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'Crimadors' make up AWC English 101 class at Yuma High

Yuma High School Guidance Director Mary Lynn Coleman likes to call the new English 101 students on campus the “Crimadors.”

Coleman, the Yuma Union High School District veteran whose latest endeavor is overseeing the Yuma High guidance office for the past two years, seems genuinely excited to talk about the concurrent enrollment course offered to 16 YHS students.

“It’s new,” she said. “We’ve never done it before here.” YHS English 101 class

The class is part of a push in secondary education to grow postsecondary opportunities. Concurrent enrollment means that students take classes taught by Arizona Western College instructors, receive support and resources from the college, and in-turn earn college and high school credit. It’s not the first time YUHSD has done so with AWC as its partner, but it’s the first time the district has done so the Yuma High campus.

"The benefits of having an English 101 class on campus is the accessibility of a college course near your home,” said AWC English Professor Daniel Herrera, who teaches the Crimador class.

Accessibility and getting through college prerequisites early are two of the primary benefits for students enrolled in the course. Moreover, recent studies have shown evidence that students who are dual-enrolled or concurrently enrolled in college courses while in high school typically have more success in education after high school. The Community College Research Center, in a 2017 study, found that 88 percent of community college dual enrollment students continued in college after high school and 64 percent of dual enrollment students who first enrolled in a four-year college after high school completed a degree within five years.

According to AWC’s course syllabus, English 101 is a course in expository writing with emphasis on writing processes and effective rhetorical choices concerning audience, purpose, genre, and style. Students will examine the relationships among language, knowledge, and power, and gain facility with critical reading and writing. Students will also learn to approach writing as a vehicle for learning and communication, addressing the types of writing they will encounter in college as well as in professional and civic environments.

Eric Patten