High School + STLCC Classes = Achievement, Part Three
A Special Series Presented by St. Louis Community College
St. Louis Community College provides several opportunities for area high school students to earn college credit before they graduate. In some cases, students can complete both their high school diploma and an associate degree at the same time. STLCC is proud to share the voices of students in these programs. This is the third installment in our four-part series exploring how young STLCC students benefit from an early college experience.
Meet Emily Cole, Lindbergh High School
“It feels like two parts — high school student and college student,” Emily Cole said. “In the middle is me!”
Cole says her experience as a student is vastly different than that of her family and friends.
“It’s unlike any high school experience they’d heard of,” she said.
That’s because she’s not just a high school senior. Cole is also a college student at STLCC-Meramec. Now in her second year of the Early College program, she is well on her way to earning an associate degree in general transfer studies — as well as her diploma from Lindbergh High School in the Lindbergh School District. “It’s definitely interesting when I visit my high school and we just hang out,” she said. “They’ll say, ‘Where are you,’ and I’ll say, ‘I’m at the college, remember?’”
Cole first heard about the Early College program through a high school counselor. Although she didn’t know if she’d be accepted into the program, she decided to take the leap and give it a try. However, her first year as a dual enrollment student ended up being completely online due to COVID-19 health and safety precautions— which was not what she had in mind. But the transition back to in-person classes has been “interesting” according to Cole.
“All of my teachers have been really nice and understanding,” she said. “They’ve been on top of everything, and the teachers and the classes are not something I would want to miss out on.”
She says that the support she receives from the College and her high school counselor has been good — they make sure she meets the requirements for both schools.
“I chose not to take any classes at Lindbergh,” Cole said. She added that taking English 101 and 102 at STLCC fulfilled her high school English requirements.
“I would say the experience is something to just try to do — it’s definitely unique,” she said. “The process can be difficult and stressful but totally worth it in the end. It definitely pays off. I’m not done with the program yet and it’s already paying off.”
Cole will graduate with approximately 63 college credits from STLCC-Meramec in May 2022. She was accepted to Maryville University and will pursue a degree in interior design in fall 2022.