The PSEO program has had a dramatic impact on the lives of young people in Minnesota. Here are a collection of some of their stories.
I am a graduate of Fulda High School, and currently I am attending the University of Minnesota Rochester. I participated in a Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program part-time during my junior and senior years of high school. My time as a PSEO student was the most valuable experience of my high school career, as it helped me to not only gain college credit, but also to learn important skills, such as time management and responsibility. Being a part-time PSEO student allowed me to take some of my classes online through a local college, while still being able to take courses at my high school throughout the day. This arrangement made it possible for me to still be a part of my high school community and take part in high school activities. Although the credits that I earned through PSEO are extremely beneficial towards my college career, my experience through PSEO was so much more. My PSEO experience offered me a look into what attending college was actually like while I was still a high school student before I was thrown into college after graduation. For example, I had to learn what it was like to communicate with college professors, which is completely different than high school teachers. I also had to adjust to the limited amount of guidance given by college professors. My experience also allowed me to have insight into what it is like to receive books from a college book store and register for classes. The ability to attend a college orientation day was another opportunity to experience the reality of college. The high school I attended was extremely small and therefore provided a limited choice of classes. PSEO allowed me to enroll in different classes that I would have never had the opportunity to experience at my high school. The opportunity to participate in PSEO and the valuable experiences that I had will continue to better me as I grow in my college career.
My father is from Russia and neither of my parents earned bachelor's degrees, ergo PSEO provided a reason for me to pursue postsecondary education in the first place. By letting me earn half of my bachelor's degree in high school, I was able to spend less time in academia and more time ascertaining my career path after graduation. Ultimately, thanks in large part to PSEO, I graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa and debt-free with a bachelor's degree in only two years. A mere few years subsequent to official matriculation, I am now a professional in my industry because of the time and money PSEO saved me.
My three children all attended classes at our local community college through PSEO. It was instrumental in helping them graduate debt-free, and afforded them time to pursue internships and travel. They have returned to Minnesota and two are working on graduate degrees while the third is employed in her field. PSEO is a benefit for students, families and even our state workforce!
IsAAC (Zeke) J.
I am from a small rural high school, and for my junior year I moved away from home to enroll as a full-time PSEO student at the University of Minnesota Twin—Cities. The PSEO program is amazing because it connects students with resources and opportunities far beyond what we can access in a high school classroom. During this past year, I grew from many PSEO experiences—from learning how to properly study and meeting people from many different cultures to dating a college freshman. I gave up a lot in order to take advantage of the PSEO program, but I have never regretted it for a single instant.
On June 30, 2018, the Morrison County Record published an "op ed" by Isaac, providing more details about his PSEO experience.
I participated in the PSEO program my junior and senior year of high school at the University of Minnesota. PSEO allowed me to graduate high school with 58 college credits and graduate with my Bachelors degree at 19 and my Masters from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at 21. PSEO has opened so many doors for me and I truly believe that all students should have the ability to participate if they so choose.
PSEO at the University of Minnesota has provided me with the opportunity to take up interests and passions that I would actually be engaged and stay awake for in the classroom. Let me not forget to mention the jump-start that I get by taking two years worth of college credits by the time I graduate high school... for free. Beyond that, I've been using my position as a PSEO student to remind students from underserved communities that they, too, despite their obstacles, can aspire and achieve academic goals to ready them for their futures.
I enjoyed college classes in high school because they gave me the opportunity to challenge myself in some areas that my academics previously had not. One specific experience I remember was taking a first year college writing course during my senior year of high school. That class alone prepared me mentally for the expectations of college and the college work load. I was constantly writing, editing, revising, rewording, and checking myself before someone else got the opportunity too. This process is vital to "college survival," to be able to work independently, to be responsible to your work, to do the work and then do it again but better, to manage your time and believe in yourself. These are important skills that helped me do exceptionally well during my first year at college and carried me through my Master's degree. I believe the early exposure to college credits and work for exceptional and gifted high school students could replace high school courses completely, not only to challenge them where they are at (high school courses may provide no challenge) but to provide promising experience for a post-secondary educational future.
I graduated from Saint Paul Schools and had the opportunity to be PSEO student during my senior year of high school. Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) has allowed me to not only obtain free college credit, but also the opportunity to grow as a person and as a student. As a PSEO student, I attended Saint Paul College. Foundations in Women Studies was my favorite class because of the conversations and readings we were given. It challenged me to think critically about gender roles, politics, and society. Thanks to PSEO, as a student I have learned how to study effectively, manage my time, and to think critically. As a person, PSEO has taught me responsibility, independence, and self-awareness.