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Taking Courses Outside of CHS

Things to consider

Students and parents should think carefully before deciding to take courses outside of CHS. 

Below are some specific things to consider and discuss:

  • It is not mandatory or expected that high school students take a college class to be admitted to college
  • All grades will be part of a student's permanent college record that will follow them in the future
  • All classes and grades must be reported to colleges
  • Students making up D or F grade may not be able to replace the grades
  • College classes will take time and energy that could be used towards your high school classes and other activities
  • High school students do not receive priority when registering for classes

Guidance for Students and Parents

The following are some tips and advice from the Guidance Department:

  • Students should not take classes in place of high school courses available to them, but to supplement what they are taking in high school
  • Students can explore a subject not offered in high school, challenge themselves in a subject in which they have high interest, and take a class for enrichment (ex: take Introduction to Guitar or Hip Hop Dancing just because they are fun)
  • Keep in mind that doing well in a college class may raise your grade a small fraction, but your time may be better spent on community service, internships, or part-time jobs that relate to your interests
  • You should never take a college class at the expense of your high school grades.  Good college grades will not make poor high school grades look any better


  • If you are trying to earn college units, visit the website and select the community college that you are considering.  The website will help you identify CSU and UC transferable college courses.
  • If you are using a college class to satisfy a college subject (a-g) requirement, visit the University of California website
  • Science courses at the college level must have a lab component to be considered a UC laboratory science (subject d)


  • Classes taken at a community college will be recorded on a student's college transcript and will not be transferred back to the high school transcript.  It is the student's responsibility to report college courses on college applications and submit official transcripts during the application process.
  • Because Cupertino believes that students should balance their academic loads, students are limited to one college class per quarter/semester.  Students with special circumstances must speak to their Guidance Counselor and may possibly be referred to their Assistant Principal.
  • Students attempting to replace a D or F grade on their high school transcript should talk to their Guidance Counselor about the courses they are considering.  Some college classes do not replace high school course grades.

Concurrent Enrollment at Community College

Steps to sign up for classes at a community college:

  1. Apply to the college that you intend to attend
  2. Take placement tests when necessary (for math, English, and sometimes science)
  3. Complete the correct concurrent enrollment forms (signatures needed from guidance counselor and assistant principal)
  4. Register during the designated registration period


To view a "How To" presentation for students interested in taking courses at De Anza College, click here

Requesting Credit from an Outside Educational Institution (transfering credits back to CHS)

General Information

  • Students are limited to earning 70 credits per year.  This is the maximum number of credits per year that may be posted to a student's transcript.  This means that a student who has been scheduled for seven periods may not take an additional course from an outside institution and request additional credit. 
  • Students are limited to a total maximum of 40 credits that may be earned through outside educational institutions over the four years of high school.  Any course taken from an outside institution may not be replaced by a similar or identical course the following semester.  This includes any enrichment courses students may take during the summer months from outside educational institutions.


Contact the Alpha Guidance Counselor prior to enrolling in a class if inquiring about receiving credits from an outside educational institution.