Coatesville Students Save Time, Money and Earn College Credits While Still in High School Through Delaware County Community College’s Structured Pathways Program
(Chester County, PA • May 6, 2021)—Thanks to a Delaware County Community College program that allows highly motivated students to earn College credits while still in high school, Coatesville Area Senior High School (CASH) student Nathanial Ward and CASH graduate Giavanna Felker are about to share a unique accomplishment. They will have earned a high school diploma and an associate degree in Liberal Arts in the same year.
“I am grateful beyond words for this program. It has saved me so much time and money while also teaching me so much,” says Felker, age 18, who graduated from CASH last year, transferred her college credits to West Chester University and intends to pursue a career in occupational therapy working with special needs children. “If you are looking for a unique way to advance your education level while saving impressive amounts of money, it would be a good idea to look into dual enrollment,” says Ward, age 20, who is about to complete his final semester in the program and will soon enroll at either Delaware County Community College or a trade school, toward his possible career goal of becoming an electrical engineer.
Felker and Ward are among 88 CASH students since 2018 to have participated in the CASH Structured Pathways program, one of three High School Dual Enrollment delivery models offered by the College. Structured Pathways provides students with a specific sequence of courses leading to a certificate or an associate degree. “Structured Pathways enables Coatesville Area Senior High School students to take high quality, college-credit classes while still in high school, saving them money and time toward earning a college credential and most importantly, helping them become acclimated to college-level coursework prior to entering college,” says Delaware County Community College President L. Joy Gates Black, Ed.D.
It took several years for the College and CASH to work out the details of the program, which provides tuition and books to students free of charge. “It is well worth the effort it has taken,” says CASH Assistant Principal Jeff Colf. CASH Pathways students start in sophomore, junior or senior years, take College courses on weekdays up until 11:45 a.m. and high school classes in the afternoon. To qualify, students must meet grade point average requirements, be assessed as college ready and be recommended by CASH guidance counselors.
Although Ward gravitates toward math and science, he had the opportunity, through Pathways, to take a course in public speaking. “It helped me learn about myself and others,” says Ward. The same sort of self-realization happened for Felker. “I learned the skills, discipline, and most importantly the confidence needed to complete the increasingly more challenging assignments,” says Felker. “The professors understood this was very different for the dual enrollment students and worked with us in any way they could if we needed help.”
To learn more about the College’s High School Dual Enrollment programs, call (610) 359-5333 or visit: www.dccc.edu/dual-enrollment.