Off Campus Courses (Non PAUSD)
If you are considering whether to take a course off-campus, you have come to the right place! There are a variety of reasons why a student may want to take a course outside of PAUSD. Our hope is that you are looking to take courses off-campus for personal enrichment and not just for a grade on a transcript. Please read through the FAQ below and follow the appropriate steps as outlined.
Summer 2023 updates to Policy
Please note that Administrative Regulation (AR) 6146.11 has been updated and will apply to all off campus course requests starting with Summer 2023.
Starting with Summer 2023, prior-approved off-campus courses will transfer onto the PAUSD transcript with a CR/NC and will not be included in the PAUSD GPA. Students will need to submit separate transcripts to colleges to show the grade earned from the outside institution. In addition, schools that have supplemental (SEP) WASC accreditation will not be accepted. A school with supplemental accreditation may fall into one of the following categories:
- Does not issue a high school diploma.
- Does not have a UCOP course list.
- And/or does not issue an official transcript with a grade and course units.
Schools commonly requested by PAUSD families.
With prior approval, the following exceptions allow off campus courses to be placed on the Gunn (PAUSD) transcript with a grade and included in the GPA:
- Courses repeated for credit recovery (when a student has earned a grade lower than a C-).
- CCAP - Dual Enrollment courses offered through PAUSD. (Courses that have a "D" following the course number i.e. 4915D).
- World Language courses taken off campus that Gunn does not offer on campus.
All other prior-approved off-campus courses will receive a CR/NC grade on the PAUSD transcript.
I am interested in taking a course off-campus, what is the procedure?
Whether a student is taking the course for personal enrichment or to be transferred onto the PAUSD transcript, the following procedures must be followed BEFORE a student starts a course:
- Determine whether the institution is accredited (WASC or otherwise). For any course taken off-campus, it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the course is taken through an accredited institution and will be accepted by colleges - even if approval is given by the Assistant Principal of Counseling and Student Services.
- Have a conversation with your School Counselor about your four-year plan.
Once I have completed the above, what do I do next?
- Complete our Gunn Off Campus Request Form (This form is for Summer 2023 - Spring 2024). Prior approval for summer 2023 off-campus courses will end on July 2, 2023.
- This form will generate a notice to your Counselor and Assistant Principal of Counseling for approval.
- Follow-up communication will be emailed to you with an explanation of the next steps, as needed.
- Please allow for a one week (5 school days) processing time of all requests.
- Summer 2023-Spring 2024 Off-Campus Course Request Form opens after Spring Break.
What if I need to get a signature on a specific form from the institution with which I am taking the approved course?
- Each institution has its own approval process.
- We are able to e-sign forms when sent directly to the AP of Counseling from the institution. Please direct all e-forms to Michalis Gordon.
- We are unable to give a "wet signature" on PDFs sent through email,
I successfully completed my off-campus course! What do I do now?
- If approval was granted for transfer to the PAUSD transcript, the student must send an official transcript to their high school upon completion of the course. If the official transcript is not sent, the course will not go on the PAUSD transcript. You can have the official transcript emailed to our Gunn Registrar: Ophelia Smith (email@example.com)
- If you are a senior, you need to make sure your transcript is sent immediately following completion of the course to give our registrar enough time to add it to your transcript (before it is sent to colleges).
- Please note, if the school/program is unable to send an official transcript, we are unable to put the course on the PAUSD transcript.
- Students must send an official transcript from each outside institution at which they took courses during their high school career to each they apply to which requires a transcript.
- For the 2023-24 school year: Please note courses will be approved for Fall 2023 starting August 2nd. Please allow sufficient time for requests to be processed - waiting until the day before is not recommended and we cannot guarantee they will be approved in time.
I am an incoming Freshman and want to take a course off-campus before 9th grade.
You may request an off-campus course once you graduate from 8th grade. Only students who are officially registered with Gunn will receive prior approval.
If I have already started or completed a course off-campus and want to get approval for transfer onto the transcript can I do so?
