More than 40 local students to earn high school diploma, Clark State degree

Credit: Clark State

Credit: Clark State

More than 40 local students are on track to earn their high school diploma and a two-year associate’s degree from Clark State College.

The students enrolled through Ohio’s College Credit Plus (CCP) program will graduate with the class of 2024 at spring commencement on May 11. They will also be honored at Student Recognition Night on May 1.

“Clark State College has continued to strengthen relationships with area high school partners to offer a high-quality education to students,” said Caity Sellers, assistant director of early college programs. “Many students have the opportunity to take Clark State courses at their high school taught by high school teachers, that are credentialed per Higher Learning Commission guidelines, online or on-campus.”

This spring semester, 1,873 students are enrolled in CCP courses through the college.

If students enroll at Clark State to complete an associate’s degree, they will also “experience a significant cost savings” before transferring to a four-year institution, the college said.

Since the beginning of the formal CCP program in the fall of 2015, Clark State has save students $25.8 million in tuition through the summer of 2023.

Natalee Fyffe, a senior at Global Impact STEM Academy (GISA), completed 17 courses, 60 or more credit hours, through the Clark State CCP program and will graduate with an associate’s degree in science. She said the program enhanced her education in many ways, and GISA was accommodating and helpful during the process.

“Being able to get the college experience while in high school has made me very comfortable with my future. I know the expectations of my college professors and how to work well with them,” she said. “Now, I get to continue on with my college career with two years under my belt, debt-free.”

Jamison Truebenbach, chief academic officer at GISA, said CCP fuels student success by bridging the gap between high school and college.

“It’s a transformative option that expands academic horizons and cultivates essential skills for the future,” she said.

Monna Hess, college and career pathway coordinator at GISA, said college credits earned in high school that transfer to other institutions allow students to double major or minor more easily and can also reduce the time needed to complete subsequent degrees.

After graduation, Fyffe plans to continue her education at Clark State and earn a degree in Radiographic Imaging.

“The GISA and Clark State collaboration has made Natalee achieving her associate degree along with high school diploma so smooth,” said her mother, Holly Fyffe. “The Clark State teachers are very helpful, understanding and encouraging to high school students. A free college education will start her out debt free. We are very thankful for the CCP program.”

The state-funded CCP program, which covers tuition, books and fees, allows students to earn college credits while in grades 7-12 at no cost. Students can enroll in courses at Clark State and receive credit for high school requirements and college credit. The credits can then be used at Clark State or to transfer to another college or university after high school graduated.

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