37 Sinclair students earn degree before high school diploma

Thirty-seven local high school students will be honored by Sinclair Community College tonight for earning an associate’s degree before their high school graduation.

The students take part in Ohio’s College Credit Plus program, which allows college-ready students in grades 7-12 to take college courses for free, either on campus or from qualified teachers at their high school. They earn simultaneous high school and college credit, with schools footing the bill.

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Earlier this school year, Sinclair celebrated continuing growth in their CCP program, with more than 6,700 students participating.

“While the CCP population here at Sinclair is large, there are a small group of very high achieving students every year that earn associate’s degrees,” said Melissa Tolle, Sinclair’s chief school partnerships officer. “This is not a small victory, and we want to make sure we honor all of the hard work of these incredible students.”

An associate’s degree is a two-year college degree that can lead directly to employment in some fields, and serve as a stepping-stone to a bachelor’s degree in other areas.

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Sinclair officials said the 37 students’ majors include biology, business administration, creative writing, criminal justice, history, liberal arts, mechanical engineering technology and engineering transfer.

There has been steady growth in the number of high school students earning associate’s degrees, according to Sinclair. This year’s group includes six students earning their degrees during their junior year of high school and two sophomores. The number of home-schooled students earning degrees is also growing, with five at Sinclair this year.

The degree-earning students come from across the region, with three each from Stebbins, National Trail and Clinton-Massie high schools this year. Sinclair’s southern partnership has led to five Butler Tech Colerain students earning their mechanical engineering technology associate’s degrees.

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Sinclair’s CCP program partners with 135 high schools across 19 counties. The college says families save nearly $6 million per year in tuition and textbook costs, helping them remove financial and time barriers to a college degree.

The ceremony is from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in Sinclair’s Building 12.

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