Saturday, March 29, 2003

Students get a jump on college in UC program

39 high schoolers enrolled in state-funded classes

By Cindy Kranz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mads Almassalkhi of Springdale attends high school - and college - at the same time.

The Princeton High School student is one of 39 high school students getting an early jump on college by enrolling in the University of Cincinnati's Post Secondary Enrollment Options Program (PSEOP).

Enrollment has begun for the fall 2003 quarter of the University of Cincinnati'sPost Secondary Enrollment Options Program, which allows high school students to get an early start on college.
Interested students must notify their school by Monday and have their application packet sent to the university by April 15.
For information and applications, go to Web site; e-mail or call 556-2967.
"I took AP calc (advanced placement calculus) my junior year and wanted to pursue higher levels of mathematics while still in high school to get a head start," said Almassalkhi, 19, who takes five credits of math per quarter.

The state-funded program is open to students at all Ohio high schools within a 50-mile radius of UC. Students who qualify must carry a B average and can decide between two options.

They can enroll for college credit only, which would require students to pay for tuition, fees and books. Or, students can enroll for high school and college credit, in which expenses for tuition, fees and books are picked up by the state. Students can carry up to 15 UC credit hours per quarter.

Currently, 22 seniors, 13 juniors, three sophomores and one freshman are enrolled.

"Some of the kids in high school have finished all of their high school requirements, especially those who are maybe in their junior or senior year," said UC program director Trevia Ogburn. "Some students are taking no more than two or three courses and going back to high school and may take whatever courses they may need there."

Almassalkhi attends class every day for an hour at UC, juggling his schedule with his Princeton classes. Besides the benefit of taking college classes for free, he's grown accustomed to the campus atmosphere.

"Teachers are more relaxed at UC, and there's a more laid-back campus milieu, combined with high-paced learning," Almassalkhi said.

One drawback, he said, is that he's more removed from his high school senior year, his friends and extracurricular activities.

"The traveling between home, school and UC can be bothersome, but that is a trivial drawback," he said.

Jessica King, 17-year-old senior from Camp Washington, is enrolled in the Virtual High School, a Cincinnati Public School that offers courses via the Internet and other computer technology.

She's participated in PSEOP since last fall, earning high school and college credits. Jessica takes courses only at UC now - 14 to 15 credits per quarter.

"I feel like I made a really good decision because I have been challenged a lot more than I would have been at high school this year, and I feel proud of myself for being able to accomplish this," King said.


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