How Early is Too Early for Higher Education?
High school is an experience. Friday night football games, homecoming dances, and the prom are all experiences that most students are a part of in the education system today. Many students are opting otherwise and missing these once in a lifetime opportunities to pursue higher education. “Smart Options”, an editorial published in the Columbus Dispatch on Febuary 21, 2008, explains how these early-college programs work and backs the idea that many students are ready for college level courses while they are still in high school. I believe that this is true and many high school students can not only handle the challenge of a college class, but also may not be receiving the type of education in high school that would be the best for them. Taking college courses during the high school career is very helpful in several ways for the students as well as their parents. Early college courses are more efficient education systems, and better prepare students for college by improving writing skills, following more personalized sequences, simplifying the transition, and at the same time saving the students’ parents money.
There are several ways that students can become involved with college courses while still in high school. Two programs that are currently in practice are Early College High Schools and Post Secondary Enrollment. Early College High Schools are “institutions that combine high school and the first 2 years of college into a coherent educational program” (Kisker). The Post Secondary Enrollment program is a program where high-school students are able to attend college classes tuition free while still enrolled in high school (“Smart Options”). Although they are different, both these programs accomplish the same goal at different paces.
“The academic work of the last 2 years in high school and that of the first 2 years of the typical liberal arts college are essentially identical in purpose…” (Kisker). The required...