All approvals for coursework to be transferred to the PAUSD transcript must be completed before an off-campus course starts. Should we approve a course and later find out the approval occurred after the class started, the course will not be transferred onto the PAUSD transcript.
Department Specifics for Off-Campus Courses
When can I start taking courses off-campus?
All core graduation requirements must be completed before a course can be taken off-campus in that subject area. For example:
- CTE/PE/VAPA: Students must take all PE, CTE, and VAPA graduation requirements on campus, but can elect to take additional courses in these subject areas off-campus for elective credit only.
- History/Social Science: Economics must be taken on campus or during PAUSD summer school. Rising seniors will have priority registration for PAUSD summer school, but seats are limited to availability of staffing. PAUSD cannot guarantee a seat in summer school; please plan accordingly. While students may be approved to take an elective (such as AP Psychology, Psychology, or Sociology) off-campus, it will not count towards a student's social studies elective credit and the student must then take a different class on campus senior year to fulfill the graduation requirement.
- Living Skills: must be taken on campus or during PAUSD summer school. Rising seniors will have priority registration for PAUSD summer school, but seats are limited to availability of staffing. PAUSD cannot guarantee a seat in summer school; please plan accordingly.
- Math: Entering 9th graders who have not previously taken geometry may take it off-campus after completion of 8th grade, with prior approval. Before being approved for other off-campus math courses, students need to complete Algebra 2 (or equivalent) on-campus.
- Science: Students must complete Biology and one physical science course (Chemistry or Physics) on campus before being approved to take science courses off-campus.
- World Language: Students must complete level II of a language on campus before approval is given for language courses off-campus. Exceptions exist for schools that have an MOU with PAUSD, such as Beged Kefet/JCC (Hebrew), and MVK Learning Center (Hindi). Note: Students may request to take languages we do not offer at Gunn off-campus. They must take them at a WASC accredited institution and must submit for pre-approval.
- While off-campus English and History/Social Science courses will not be counted towards the four-year graduation requirement, students can enroll in other English and History/Social Science courses off-campus before they complete their 4 required years at PAUSD. Students must choose classes that will not overlap with the curriculum taught in the graduation requirements taken on campus.
- All classes taken off campus will count towards elective credits only and not towards the PAUSD graduation requirement. There are exceptions to this for students repeating a course - please see below.
Please note: a course can only show up on your transcript one time. For example, if you elect to take Psychology at a local community college, you will be unable to take Psychology or AP Psychology at your PAUSD school and will need to take a different H/SS elective course to meet PAUSD graduation requirements. There are exceptions to this for students repeating a course - please see below.
I would like to jump a lane in Math or a level in World Language. May I take a course off-campus during the summer to advance to the next level of the Math or World Language sequence?
- Students can request to challenge a course under AR 6155.
- The first step is to speak with the department IL (Math or World Language). IL's can inform you of next steps that will best meet your individual situation and request.
- We have found that "bridge" courses offered in the summer (specifically for Math or science) have not always yielded successful results for students the next year. Learning a year's worth of curriculum in 3-6 weeks will not solidify your understanding of topics in math or world language. In Science, students do not receive sufficient time to develop key lab skills that are generally developed over the course of the entire school year. These are cumulative subjects that require students to have mastered the previous material to be successful in future classes.
- We cannot guarantee that a course taken off campus will prepare you for the sequential class in the same way as taking the course at Gunn.
PAUSD Transcript & GPA Questions
I need to include a PAUSD (unofficial) transcript with my off-campus course registration. How do I do that?
There are two options for obtaining an unofficial transcript:
- You now have access to an unofficial transcript through Infinite Campus (under "Documents"). If you need assistance, please contact your School Counselor during the school year.
- Request an (unofficial/view only) transcript through Parchment. Note that there is a processing time for transcripts to be approved, therefore be sure you leave enough time for that to happen. (We recommend around one week lead time.) Option two can be used during the school year and summer months when school is not in session.
I need to obtain an official transcript. How do I do that?
