Cascadia Community College will begin offering classes at Woodinville High this week.
Both schools are touting the dual-enrollment arrangement as a win.
Cascadia needed additional classroom space, and Woodinville was looking to expand its course offerings.
“We see it as a creative way to meet our needs,” said Woodinville Principal Vicki Puckett. “It’s beneficial for everyone.”
The courses, consisting of Elementary Japanese and Psychology 101, will be available for college credit to students from both schools.
Juniors and seniors from the Northshore School District can enroll in the classes for free as part of the Running Start program, but younger students will be expected to pay.
The course credits will transfer to any associate’s- or bachelor’s-degree program in the state.
“I like the idea of blurring the lines between high school and community college and four-year institutions,” said Cascadia Dean of Student Learning Margaret Turcott. “It’s important to realize we don’t just drop one thing and start another. They can kind of blend together.”
Cascadia is working to implement a global-studies program that would allow students to transfer credits from its own curriculum to a similar offering at Washington State University.
Students can also use the classes to fulfill part of their high-school-and-beyond plans, which are required for graduation.
“It teaches them how to deal with a college setting, if that’s where they’re heading,” Puckett said.
Woodinville has struggled to find funding for new courses because of declining enrollment.
The trend started after the state implemented growth-management policies that limit development within the school’s feeder pattern.
“This program gives our kids more options without costing us more dollars.” Puckett said. “We need a schedule that’s competitive with other 4A schools in the area, and one of the ways we can do that is through this partnership with Cascadia.”
The Japanese class, in particular, is a rare offering that Woodinville officials expect will help their school stand out.
“Japanese teachers are hard to find,” Puckett said. “To have a teacher who’s willing to teach one class at a high school is very difficult to do.”
The class isn’t one to take lightly. Participants must learn three separate writing systems — Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana — all of which make up the common Japanese dialect.
“It’s difficult to learn, and it takes a lot of discipline,” Puckett said.
“It takes a certain type of student — a very focused student.”
Cascadia foreign-language instructor Yuko Ito says her courses have been popular for students interested in Japanese animation, an art form known as “anime.”
“I’m sure that’s one of the biggest reasons at Woodinville,” she said. “Some people have taken European languages, which are mostly similar, and they want to learn something more exotic.”
Both Cascadia and Woodinville are looking to offer more classes in the future.
“I would be open to Chinese Mandarin,” Puckett said. “It’s becoming a hot language for international business.”
Puckett said she would also like her school to offer upper-level business courses, as well as an English 101 class.