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Students Share Thoughts on Early College Program

Scar De Los Santos | Writer

Left to right, Kevaney Williams (LCCC sophomore and Building 21 senior), Elias Ayala (LCCC freshman and Louis E. Dieruff High School junior), Nasheera Brown (LCCC sophomore) and Louis E. (Dieruff High School senior)

Early College students can be found all over Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC), each with their own opinion regarding life on campus.

“The Early College Program is a dual enrollment high school/college program where high school students are able to be full-time college students during their 11th and 12th-grade years of high school, where they will simultaneously finish their high school credit requirements and their associate's degree,” says Scott Woolf, head of the early college program at Building 21, a competency-based high school located in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

As high school students, their schedules, lifestyles, and college experience differ from those who are attending college as adults.

“I think it makes us a little overwhelmed sometimes. It's a lot different from high school, a big change,” says Elias Ayala, LCCC freshman and Dieruff High School junior.

The shift from high school to college is not an easy one for a majority of the students. They can not take a break year to get themselves together. Instead, they leaped into the college experience with only two years of high school under their belt.

The biggest change that Early College students face is the maturity in the college environment, both inside of the classroom and outside.

“...It’s a lot better than being in high school, and, at least for me, personally, it's just a much more mature environment,” says Quinn Ciomo, LCCC sophomore and Allen High School senior.

The students claimed that college is less restrictive on them, but the pressure and responsibility are more intense. LCCC makes sure to help the students out every step of the way through. Each of the students felt that the pressure was rarely too much, and when it was, staff helped them through whatever was pressuring them.

Early College Students who were currently full-time students agreed that having the ability to put their full time outside of school into their LCCC works and studies makes the experience easier.

Kevaney William, LCCC sophomore and Building 21 senior says “I’ll be home, so I get to be on my work and do what I want after.”

The Early College students work hard. With a few benefits from LCCC and their high schools, the LCCC early college experience is challenging yet rewarding. Willing to offer an early successful future to any of those bold enough to challenge themselves and work hard enough to earn it.


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