If a student needs an official transcript they should request an (official) transcript through Parchment.
How many off-campus courses can I take at a time?
- Students can earn up to 80 credits a year. Each semester class in PAUSD counts as 5 credits. This means 8 year-long high school courses would add up to 80 credits.
- Students can be approved for up to 2 courses to be taken off-campus in the summer.
- College-level courses count for double credits on the PAUSD transcript - see below for more information.
- Summer, Fall, and Spring are considered a "calendar year" and are used to calculate 80 credits. If a student exceeds 80 credits in a year, and already have off-campus courses on their transcript, the off-campus courses will be removed so as not to exceed 80 credits. An "Off-Campus Course Prep" will be placed onto your schedule for pre-approved Off-Campus courses to indicate that off-campus credit is pending a transcript from the off-campus institution.
- Students must take at least 5 courses on campus to continue to be enrolled in PAUSD.
How many off-campus courses will show up on my PAUSD transcript?
Students can transfer up to 40 units of pre-approved off-campus course-work onto their PAUSD transcript. Coursework that is not pre-approved will not transfer onto the PAUSD transcript.
Will my off-campus Spring 2020 courses show up on my PAUSD transcript?
Off-campus Spring 2020 courses will not show up on the PAUSD transcript. Please provide colleges with a separate transcript sent directly from the institution.
If I take a community college, Honors or AP course off-campus, how will that be calculated into my GPA? Will I get an extra point to boost my GPA?
The following policies are outlined in AR 6146.11. Details can be found in Board Policy
- Community college courses count for double credits on the high school transcript. That means a 4 credit community college class will show up as 8 credits on the PAUSD transcript.
- Please be aware that any courses taken at a community college are college-level courses and the start of a permanent college transcript that must be included when applying to colleges-whether or not they appear on the PAUSD transcript. Also, taking off-campus community college courses begins your clock as a community college student. Please consult with your community college regarding how this.
- All courses taken off-campus will transfer onto the PAUSD transcript as Cr/NC (Credit/No Credit) and will not be factored in the GPA.
- Community college courses taken on a PAUSD campus during the school year which fall under our CCAP agreement (official dual enrollment courses offered through PAUSD) will receive a weighted grade, not double credits. Dual enrollment courses offered at Gunn can be found in our course catalog. These courses do not need prior approval.
- All other courses taken off-campus will transfer onto PAUSD transcripts as Cr/NC and not be factored in the GPA. Students will need to send official transcripts from the off-campus institution directly to colleges to show the grade earned to complete college applications, if required.
If I earned a D or F in a course, may I retake it? What is the process for this?
- The only time you can retake a course is if you earned a D,F,P,NM,NC the first time. the first time.
- If you are seeking to replace a D,F,P,NM,NC on your PAUSD transcript, you must make sure the class you retake has the same exact name as the one in which you earned the D,F,P,NM,NC. Please follow the same process described above for obtaining prior approval to retake the course off campus.
- While your D,F,P,NM,NC will remain on your transcript for the first course, once you retake the course only the final grade will be included in your overall GPA and credits awarded for the final grade only.
Can you please help me with the registration process at other institutions - I don't understand their system?
- Unfortunately, there are so many different registration procedures outside PAUSD that we are unable to assist you. Please contact the specific institution with questions you may have.
- If you are retaking a course in which you earned a D,F,P,NM,NC and need help finding a replacement course, please contact your School Counselor.
Why is it so hard to get into a community college course?
- Community colleges prioritize enrollment for students who have graduated high school (or who are in their middle college program). Many high school students get waitlisted.
- Community colleges are very strict with their prerequisites. We will be unable to provide you more than your requested transcript in order to prove you have met the prerequisites.
- Some local community colleges only allow a high school student to take no more than 10 units of study. In that case, we will not sign any petitions in regards to PAUSD students requesting to take more units.
Who will pay for me to take a course off-campus?
- The student's parent/guardian is responsible for costs associated with taking courses off campus.