Are CC Courses Still Worth It? Data Science Summer Opportunities?

Hello! Currently, I’m a junior in high school and I’m interested in pursuing data science and artificial intelligence. At the moment, over the summer I’m planning:

  • Duel enrolling community college cs or math courses

  • Trying out USACO

  • Continuing self-learning python and potentially java/sql

Are cc courses still worth it and are there any particular stand-out programs or opportunities that I should be looking into?


About the CC classes being worth it: The simple answer is, it depends. Not all CCs and not all CC courses are created equally. A solid math course (Calc 1 or higher) at a reputable CC is often worth more than an AP 5 score… provided you get an A. A lesser class won’t hurt but won’t necessarily help either. A couple of things to keep in mind:

  1. At reputable CCs you will have to provide test scores showing college readiness before you can register (at our CC it was math ACT of 28 or higher for Calc 1).
  2. CC class grades are the real-deal and will go on your permanent college/university record regardless of if you took them while in high school. Unlike high school AP grades, they do not disappear once you matriculate to a 4 year school. And they don’t look at a ‘B’ as if it’s really an ‘A’ because you’re in high school - nope- a ‘B’ is a ‘B’ and that grade will be seen if you ever apply to a grad school program.
  3. One semester at CC is worth a year of high school, meaning the classes move at a much faster pace than you are likely to accustomed- Especially during the summer term.

It’s entirely possible. My daughter did it and it has worked out very well for her. Just watch the drop dates and pull the plug if it’s not going well because a less than ideal grade from a CC can chase you for your entire academic career. Good luck!

Thanks for the reply bmprok!
I was actually planning to take intro to c++, java, or python, and linear algebra, which all give UC credit. How many courses do you recommend taking? Does the workload for two classes already take up a significant chunk of time?

Yes, those two classes would take a significant chunk of time, especially during the summer (accelerated). That said, whether or not it’s doable depends a lot on you. If you’re already somewhat familiar with C++, Java and Python you should be ok… but I wouldn’t want to take CS during the summer at the same time as linear unless you really love it. Just remember what I said about being prepared to drop if it’s not going well - you should be able to tell in the first few days of a summer course if it’s not going to work.

Just wondering, are these classes in person, hybrid, or strictly on-line? That also makes a difference depending on your learning style.

The courses will likely be online over the summer. Thanks for the advice! I’ll definitely think more about taking the linear algebra class.

Assuming that you are in California, use to check whether the courses are considered equivalent to specific CS courses at your target UCs and CSUs, or if they can only be generic transferable credit.

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