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Jumping Into the Deep End: LCCC Early College

Healley Saltz | Writer

Did you know high schoolers walk among you? That’s right, LCCC offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take classes here through the dual enrollment and early college program.

Brandon Kwiatek, Executive Director of High School Connections at LCCC, explains the difference between the two programs. 

“Dual enrollment is like wading into the experience of college, getting used to the water,” he said. “While early college is like jumping into the deep end of a pool.”

Early college enables high schoolers to enroll full-time to complete their associate degree as an 18-year-old. Although this is a great feat,  this opportunity does not come without sacrifices. 

The course load can be more intense than the average community college student, it forces students to become their own advocates, it can be socially challenging, and makes transportation more difficult.

“Before this year I worried because I didn’t know anyone doing early college and was intimidated by having older classmates,” says first-year early college student, Nana Wang. “Though now I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone and found people to spend time with.”

Early college requires participants to invest in themselves. Unlike a traditional secondary education trajectory, students must take the reins of their schooling. 

This is a unique opportunity to provide a leg up in life at a fraction of the cost. Yet, with all the assets it provides, this is a serious decision to be made by those involved.

While early college students may have been thrown into the deep end, LCCC resources act as lifeguards to guide them back to the surface. LCCC hosts a myriad of resources and services to guide all of their students, such as free tutoring, caring faculty and administrators, and so much more. Although early college students learn to swim in a deeper pool, the payoff and experience are like no other.

Photo Caption: Students from early college struggle to find their place in the new environment.


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