Sunday, May 20, 2018

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Chillicothe programs allow high schoolers to get a jump on college

Ohio University-Chillicothe is involved in two programs that allow area students to gain college credit and experience while they are still enrolled in high school.

“These programs provide opportunities for area students to begin their college careers before they graduate from high school. There are several options that appeal to a range of students, depending on their interests. Not only do they introduce students to the college experience, but they provide substantial cost-savings to students and their parents by allowing them to gain college credit for no cost,” OU-C Coordinator of Student Recruitment Neeley Allen said.

The options include:


Approximately 75 students are enrolled in this state-funded program (PSEOP), which allows students to take college courses at Ohio University-Chillicothe. The goal is to augment, rather than replace, the high school experience. The students take the courses on campus and get a feel for the college experience with little disruption to their normal high school routine.

Students participating in the PSEOP program can earn college credit for courses they are taking at OU-C and also receive concurrent credit toward their high school graduation requirements. Those qualifying for Option B of the program pay no fees toward general fees, tuition and textbooks. These students must rank in the top 25 percent of their high school class. If the school does not compute a class rank, students must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Rising juniors and seniors may take up to four courses per semester. Students must inform their high school of their intention to participate in the PSEOP program by March 31. Materials must be received or postmarked to OU-C by May 1.


OU-C also provides high school students with an opportunity to earn free college credit during the summer through its Summer Scholars Program and last year approximately 70 students enrolled. Participants must be juniors or seniors in the top 20 percent of their class, be nominated by their guidance counselor and secure parental approval before participation. Students can take one freshman level course and must pay for their own textbooks.

The application deadline for the Summer Scholars program is April 1. Therefore, all application materials must be postmarked by April 1 in order to be considered for the program.


By participating in these programs, the Chillicothe Campus is putting into action its mission of serving as a gateway to higher education for individuals of the region.
 “By helping to offer these opportunities to high school students we are fulfilling the campus’ mission of making higher education accessible to area residents,” Allen said. “Students who are interested in PSEOP must inform their guidance counselor of their intention to participate in the program by March 31 and OU-C’s application deadline is May 1. Or, any area residents who are interested in pursuing a college education, whether at OU-C or elsewhere, can contact me, and I would be glad to speak with them.”


Current high school students can gain college credit and college experience through this type of experience, explained post-secondary option (PSEOP) students Parisa Bennett and Rylee Bouillion, who are both seniors at Chillicothe High School. Both students are balancing their college classes with high school activities and sports.

“I feel much more prepared for college than I did beforehand. I am able to get many of the basic courses out of the way, and I know what to expect from college and what is expected of a college student,” Bennett said. “I have a better feel for what the academic workload is like and I know what is expected of me as a college student.”

“I thought there is no reason to not do it since it’s free,” Bouillion said. “I wanted to see what a small college setting is like. There is a different sense of independence than in high school. I am still taking three classes at CHS, and I have been involved in club meetings and sports practices, so I am not missing out on anything. I will be a semester ahead when I start college next fall.”

There are both challenges and advantages to the PSEO program, especially in terms of the students adjusting to college and making their college choice.

Bennett said, “It was an adjustment at first. I had to get used to having fewer tests that determine my final grade in each course. There is less structure than high school, but in a good way. It has helped make the decision of where to attend college more focused.”

She plans to attend either Wittenberg University or Indiana University.

Bouillion added, “With the college classes, there is more responsibility and less direction from the teacher. I now feel more comfortable with the small-college setting, and that has helped in making my college decision.”

Bouillion plans to attend either the College of Wooster or Washington & Jefferson.

For more information on these programs, Neeley Allen can be reached at 740-774-7721 or allenn@ohio.edu.