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FAQs for College Before College (CBC)


College Before College (CBC) FAQ’s

**Information below is subject to change by NHPS or the University partner. Please verify with your ISSP Coordinator.**

Q: How do I qualify to take a college class?

A: Second-semester sophomores, juniors, and seniors in New Haven Public high schools must meet personally with an ISSP Coordinator, who will verify their qualifications and discuss program possibilities with them the spring or fall PRIOR to registering for a class. In addition to demonstrating responsible academic and interpersonal behaviors, minimum academic qualifications include a B, B+ or A average, and PSAT’s/SAT’s in the 400’s, 500’s or 600’s for Gateway, Southern and Yale, respectively. All students must be approved by an ISSP Coordinator as part of the application process for all of the College Before College programs.

***Any student with a D or F on their most recent report card cannot register to take a college course the next semester. For example, if a student is interested in spring but has a D or F on their Marking Period One report card, they are ineligible regardless of cumulative GPA. Likewise, any student who applies in the spring for the following fall but ends the school year with a D or an F (for either Marking Period Four or Year-end grade) will not be permitted to register for a fall college class.

Q: I am an ELL student and sometimes have difficulty with English. Can I still take a college class?

A: Yes, you may be able to, so long as you meet the basic requirements of good grades and test scores. ELL students who haven’t met the testing requirements due to being English Learners may qualify for a class at Gateway through the Accuplacer, which has an ESL test. See your ISSP Coordinator for more information.

Q: I have a learning plan (504 or IEP). Can I still take a college class?

A: Yes, you may be able to, so long as you meet the basic requirements of good grades and test scores. See your ISSP Coordinator for more information.

Q: How much does it cost to take a college course?

A: There is no cost for tuition; however, there may be a lab fee or a materials fee for some courses. Books can also be costly (see next question).

Q: Are books and materials included?

A: No, they are not included. Paying for books and materials (access code, calculator, notebook, etc.) is the responsibility of the student/family. There may be grant funds available at certain colleges or for certain students, but this is not guaranteed. Please be advised that books/materials for some courses can cost up to $200.

Q: Can I get a city bus card or ride the school bus to my college class?

A: Some students may be able to use their regular transportation to arrive at the Green (Gateway). Others carpool, walk, or are driven by their family members, depending on the time and location of their courses.

Students enrolled at Gateway – are eligible for a “UPass”, which provides unlimited free rides on the city bus and unlimited free rides to certain destinations on Metro North/Shoreline East and Amtrak New Haven/Springfield line, so long as the student is carrying an active college ID. Free parking in the Gateway Garage is also available to Gateway students who drive.

Southern does not provide transit passes to high school students; however, Student Parking Permits at Southern can and must be obtained prior to parking in their lots. 

Students participating in the Yale High School program can use their Yale ID’s to ride the Yale Shuttle Bus.  

Q: How many college classes am I allowed to take?

A: One course per semester (fall and spring). Depending on the high school you attend, you may be required to choose between the different programs that are available, such as UNH STEP, Middle College, and QU PAL. This choice must be made before applying. Some programs will preclude participation in others – for example, you cannot participate in both College Now! and High School Partnership at Gateway. Similarly, you cannot participate in both Middle College and High School Partnership simultaneously. See your ISSP Coordinator for details about which programs are available at your high school and what the application requirements and number limits are.

If you would like to take more than one class, administrative approval is required. See your ISSP Coordinator for details.

Q: What classes can I take?

A: High school students are eligible to take any college course for which they have the required preparation (prerequisite courses and/or placement). All students must submit SAT/ACT scores with their application and/or take the Accuplacer at Gateway. Other placement tests may be required for specific departments or courses, such as for World Languages above the first level. PSAT’s are NOT accepted for placement at Gateway.

Q: How do I know if there will be a space in a course or section that interests me?

A: Please be aware that high school student seats at Gateway and Southern are limited based on paying student enrollment. No seat is guaranteed to be available at the time of High School Registration, and certain classes are virtually ALWAYS completely full. Therefore, your Coordinator will encourage you to use the online course search systems and check the full course descriptions to develop a long list of courses you are willing to take. The more courses you are available for and interested in taking, the more likely it is that you will get something!

Q: Can my ISSP Coordinator enroll me directly in the college class I want?

A: No, ISSP Coordinators cannot access the computerized enrollment systems at the colleges. You must attend the High School Registration sessions at Gateway or Southern to be registered. Students who miss their session will need to wait for the following semester and re=apply, if approved by ISSP Coordinator. Yale students are required to participate in “Shopping” and must gain both the professor’s approval (signature) and that of their ISSP Coordinator before submitting their Enrollment Form to the Dean.

Q: I really need a specific course next year, and I am not sure I can get it into my high school schedule. Can I take it at college?

A: High school students are not permitted to choose their high school courses based upon possible college course enrollment, since college course availability cannot be guaranteed. You MUST enroll at your high school in EVERY COURSE YOU NEED to graduate.

