An associate’s degree before a high school diploma

45 SHS students achieve that through Eastern Gateway Community College

AHEAD OF THE GAME — Forty-five members of the Steubenville High School Class of 2021 also will have earned associate of arts degrees from Eastern Gateway Community College. — Contributed

STEUBENVILLE — As Steubenville High School’s Class of 2021 prepares for graduation, 45 of those students will have earned an associate of arts degree from Eastern Gateway Community College.

The students who received this degree participated in Eastern Gateway’s College Credit Plus program, which provides students the opportunity to take college courses within the high school building. Students complete a minimum of 60 hours of coursework as they work toward their high school diploma. The program can provide a foundation for students as they move forward in their academic career.

College Credit Plus equips students with two years of completed college curriculum and saves them between $20,000 and $40,000. Students can start the College Credit Plus program as early as freshman year, but some students have participated as late as their junior year and can still successfully complete the courses for the degree.

This gives students an exceptional opportunity to complete such excellent coursework while still being able to participate in typical high school behavior.

Dianna Lanaghan, who is among the seniors who are earning their degrees, relate how the experience has provided preparation for college.

“The college-level courses helped develop study habits and exposure to the amount of work that will be expected at universities,” she said, adding that as she applied to colleges, she realized how much money is going to be saved due to the degree.

School officials said the program has been such a success thanks to the efforts of Sarah Fletcher, director of college Credit Plus, and Patrick Carbon, College Credit Plus student adviser at the community college.

Jackie Reeves, director of gifted education at Steubenville High School, said she was proud of all of her students who have been dedicated to the program.

“Earning a college degree while being a high school student is not an easy task. You have to have self-control and discipline to succeed,” she explained.

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