High school students see high degree of benefit to earning college credit through NICC

Double graduates ... Five Waukon High School seniors from the 2018 graduating class also graduated with their Associate of Arts degree from Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) following completion of this school year. Pictured above, left to right, are: Front row - Kaia Johanningmeier, Katelyn Leiran. Back row - Gabrielle Marti, Emily Brown, Morgan Van Ruler. Submitted photo.

A high school counselor or a teacher may have mentioned it to their students and advisees. High school students might have learned of the opportunity to earn college credit from their peers, family members and parents. Whatever the reason, thousands of high school students are enrolling in concurrent enrollment courses each year through Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC).

These students’ motivation is undeniable. The opportunity to earn college credit while enrolled in high school saves money on tuition for themselves and their families, and these students gain a headstart on their futures.

During the 2016-2017 academic year, 3,004 students out of 6,299 total NICC students - 48 percent - were high school students taking advantage of concurrent enrollment partnerships between the College and 25 high schools. These concurrent enrollment partnerships are affordable, time-saving opportunities; they allow students who are career-focused and college-bound to earn transferable credits early in their academic careers. In fact, five Waukon High School seniors graduated this May with a high school diploma and an Associate of Arts degree from NICC at the same time.

These ambitious Waukon graduates are transferring to a four-year college or university this fall, with their intended Bachelor of Arts degree major declared. They include: Emily Brown, transferring to the University of Iowa to work toward a pre-pharmacy degree; Katelyn Leiran, to Luther College for biology (pre-med); Gabrielle Marti, to Iowa State University for a double major in agribusiness and finance; Kaia Johanningmeier, to the University of Iowa to study elementary education; and Morgan Van Ruler, transferring to Viterbo University to major in nursing with a minor in Spanish.

“Our district high school students are seeing the tremendous benefit to earning credit through Northeast Iowa Community College, and it’s an affordable option that provides a clear pathway for students who plan to earn a four-year degree,” Wendy Mihm-Herold, Ph.D., NICC vice president of business and community solutions, said. “The College’s service location in Waukon helps students to earn college credits and gain access to academic advising, financial aid assistance, career planning and other valuable resources.”

In Allamakee County from 2016-2017, 336 high school students enrolled in 3,037 credits, saving their families an estimated $1,691,219 in tuition. Waukon High School students consistently enroll at NICC following graduation in the spring. In each year from 2014 through 2017, 20-29 percent of the school’s graduating class continued their education at the College.

Students at other high schools in the district indicate a similar trend. Last spring, 40 percent (22 out of 55) of South Winneshiek High School seniors in the Calmar area enrolled in the fall 2017 semester at NICC. In the southern portion of the College’s district, nearly 20 percent of graduating seniors from Hempstead High School in Dubuque enrolled at NICC from 2014-2017 - 338 out of 1,703 graduates.

High school students save time and their families’ money by earning college credit and/or a degree from NICC. The High School Partnerships option that makes these opportunities possible is accredited by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).

To learn more, visit www.nicc.edu/hspartnerships. For more information on services and resources offered through the Waukon Center, contact Erica Nosbisch, center director, at 563-568-3060 or nosbische@nicc.edu.

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