By Kenneth Vanish

CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – Camden County College’s partnership with area high schools has led to an increase in the number of high school students attending the campus in the fall 2021 semester.

A sign in front of Camden County College reminds students to register for college courses. By Kenneth Vanish, CCC Journalism Program

The Senior Option program, run by Lisa Lord, the program coordinator at CCC, provides students in a traditional high school or home school the opportunity to take college classes during their senior year, as well as providing them the ability to earn an associate’s degree while still in high school. The program has 400 students from area high schools.

Camden County Technical Schools have been the main cause of the growth in the program. Their Senior Option program has been in effect for seven years. According to the CCTS website, “This is the seventh year of this program that started with only 13 students the first year. The Senior Option opportunity has grown by nearly 50% a year to the 94 students enrolled today.”

More seniors at CCTS have been excited to get a head start at taking college courses. One of the 94 students, Pria Patel, says she loves taking classes for her Medical Arts program.

“It gives me the experience of things that I might do in the future in college like writing lab reports and working with large groups of people. I’m very grateful to be able to have this opportunity and take advantage of it,” she states.

Patel says about 15 students are in the same program as she is. She adds she had heard more and more each year about students taking college classes and decided to give it a try. She says she loves it because her school days are shorter.

“Since I’ve started taking college classes, my schedule has been a lot more open and I leave school earlier than I would have if I was only in high school. I love it because college is a little more complex, so I can use that time to work on any homework and projects I might have assigned to me that week,” Patel states.

Balreet Kaur is another senior from CCTS in the Early Childhood Education program. She says about 10 students are in her program.

“I want to be a math teacher, so I think it’ll help me work better with younger children and know how to communicate among them,” she states.

Kaur has been enjoying her classes and understands why more students are signing up for the program each year. She encourages every incoming senior to sign up because she believes the program is beneficial.

According to the Camden County College website, for a high school student to enroll in the college courses they must “First, obtain a letter of recommendation on school letterhead from high school guidance counselor or principal. Second, take the College Accuplacer or provide an official copy of SAT scores. SAT scores of 500 math and 450 in evidence based reading will exempt students from the Accuplacer. Third, schedule a registration appointment in advance. A parent or guardian must attend the appointment along with the student. Fourth, pay for courses. Students receive a one-credit discount on up to two courses.”

Camden County Technical School students in the Senior Option program take a yoga class at Camden County College. By Kenneth Vanish, CCC Journalism Program

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