Education column: Chance to accumulate college credits helps students excel

By Penny Bailey: Clovis Municipal Schools

If America is the land of opportunity, then opportunity knocks at the doors of Clovis schools.

And, for those students who not only dream of success but plan ahead and work to achieve it, success comes earlier than later.

What I am talking about is the wonderful opportunity our students have to accumulate college credits (free of charge) before they graduate high school.

Recently, I received a call from one of the high school counselors. She was excited to tell me about two seniors who had completed enough college credit they will be able to immediately go into their career training programs.

This means they have completed all their college pre-requisite courses and will be able to start their careers about two years early.

The counselor arranged an interview with these two students Laci Hand and Sarah Dobson. I already knew they were bright and talented young ladies, but I was delighted to learn they have already achieved so much.

Sarah plans to be a Radiology Technician. She has completed all her college pre-requisite courses and is ready to send applications for her technology school.

Laci has achieved the same thing, but also completed all her high school requirements and graduated in December 2009. She plans to be a traveling nurse, and is waiting to hear if she has been accepted to nursing school.

When I asked them what their secret for success, their answers were impressive.

First, it was encouragement and support from their families. Secondly, it was the support and guidance they received from their counselors since ninth grade.

They set their goals and with the help and support of family, school counselors, teachers, and Clovis Community College they were able to reach their goals.

However, all the encouragement and support in the world would not have been enough to get them to this point in their lives. It was also the vision of Clovis Community College and Clovis Municipal Schools that developed the dual credit program and provided this opportunity for them and all our students. The dual credit program allows students to enroll in college classes while attending high school.

We congratulate Laci and Sarah on their success, and we learn from them the formula for success: Set your goals, plan ahead, surround yourself with people who support you, work to achieve your goals, and answer when opportunity knocks!