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Early Start Program

High school students may be eligible for Orange Coast College’s Early Start Program.  The Early Start Program is designed for 11th and 12th grade high school students seeking advanced scholastic or vocational coursework not available at the high school. Students interested in attending Orange Coast College under the Early Start Program must submit an Admissions Application online.

Once the application has been processed and an acceptance email received, then the student must submit an Early Start Petition - signed by both the high school principal and the parent/guardian. When all the paperwork is completed the student may enroll in the approved classes on or after their registration appointment time if the class is open.

  • High School students are not permitted to waitlist classes.
  • If the class is not open then you must go to the first class meeting to request an Add Permit from the instructor.

NOTE: All assessment testing, course pre-requisites and necessary qualifications must be met in order to be considered for enrollment as an ESP student. Consult the current class schedule or College Catalog for course pre-requisites and other requirements.

Not all courses offered at Orange Coast College are available for ESP enrollment. Please contact the appropriate Division Offices to verify courses eligible for ESP enrollment.


Academic Requirements for Early Start Program (ESP) Students

Eligible students have the opportunity to enroll in a maximum of six units each semester (3 units max for summer and winter intersession) and earn college credit while still attending high school.  Students are expected to meet the same requirements as regular college students and coursework taken appears on the student's college transcript.


Things to consider:

  • Students must apply for admission, turn in a Part-Time Early Start Program form signed by the parent/guardian and the high school principal to the Admissions Office at OCC, and meet the prerequisite before they will be permitted to register for classes.
  • Enrolling in college courses creates a permanent record (college transcript).
  • Students should plan to study a minimum of two hours each week for each hour of class time (unit).
  • The University of California recognizes college semester-length courses of 3 semester units as equivalent to 10 credits earned in an eligible one-year high school course. (Exception: The first semester of a college level foreign language course is considered to be equivalent to the first two years of high school foreign language (20 credits).
  • Students planning to apply coursework taken at OCC toward college or university admission or progress toward a degree should contact the respective institutions regarding policies involving prior coursework.
Students who are enrolled in the Early Start Program and are designated as California residents (see residency information) are not required to pay the per unit enrollment fee but are required to pay all other required fees.