Program helps Cincinnati State students save money, build confidence

The College Credit Plus Program at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College means students in grades 7 through 12 have the opportunity to earn college credit at little to no cost prior to graduating from high school. Cincinnati State Technical and Community College photo

This year more than 2,000 area high school seniors have participated in the College Credit Plus program at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.

By the time they graduate this spring, they will have earned about 18,000 college credit hours, a huge savings for their family.

The program gives students in grades 7 through 12 the opportunity to earn college credit at little to no cost prior to graduating from high school. Through the CCP program, public school students may take Cincinnati State courses with no cost for tuition, books or fees.

Two of these students, Allison Jackson and Colten Gray, shared their experiences with CCP and how it has helped them better prepare for college. While Jackson and Gray will be attending Cincinnati State, the credits students earn through CCP can also transfer to four-year colleges and universities across Ohio and outside the state as well.

Jackson has only one regret about taking CCP courses through Cincinnati State – that she did not start sooner.

“I heard about CCP my sophomore year, but I thought it would cost the same as going to college,” said Jackson, a Lebanon High School senior. “Then last year a friend told it was free, and I said to myself, ‘I need to jump on this, I could get a good start on college.’”

Jump on it she did. Starting in the fall of her senior year, she will have earned 22 college credit hours through CCP by the time she graduates in May 2020. That will save her and her parents thousands of dollars in college tuition as she completes her degree in occupational therapy at Cincinnati State starting this fall.

During the past year Jackson has taken CCP classes at both Cincinnati State’s Middletown and Clifton campuses, while keeping up with several classes at Lebanon High School, including show choir. She said the experience has given additional benefits beyond financial savings.

“What I like about CCP is it gives you a good intro of what college will be like without completely throwing you into it,” she said. “It really helps you begin to learn how to manage your time.”

Gray began taking CCP courses a bit sooner than Jackson, during the summer before his senior year at Middletown High School. He also has had a positive experience.

When Gray graduates this spring, he will have earned 32 college credit hours. That will be enough to potentially offset an entire year of college expenses when he begins completing an associate of science degree this fall in computer network engineering technology, with a major in cyber security.

Like Jackson, Gray liked the fact that his CCP instructors treated him like any other college student, even though he was still 16 when he started.

“I like the challenge of CCP, and the freedom,” he said. “Your instructors give you assignments and it’s your responsibility to finish them. In high school, there’s more leeway.”

Gray said he believes most high school students can be successful in CCP but it helps to “have a good support system through their family and their advisor.”

“My parents helped me stay on top of things by talking with me about my courses,” he said. “And my advisor at Cincinnati State was very helpful in steering me to the right classes to take.”

For more information about CCP or Cincinnati State Middletown, call 513-217-3900, or go online to www.cincinnatistate.edu/academics/admission/college-credit-plus.

In Other News