arts conservatory training.
Specifically, ASN praised the partnership between both schools and how it led to CSArts‐SGV being included in Citrus College’s Early College program, which gives students from nine local high schools the opportunity to enroll in college‐level courses taught on their respective campuses.
By taking the courses, students can earn both high school and college credit — free of charge. Programs range from a single class to a four‐year program where students can earn up to 60 units.
“I’d like to thank the California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley for nominating Citrus College for this prestigious award,” said Dr. Greg Schulz, superintendent/president of Citrus College. “Building and preserving a pathway between our local high schools and Citrus College is important, as our entire community benefits from expanded access to higher education.”
In fall 2019 and spring 2020, there were nearly 630 total college‐level course enrollments from CSArts‐SGV students in the disciplines of art, dance, music and theater. Courses included beginning painting, beginning guitar and theater appreciation, among others.
“I am thrilled that Citrus College received this honor for championing the arts and making it easier for local high school students to earn college credit,” said John Vaughan, dean of visual and performing arts at Citrus College. “California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley students who enroll in our courses are incredibly hard working and inspiring, making the courses all the more fun to teach.”
Looking to the future, the plan is to add more general education courses to CSArts‐SGV curriculum in order to make it possible to offer completion pathways that lead to associate degrees for transfer (ADTs). An ADT guarantees transfer students “junior” status within the California State University system.
“In today’s competitive work environment, we should always strive to provide a successful pathway to high school students in their higher‐education journey,” said Stephen Cook, DMA, dean of arts at CSArts‐SGV. “Dual enrollment classes deliver college level instruction in an environment that encourages student success and retention. The larger implication for students engaged in this program is to expose them to collegiate curriculum at the K‐12 level so that they enter college not only with some units completed, but also with a deeper understanding of college‐level work.”
Citrus College will be honored at the 2021 ASN Annual Conference in Chicago in October in addition to being featured on ASN’s website and social media accounts.
“On behalf of the board of trustees, I would like to congratulate everyone at Citrus College and our local high schools who have made the Early College program the success it is today,” said Dr. Patricia A. Rasmussen, president of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees. “It is gratifying to see that so many students have taken advantage of this incredible opportunity to expand their knowledge, all while saving thousands in education costs.”