CHSPE exam option for BHS senior 2020-2021: Experiences/ ideas?

Hello neighbors and teachers,

 Largely remote learning for next year has us rethinking our child's final year of high school.She is a strong, self motivated student, and is considering taking the California High School Proficiency exam in October, and then doing some community college classes in the winter and spring instead of a mostly remote senior year at Berkeley High. Does anyone know whether this would impact her application to a UC? Good or bad idea? We are trying to think outside the box for the upcoming year, as the AP exam testing, SAT and ACT testing has not adjusted quickly to accommodate the new constraints we are all under. The institutional educational and testing systems are largely dysfunctional in the COVID world, but our kids lives march on. I would appreciate your thoughts and experiences.

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Hi, there. It's very good that you are making inquiries before making any moves. My child graduated from Berkeley High in 2018 from Independent Study; I have made a study of these matters!

Following this pathway will have a big effect on the UC application. A HS student, while enrolled as a HS student, may take as many Community College classes as they like, for free, and get the credit, and apply as a first year UC student. Once they graduate from HS, or cease to be a HS student, the entire category they fit into changes: when they are no longer a HS student and they take Community College courses, they must apply as a transfer student to the UC system. Coming in as a transfer student means they MUST follow a proscribed course series for the full two years to be accepted. This is also a great pathway, and they are guaranteed a spot - but not necessarily to the UC they desire. 

I'd like to recommend an alternate pathway: when you enroll in Independent Study through BHS (a fantastic program, especially for the really motivated student) it is easier to take CC courses. Of course, they do fill up at IS, (and they're closed right now) and I'm sure most folks are exploring options like this one.

Our child went to IS for both Junior and Senior years. It was a fantastic experience. Best math teaching ever with Corey Wade!

Thinking outside the box seems right during this extraordinary time. We moved our upcoming junior to private school where at least online means the day spent “in” class on zoom with teachers instruction. I’d call some college counselors (if you don’t have 1 already) and the admissions office at CAL for specifics about how they feel about your plan. But what an interesting essay your child could write about this experience!

My understanding is that you need a High School Diploma to be accepted into any 4 year University. Otherwise she will need to complete 2 years of Community College before she can transfer. You should check with UC directly to confirm. 

My daughter took CHSPE and it set her on California community college path into good 4 year university. Your child's counselor ought to be able to confirm CHSPE route negates UC as a freshman.

Sounds like a very good plan.  
About a month ago the President of the California Community Colleges announced all California Community college classes would be online. 
No, it will not hurt your daughter’s chances getting into UC.
Have you been following UC’s new priorities for admissions?  And who they are targeting?  SAT scores are no longer required and will not be considered in admissions. 
Not sure why you are under the impression AP testing dysfunctional.  Not the case last spring.  AP tests were given and high schools kids took them. 
 

Thanks for asking this question I hope someone can assist us both

My heart really goes out to all the kids in school during COVID. Students and their families are facing some difficult choices and scenarios. My son is no longer in school, thankfully. He took the CHSPE in the spring of his junior year a year or two ago. He then opted to work full time instead of going directly to college, so I can't speak to how it would impact your daughter's chances of being accepted to UC (He did easily enroll in community college - no issues there). However, I wanted to share that the CHSPE was a great option for my son and was the right choice for his situation. It sounds like your daughter's plan is a good one. Based on what you shared, if she were my child, I would support testing out of HS and doing community college classes. In fact, I suspect that may be a great option for many high school upperclassmen. I am so grateful for the CHSPE and the positive impact it had on my son's life.