DARKE COUNTY — Of the nearly 400 students who had credentials conferred, 36 high school students walked amongst their associate degree earning peers during Edison State Community College’s 42nd annual spring commencement ceremony.
Darke County high school students, which accounted for nearly half of the high school graduates, were able to accomplish this thanks to the College Credit Plus (CCP) program. CCP helps high-achieving students get a jump-start on their college careers while saving on tuition costs.
Shayna Emrick, who graduated from Tri-Village High School and Edison State Community College concurrently, plans to continue her higher education journey next fall at Ball State University.
“The College Credit Plus program has given me the tools that I need to continue on my career path,” said Emrick. “Over the course of two years, I have gained new skills and opportunities that I wouldn’t have been granted if I had only attended high school. I have been able to grow in my field and gain the confidence needed to continue on my path.”
“Ultimately, I would like to become a high school English teacher or college professor,” added Emrick. “There are so many ways that Edison State has benefited me that I can’t possibly put them all into words.”
Franklin Monroe student Hunter Rich echoed Emrick’s sentiments. “The College Credit Plus program at Edison State has allowed me to cut the time it will take for me to get my bachelor’s degree down to two years, instead of four, which has saved me both time and money.”
Rich will attend The Ohio State University in the fall to work towards a bachelor’s degree in health sciences. After completing his bachelor’s degree, Rich plans to attend graduate school to become a physician’s assistant.
Both Emrick and Rich opted to take advantage of Edison State’s Associate of Arts and Associate of Science transfer degrees, which allows them to transfer seamlessly upon graduating to any four-year university in Ohio and beyond.
“We’re proud to have such a large number of high school students who also graduated with an associate degree,” said Chad Beanblossom, Executive Dean of the Darke County Campus. “The motivation and dedication of these students is inspirational, and I’m certain they have bright futures ahead of them.”
This spring, the Darke County Campus experienced dramatic growth including a 21-percent increase in headcount and a 32-percent increase in credit hours. This growth comes thanks to not only adult and online learners, but also the number of CCP students, which has more than doubled since the previous spring.
Now in its third year, CCP has built on the success of previous programs such as PSEOP and dual enrollment. Through the program, students have the opportunity to earn up to sixty college credits in two years before graduating from high school. Course credits earned are transferable to four-year universities under strong articulation agreements.
High school students graduating with associate degrees:
Bradford: Adria Roberts
National Trail: Cierra Rinehart
Franklin Monroe: Jade Besecker, Hanna Eley, Taylor Hackney, Jessica Hinshaw, Brett Lavy, Emilee Morris, Hunter Rich, Maddison Schaar, Cole Skelton
Greenville: Gabrielle Sprinkle
Tri-Village High School: Shayna Emrick, Danika Mann, Rachel Miller, Gavin Richards, Makenzie Stucky