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Nicole Pennington, dean of Ohio University Southern, congratulates Anna Kimball on receiving a $2,500 scholarship from the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

Nicole Pennington, dean of Ohio University Southern, congratulates Anna Kimball on receiving a $2,500 scholarship from the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

Anna Kimball of Chesapeake will enter college as a junior this fall, after earning 47 credits at Ohio University Southern while still in high school.

Anna Kimball of Chesapeake will enter college as a junior this fall, after earning 47 credits at Ohio University Southern while still in high school.

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Chesapeake High School student earns 47 college credits at Southern Campus


IRONTON, Ohio – Anna Kimball is like most 18-year-olds in Lawrence County. She loves school activities like student government, academic clubs and other extracurricular activities at Chesapeake High School before graduating this summer. What sets Anna apart is the 47 college credit hours she earned at Ohio University Southern while still in high school.

Both Anna and her sister, Abbey, took advantage of Ohio’s College Credit Plus program while still in secondary school. Commonly called CC+, the state initiative provides high school students with a no-cost opportunity to participate in college-level classes before their high school graduations. This means many CC+ students start their full-time post-secondary experiences with enough college credits to begin coursework as a junior.

“Abbey graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, in two years because of CC+,” said Anna Kimball. “I saw how much this helped her to attend a private school with a specialized program and knew that was definitely the route I would be taking as well,” she said.

Anna Kimball enrolled in CC+ at the Southern Campus “without hesitation” even when many of her friends thought she might miss out on the high school experience. “I made it a priority to stay involved in high school and was the vice president of my class, Homecoming and Prom attendant, a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club,” Kimball said. “I also enjoyed meeting new people and developing friendships at OU as well.”

Robert Pleasant, associate director of Student Resource Commons at the Southern Campus, said CC+ has several benefits for high school students and their families, in addition to the advantage of early credits before entering a post-secondary institution. 

“Students can get a ‘head start’ on college degrees or certificates while also gaining an early understanding of the expectations of college life,” Pleasant said. “CC+ can also save students and families the cost of tuition and textbooks,” Pleasant said. Those expenses are covered by state funds earmarked to CC+, designed at helping increase Ohio’s college attainment rate. 

Kimball said earning 47 college credits while still in high school is one way she can help her parents offset the cost of attending college. She said CC+ has also helped give her confidence to pursue higher education because it “has made me feel comfortable with new experiences as I pursue my college career.” 

Kimball was recently awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce as she moves into the next phase of her education. “I will be attending Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, in the fall,” Kimball said. She will be majoring in business with a minor in hospitality and tourism and hopes to launch a career in event planning.

“The Southern Campus is proud of the accomplishments of all of our CC+ students,” said Dean Nicole Pennington. “CC+ benefits area students from grade 7 through 12 as they study at the college level, earning credit hours to benefit their future educations,” Pennington said.

Kimball advises young students to consider balance and available time when considering CC+. “Take some time to think about how many hours you can handle and push yourself to work hard in each class,” she said. “I also recommend (students) stay involved in (their) high school activities because it is possible to get the ‘high school experience’ while setting a great foundation for your future,” Kimball said.

Kimball anticipates completing her bachelor’s degree at Flagler in only two years due to the hours she earned in CC+. She said the program is a “great fit for many” and offers opportunities for teens to make many friends while attending the Ohio University Southern CC+ classes.

This article was provided by Ohio University Southern.