As a new school year inches around, high school recruitment teams begin to branch out into the halls of middle schools. Screens in auditoriums start to light up as presenters display school accolades, programs, and offered resources.
Recruitment season for the 2023-2024 school year it has captivated many middle schoolers. It was the first introduction of dual enrollment credit for Vanessa Gaytan, a jumpstart to higher education.
“I didn’t always plan to go to an Early College High school; I didn’t even know there was such a thing until I heard about it,” Gaytan said. “As soon as I heard what they provided in their presentation, I knew I had to attend this school.”
JCECHS facilitates academic success by providing the environment, support, and resources necessary to achieve one of five associate’s degrees offered on campus through STC’s partnership.
“Everybody shifts their focus to their academic environment because, mostly, everyone is trying to keep up and pass their classes; all that energy just goes into having a good academic environment,” Gaytan said.
Because of the rigor and tedious college work, the academic environment is crucial to thriving in courses.
“My ideal high school experience is being in a calm environment and meeting all of my duties with no trouble. It does fit that description very well,” Gaytan said.
Every year, incoming freshmen are invited to the school’s summer bridge program to tour the school, train and test for TSI exams, and learn the ropes. This program is designed to ease the transition from middle school to high school dual enrollment courses.
“It wasn’t a big nor small change; it just felt like I fit right in, but going first through the summer bridge did help facilitate and prepare myself for the people I would interact with,” Gaytan said.
Gaytan plans to become a data analyst while pursuing her associate’s degree.
“What sparked my interest in becoming a data analyst was mostly the money, but I also chose it because I knew It was something I could be good at, unlike the medical field,” Gaytan said.
One goal she hopes to achieve through this experience is time management skills by drilling dates and deadlines for homework and what is expected of her. This responsibility is something new she has learned since taking college courses.
“I’m doing very well. Honestly, it’s not challenging if you focus on the work and turn it in,” Gaytan said.

Marianna R. is a junior at JCECHS and will be acting as a reporter and photographer for the Red Gold News. She is excited to discovery the culture and ethics of this school.