Sage’s Trimester System Creates Confusion During College Application Process

Sean Cooke

More stories from Sean Cooke

As Sage Creek seniors navigated the school’s first round of student college applications, a discrepancy in the process begged many students to ask one question: is Sage Creek a trimester system or not?

This question came up when students were applying to colleges and started self-reporting their course grades. At the end of their applications, students received an alert saying that they didn’t have enough a-g credits. This is because when you enter Sage Creek as a trimester school, the system treats each trimester course as earning 3.33 credits each. However, Sage Creek’s trimesters earn students 5.00 credits each.

To a student approaching the light at the end of the tunnel of applying to college, the idea of not having enough credits was a huge scare. For those students still worrying now: the colleges are aware of the problem and will fix it.

Mrs. Linda Payne is a member of the busy counseling team working to resolve this discrepancy. She found that “when [students are] applying to [their] colleges, it says trimesters are given three grades, and most of our courses are not run like that.”

Payne agrees that this issue is a big concern, which prompted her to reach out to colleges and find out the cause of this hiccup. Throughout her outreach, she discovered that the “error” is not on the end of the students. This is the first time that the UC system offered a trimester option to select on applications.

“Colleges said that they would cross-reference [their course credits] with what the kids punched into the application with their transcripts,” Payne said.

Seniors: this means that whatever is wrong with your applications will be figured out by whatever college is reading it. Remember, this is the UC’s first time allowing applicants to select their school as a trimester school. Looking over all of the UC website’s FAQ pages and application information, there are only a few trimester clarifications, and those involve calculating GPA. It doesn’t directly state anything that involves trimester a-g credits on these information pages.

Students this year can rest a little easier, but what does this mean for our school’s system? Is our school a black sheep in this pile of applications?

English department chair, Mrs. Corrie Myers, understands Sage Creek to be “exactly like the other schools that are on the trimester system.” She said that our system is the same as Del Norte High School’s system, so our campus isn’t the only one.

Del Norte’s website also confirms this. It states, “Under Del Norte’s trimester schedule, students may take up to five 5-credit classes each 12-week term.”

However, Sage Creek may still not be a traditional trimester system. Senior Spencer Layne took the time to reach out to friends when he got the message that his application was missing credits. His findings about how Sage Creek’s courses are conducted led him to prefer calling Sage Creek’s system a “three-semester schedule.”

“Calling it a trimester system is just not right,” said Layne.

A lot of current oddities at Sage Creek support this claim. The reason students can take a full year course in two trimesters is because they are actually two semesters. The reason that A.P. courses have an unweighted third-trimester course, called ‘seminar,’ is because there isn’t a three semester long course. It is true that Sage Creek essentially has three semesters in one school year, which means that each school year on Sage Creek’s system equates to one and a half school years on Carlsbad High’s semester system.  

All of this information leaves one big question: how will these problems be fixed for next year’s round of applications? Students had a hard time correctly using two different labels for Sage Creek’s course system: trimester and semester.

Sage Creek seniors hope that this process of simplified for next year’s college applicants.

“The administration [will] needs to help [them] figure out how to put [courses] in correctly,” said senior Karina Hull.