Clearview students grateful for college option at RCGC

CRHS students get a taste of college while in high school thanks to a program offered through RCGC.

For many high school students, there’s a constant worry about how they’re able to pay for college, how they’re going to react to college life and if they can handle the course load. Six Clearview Regional High School students no longer have to have those same worries.

Seniors Aidan Burns, Lauren Rosenberger and Natalie Simmerman; and juniors Katherine Wilkinson, Hannah Freeman and Karla Vicens were recently honored by Rowan College at Gloucester County for completing at least 12 college credits with at least a 2.0 grade-point-average.

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They all participated in a program that’s been offered by RCGC to a number of Gloucester County high schools to provide high school students an opportunity to take college classes at a discounted rate.

I liked that I could get most of my [general education classes] done, and a lot of them are going to transfer to my four-year class,” said Simmerman who’s attending York College in the fall for human resources management. “I got to experience the college setting before most of my peers. Now, it’s going to be a shock for them and normal for me.

Each student agreed the opportunity allowed them to save a substantial amount of money on college overall, and they’re given the opportunity to be ahead of most first-year students when they get in.

For the social aspect of being in a college class while in high school, the students said people cared, and didn’t care about their ages because people were there for the same reason.

I thought it would be weird being the youngest kid in the room, but nobody cared or knew,” said Burns. “You just go to class and get your work done, which I liked.

The students added the Advanced Placement courses at CRHS – high school classes intended to be taught at a college level – were similar in the amount of material learned, but they said the RCGC courses had different teaching styles.

There’s still a lot of work and you still get help, but it’s more of on your own work that you have to teach yourself,” said Burns, who’s going to Stockton University for biology in the fall.

The AP courses, they said, were discussion-based, whereas the professors lectured.

As far as finals go … “it’s the same amount of stress,” said Wilkinson.

“You have to really study everything,” she added. “It’s not short, and there’s nobody to hold your hand and be like ‘here’s a study guide.’ You have to do everything yourself and it’s very independent.”

They took courses ranging from English, to math and social and natural sciences. Some of their courses were either online or on the college’s campus.

Having the experience, knowing what a college classroom is already like, what it’s like to take all of these classes, what’s required to finish and what you get out of it is definitely helpful,” said Burns.

I still have the same anxiety and nerves about living on campus, being far from home and stuff like that, but at the same time, I have no worries,” said Rosenberger, who’s attending Monmounth University for communication.

The students said that they’ve asked their younger friends to consider the option to help assist in costs and in easing their anxiety or fears about college.

Looking back, I can’t think of a time where it took time away from the things I wanted to do,” said Rosenberger. “I still had the same amount of a social life as I did as a high school student and did my high school work.”

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