Hundreds of seniors are working to earn their college degrees in their high school classrooms. Our Amanda Kelley tells us about the program and how it's helping local students to succeed.
PULASKI, N.Y. - -Making that jump from high school to college isn't easy.
Pulaski High School senior Kristina Gilbert said, "I'm afraid I'm not going to get into where I want to go and not sure if I'm going to be able to pass all of the classes."
But students at 15 local schools are working to make that transition easier. They're taking college courses right in their own high schools, making senior-itis a thing of the past.
Pulaski High School senior Jonathan Npastuf said, "You have to be on top of your game all the time. It's a lot of reading so you have to make sure you're reading all of the time."
EDGE teacher at Pulaski High School, Melissa Osborne, said, "It's the best ever. It's the best because they're bright, they're interested. They're motivated and they want that challenge, quite frankly."
It's called the EDGE Program and it partners Jefferson Community College with schools throughout Jefferson, Lewis and Oswego counties. Students like Kristina Gilbert are on track to graduate high school with 26 college credits.
Gilbert said, "It's amazing. I never thought I would be able to do it, but apparently, it's capable."
Area schools say students who participate in this EDGE Program are not only better prepared for college academically, but also socially and they say sometimes, that's even more important.
EDGE Program Advocate Joni Swanson said, "They've learned from themselves that they can do this and for some students that may not be sure, this might make all the difference in them making that leap to the next level."
JCC Coordinator of Continuing Education John Trumbell said, "It's really the experience. And that's sometimes lost in the big picture. Really the experience is just so valuable for a student to already feel like a college student before they arrive at college."
It's also helping students get an affordable education. A three credit course is just $153. That's one third of the tuition cost at JCC, opening more doors for future opportunities.
Trumbell said, "It's allowed them to do anything from graduating sooner or picking up an additional major or minor or taking a semester to travel abroad or do an internship."
But even more importantly, this program increases their likelihood to obtain a college degree.
To learn more about the EDGE program at Jefferson Community College, you can head on over to www.sunyjefferson.edu.