High school students take part in college courses

Sarah Hood, Reporter

Lauren Seiple is one of the few students who travels to Carlisle High School twice a week to take the Penn State Cohort classes. Penn State offers college courses to selected students in Bermudian Springs, Big Spring, Boiling Springs, and Carlisle. These classes are taught by professors from Penn State Mont Alto and currently, there are 4 classes that are offered. Seiple has decided to take all of the classes which are Composition, American Civilization, Psychology, and Speech. “Getting into these classes isn’t very hard as long as you’re a well rounded student and have a great GPA.” said Seiple. First, you have to submit an application and then send in your transcript with a sample of your writing. If you get a letter of recommendation from a school counselor, then you have a better chance of getting in.

These classes are offered to both juniors and seniors. Students who attend these courses meet in a conference room or a computer lab depending on the day. The material that is taught is straight from the textbooks that the school provides. Depending on the day, Seiple said,  “Classes can consist of a lecture, open discussion, or even just discussing the assigned homework. The homework can sometimes be tedious, but it always depends on the professor.” Sometimes students can expect to receive a section of reading from the textbook, an essay to write, or even online quizzes. Seiple said, “The biggest benefit of taking these classes is that they are so rewarding in the end. Students can earn up to a year’s worth of college credits if they decide to take these classes both their junior and senior year, another additive to taking these is that you gain a ton of experience. From the college setting to the college professors and material, students gain a lot of insight on what college will actually be like.” Seiple said, “ None of the honors or AP classes that I have taken at the high school have compared to my college classes. This was a whole new learning curve for me.”

For upcoming juniors and seniors, Seiple’s has some advice: “Push yourself and take AP classes and/or join the dual enrollment courses. Whether it be through the Penn State or the HACC classes that our school offers, challenging yourself and taking these harder classes will really push you and help you get a better feel for college. Not only that but, it can give students a head start into college and give them their credits early.” Because of these classes, Seiple is now able to get her bachelor’s degree in three and a half years rather than four. Next year, Penn State will continue to offer these cohort programs and they are even introducing four new classes; sociology, economics, biology, and american civilization II. These classes may not be for everyone but, those who have taken them, have seen positive outcomes.