Q: I want to get a reduced schedule next year, so I can leave early for my college class. How can I do that?

A: NHPS students interested in CBC courses are required to follow all the regulations of their specific high schools with respect to late arrival and early dismissal. Administrative approval is required for all such schedules. Remember that college course availability cannot be guaranteed, so be sure to schedule all the courses you need to graduate at your high school. Consult your School Counselor for your specific high school’s policies and procedures regarding schedule options.

Q: How do I select a course?

A: Bring your list of course choices to the registration event and register, with the input of the ISSP Coordinators and the assistance of the college’s staff. Your ability to register for any specific course or section (time) of class is directly dependent on seat availability following the registration of all tuition- paying students. At Yale, instructor permission and ISSP Coordinator approval are both mandatory.

Q: I paid to take a college course. Can that credit go on my NHPS transcript?

A: No. Courses that are paid for are not taken through ISSP/CBC/DE and therefore cannot be included on your high school transcript. The good news is you can send an official transcript from that school directly to your eventual college and request transfer/placement credit.

Q: I want to go into nursing, pre-med, pre-law, etc. Can I take that kind of class?

A: Some courses are restricted to students enrolled in specific programs (e.g. Nursing) and are therefore not open to high school students. Prerequisite classes (pre-nursing, pre-med, pre-law) are in very high demand with the tuition-paying college students. Therefore, it may be possible to take a related class (e.g. Concepts of Chemistry), but it is generally not possible to take the required pre-nursing etc. courses as they always fill up. Your ISSP Coordinator can advise you based on previous experience.

Q: How do I search for the beginner level classes that would be a good fit for me?

A: Your placement test or SAT/ACT results will determine which math or English courses you qualify for at a particular college. In order to find other departments that may be of interest to you, such as Environmental Science or Sociology, use each college’s online search options and then follow up by reading the complete course description in the college’s catalog (on-line or paper). Generally, colleges number their courses as 100 for first year, 200 for second, etc. Therefore, most high school students will be taking courses numbered in the 100 and 200 levels. Once you are accepted to a specific college’s program, your ISSP Coordinator will direct you to detailed instructions on how to use the various on-line course searches.  

Q: I got my placements for English and math. Do I have to take English or math?

A: No, you do not have to take English or math. However, if you would like to take English or math, your placement results will determine which course(s) you can choose.

Other departments, e.g. Psychology and Engineering Tech, may require specific English or math placement levels for certain courses, to ensure that you are prepared.

Q:  What if I decide I need to drop or withdraw from the college course after I enroll? Will it still appear on my transcript?

A: If you are considering dropping or withdrawing from your college class, you must contact your ISSP Coordinator immediately to discuss your options. Enrolling in a college course is a serious commitment, and you will need to follow your specific college’s procedures in order to drop or withdraw. Submitting paperwork at the college is ALWAYS required for a drop or withdrawal. You should absolutely NOT, under any circumstances whatsoever, stop attending a college class without officially dropping or withdrawing. If you are experiencing difficulties with any aspect of your college class, notify your ISSP Coordinator immediately!

Dropping a class     In general, dropping or add/dropping (changing to a different course than the one you originally chose) is only allowed for a very brief time at the beginning of the semester, often two weeks of classes or less. If you officially drop within that very early period, the class will disappear from your schedule and will not appear on either your high school or college transcripts. You will be required to re-apply as a “New” student in following semesters, since you did not complete a course.

Withdrawing from a class    If you withdraw following the end of the drop period, but before the end the Withdrawal deadline, you will receive a “W” grade and no credit on both your high school and college transcripts. You will be required to re-apply to the College Before College program if you wish to try again, and your application may be denied or you may be required to fulfill additional requirements before being re-accepted, such as waiting an additional semester.


1) When you apply to college for after high graduation, you will be required to explain that you previously enrolled in college and withdrew from a course without completion. Withdrawing should be avoided whenever possible. See your ISSP Coordinator for help! 

2) Withdrawing from a course will count against you when the government assesses your “Satisfactory Academic Progress” or SAP. ALL students receiving US government-sponsored financial aid during college, including Pell Grants, Federal Work Study, or Guaranteed Student Loans, are REQUIRED to maintain SAP throughout college, which means you must pass 2/3 of the college courses you enroll in with a grade of “C” or higher. This INCLUDES CBC classes, so consult your ISSP Coordinator as soon as you realize you may need to withdraw.

Q: Will I have access to the college’s resources (e.g. computer lab, library, shuttle bus) while enrolled in a class there?

A: Yes, you will. Since College Before College students are officially enrolled, you will be treated the same as their regular students. You will be able to get a student ID and can then use it to access the college’s resources, including borrowing books, riding the shuttle bus, and using computer facilities. Many high school students find the college library a convenient place to do schoolwork while waiting for a late afternoon or evening class to start. You will also be able to meet with professors or TA’s during their office hours and make use of academic assistance offerings, such as the Academic Success Center at Southern or Center for Educational Services at Gateway.

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