College is ‘exciting,’ ‘relaxed’… even in high school
Arykah Moore, 15, and Glenn Rabon, 15, -- both 10th graders at Summerville High School – are in college…in high school.
And they love it.
Fifteen and in college? Absolutely, and both have already earned six credit hours after their first summer session through the Dorchester District Two/Trident Technical College Early College Program.
Proud? You bet. Moore earned two A's and Rabon an A and a B. Further, because they are in a dual degree program, the weight of these grades is higher than those earned in AP (Advanced Placement) classes or CP (College Preparatory) classes.
One of Moore’s A's is weighted at 5.8 – well above the 4.0 the other levels will earn.
“It is definitely better to take the higher level,” says Rabon, “they are weighted much higher.”
So why would two 15-year-olds want to give up their summer vacation to go to school?
“It’s a good opportunity to earn college credit,” they agree. “And it’s exciting.”
“I like it because it is actual college – Trident – as opposed to AP classes,” says Moore.
“AP is not as good as actual college,” adds Rabon, “and to be able to earn them [credits] for free is nice too!”
The early college program is funded by both Trident and DD2.
So what is the difference between AP and these courses?
“They are more relaxed … in class,” says Rabon, “and the teachers are different. It’s a quicker pace. The teachers are older [more experienced] and seem better able to talk about real things.”
Rabon says he feels that the Trident teachers make better connections between the real world and the material being taught.
The two took Psychology 201 and Intro to Computers over the six-week, four day per week summer “semester.”
This semester, at Summerville High School, they will take English 101 and Art History 101. Next semester they will take English 102 and American Government.
In addition to the two college courses, they will also take high school courses such as Biology, Economics, Lowcountry History, Algebra 2, Spanish 2, Precalculus and Latin 2 over the next two semesters. And next summer, they will take two more courses. By the time they graduate high school, they will have earned both a high school diploma and an Associate’s Degree putting them far ahead of their cohorts.
Rabon wants to go into medicine and has his eye on Clemson as his college of choice. Moore wants to become a psychiatrist and she wants to go to Oklahoma City University because of its women’s wrestling team.
Moore gave up a wrestling tournament this summer in order to go to school. The tournament was in the middle of classes.
“I was upset [to miss the tournament] but I got over it,” smiled Moore.
Rabon plays football and baseball and he had to juggle summer practice with classes. He says his coaches were not happy about that but “it was school, they couldn’t do anything about it.”
Initially, they agree, it was a bit scary but Moore says they learned to relax. “Take a deep breath,” adds Rabon, and get on with it.
Both have their parents’ whole-hearted support.
So what have they learned so far?
“I realized it is, like, a huge difference between college and high school,” offers Rabon. “In high school the day drags but in these classes the time flew by.”
“And the teacher wasn’t ‘dogging’ you.”
They agree that they feel students in the college classes are treated with more respect than they are in their high school classes.
“They treat us like adults,” says Moore. “It’s more of your accomplishment than the teacher’s.”
“In high school, they teach you the lesson point by point,” explains Rabon. “In college there is not enough time so you are expected to be more grown up and do a lot of the work yourself.”
They say there were surprised but favorably so, at the amount of self-responsibility that was expected of them at the college level.
Both young people speak with maturity and poise about their experience.
And they have some wise advice for uprising freshmen: “They should definitely do it [early college] because it will get you a job sooner and decrease your school loans.”