Early college offers credit for students while in high school

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The Early College Program is a partnership between Carroll County High School and JCTC. It is open to juniors and seniors who have achieved “college ready” status by hitting benchmarks in English, reading and math on the ACT or Compass assessments.

I chose the Early College Program because I knew that taking the courses would better my education and save money in the long run. Taking the courses will give me a head start on college before I even graduate high school. I will be able to start college off with some hours under my belt.

The classes I have completed and those I am taking are transferable to certain colleges and, since I am going to Eastern Kentucky University, I will be able to transfer my classes and get credit for them, which could mean I could graduate college sooner than what I expected. Taking these classes through the high school saves a lot of money. I didn’t have to pay the full amount for my classes, and the books are rented through the high school so the cost of books also is cheaper.

The experience of making the choice to start the Early College Program has been interesting. Being able to have classes with people who aren’t from the high school is really neat. I’ve become more acquainted with the community in a way, and it has shown me what a college classroom is really like.

At first I didn’t really know what to expect when starting college. Now that I’ve started going to JCTC for the Early College Program, I know that college isn’t much different than high school. There is more work involved and a lot more effort has to be applied, but I know I’m prepared to take the challenge. 

The classes that I have taken so far are geology and English 101.

Geology was my favorite class. My teacher made the class interesting and exciting. I usually don’t like science, but Mrs. Riesner made science awesome and my favorite class for that semester.

Along with being in geology you can join geology club, which allows you to get more involved with the community and the college itself. Geology club gets involved with the community by making floats and being in the parades, as well as doing a lot of things to help the environment.

Some of the disadvantages of being in the Early College Program are missing out on the announcements at the high school or missing out on field trips. Being in the program we have classes from 8-9:15 a.m., which means the students in the program miss out on things that happen in the morning at the high school.

For the college classes, they ask that you not miss. That really depends on the teacher, but that is how most of them are. So, going on a field trip would be a little difficult considering most trips leave in the early mornings.

Missing the announcements also is a thing most of the early college students miss out on because we go to college in the mornings and then most of us co-op so we leave in the afternoons.

Overall though, the program is a wonderful thing and can help many students. Any student who takes the opportunity to be in the Early College Program will earn four general classes each year they participate and can transfer them to their college.

I’m very grateful for the opportunity to get ahead on my education and save money at the same time. I hope that the high school continues with the program and many students take the opportunity just as I did.

Hallie Jimison is a senior at Carroll County High School.