Millard South program provides head start on college

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Dozens of Millard South High School students are tapping their multitasking talents in order to get a head start on their college careers.

There are close to 2,500 students at Milliard South and approximately 600 of them are also going to college.

Last May, 95 South students graduated with Associate Degrees - at the same time they also earned their high school diplomas. These students participated in Metropolitan Community College’s early college program where students earn college credits and at the same time work on their high school diploma.

Ms. Hartel’s Honors English Class is also a college composition class and sophomore Jack Bayless can attest that it’s a challenge. ”Yes, it’s extremely difficult,” he said. “Everything is stressful and we have tests constantly but I feel that it’s a smart decision to make and I’m still glad I’m pursing it.”

Ellie Martin, also a sophomore, said, “The classes are a little bit more rigorous but in the end it turns out OK. It’s just a little bit more of a workload.”

Ellie plans to use her two-year college head start to pursue an advanced degree. “College is pretty expensive so the thought of me graduating with an Associate Degree and possibly going to college and finishing up with a Master’s Degree is really appealing to me.”

Jack hopes that taking a college course now will shorten his stay at a four-year college. “It will give me a head start and I might not have to actually do two full years of college.”

Dorothy Johnson is with MCC and she tells us there are a number of four-year schools that will accept the credits earned in the Millard South classroom.

“It’s ultimately up to that next institution but, for the most part, our students transfer all over the nation rather that’s Duke University, UNL, UNO, Kearney - we have students go to Morningside.”

Dorothy believes other school districts will get involved with other institutions of higher learning in the future and more students will walk across the stage with more than a high school diploma.

Officials say students from other school districts may also apply to attend Millard South’s early college program.