Local High School Student Takes Advantage of Early College at URock
Jordan Brackett is a senior at Oceanside High School who has been paying close attention to her future. By the end of her senior year she will earn credit in 7 university courses at University College at Rockland, almost two full semesters of college level work.
Jordan sat down with University College at Rockland Director, Deborah Meehan, to talk about her experience of taking college courses at URock while still in high school.
As Jordan approached her junior year in high school she learned about the High School Aspirations Program, a statewide program whereby juniors and seniors in Maine may take University of Maine System courses tuition free.
“I learned that I could earn both high school and college credits, and I could not pass that up!” she said with enthusiasm.
Jordan scheduled a visit to University College at Rockland to learn more. An advisor set her up to take an Accuplacer Skills Test to be sure she’d be ready for college level work. She registered for the Public Speaking class for Fall of 2016 and describes it as “awesome”. Prior to that class, she did not like to speak in front of a lot of people but she quickly gained confidence.
For the next term Jordan registered for Introduction to Psychology and Elementary Statistics. Although she described them as “tough”, they made her aware of what it takes to be successful in college level work.
Jordan was enthusiastic enough about her experience to register for a College Writing course over the summer between her junior and senior year and she is now in a 4-credit college Biology class with a lab component.
When asked if there was any down side to the High School Aspirations Program, Jordan said she had to make a clear choice between sports and academics. “If you weigh it out over the long term, it seems to make better sense to choose academics,” she added. “I know I am not going to be a Division I athlete and college classes will take me farther into my future.”
Jordan advises other high school students who are interested in High School Aspirations to be sure they can make the commitment. “This is real college,” she added, “and you need to stay focused on the work.”
Jordan has set her hopes on acceptance at a specific college in North Carolina and has been assured her High School Aspiration classes will transfer, “Given the credits I’ve already earned, I expect to be able to start with some sophomore level classes and shorten my time to graduation. I will also save a lot of money, particularly since I will be an out of state student in North Carolina.”
University College at Rockland enrolls about 50 students in the High School Aspirations Program each semester. The next term begins January 22 and local high school guidance counselors have the list of recommended courses. Registration begins November 13.