BALDWIN PARK – North Park Continuation High School and the Baldwin Park Unified School District have entered into an agreement to offer a tuition-free criminal justice class taught by a Rio Hondo College professor to give students a jumpstart on their college education and stimulate career aspirations.

The class, Introduction to Administration of Justice, provides an analysis of the U.S. criminal justice system for students interested in pursuing careers in criminal law. Enrollment is open to all Baldwin Park Unified high school students. The class will be held at the North Park campus from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Aug. 22 through Dec. 7.

“This partnership with Rio Hondo College is an incredible opportunity for our students to obtain an early start on their college careers,” Superintendent Dr. Froilan N. Mendoza said. “We believe this course offering will have a major positive impact on our students and provide them a strong foundation for their career paths.”

North Park counselor Jim Orick said the class will allow students to sample a college-level course and possibly choose a career path. The District hopes to enroll at least 25 students, specifically inviting students who take part in North Park’s public service career and technical education (CTE) pathway.

North Park’s graduation rate reached 95 percent in 2016-17.

“This partnership is a great way to encourage our students, especially at North Park, because some of them have not considered college. Offering them a free college class is a perfect way to introduce them to the idea of higher education,” Orick said. “It’s also a good way to transition students from high school into college and get them accustomed to college life.”

Because the class is a Rio Hondo College course, students can earn three college units that are transferable to Cal State University and University of California campuses – reducing their college workloads. Students who complete the class will be considered returning students if they enroll at Rio Hondo College, giving them a higher priority registration date.

If the partnership succeeds, the District also hopes to expand Rio Hondo College class offerings to include a college-level automotive class to complement North Park’s automotive program. Rio Hondo College’s automotive program is among the state’s best, and includes a novel Bachelor of Science sequence.