What Does "PSEO" Mean And Is It For Me?
I always say that I have a unique perspective of Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) for high school students. Why? As a parent, I understand the nerves associated with sending my high school student to a college campus to take courses. However, I also understand the tremendous benefit of him getting college credit for free while still in high school. Frankly, it’s a load off my mind to know that this will save me a large sum of money as college tuition continues to climb. My son is able to see what a college course looks like, what professors expect, and the work it will take to succeed in college. And, it doesn’t cost me a dime. He started when he was a freshman and is currently on track to graduate with an Associate’s Degree from OCU before graduating from high school.
I’m also a professor at OCU, teaching about 250 students each semester, most of whom are freshmen. I know each one by name. I know their academic gifts and struggles. I see them in the middle of the challenging transition between high school and college. It’s a difficult time for many of them as they’re experiencing freedom from their parents for the first time, establishing new relationships, leaving old familiarity, and being shocked by the change in academic expectations.
In contrast, I observe PSEO students easing into this academic transition with the invaluable benefit of still being at home. My PSEO students are usually my best students. Is it because they’re more academically gifted? No. It’s because they are still living at home and aren’t taking the same heavy academic load as the average college freshman. They have their family support system and high school peers to keep their routines normal. Instead of experiencing many transitions at once, PSEO students are introduced to college academic expectations while other areas of their lives are stable. From my professional perspective, they have a much smoother transition than many first-year college students.
Finally, I have the perspective of being the PSEO Director at OCU. Enrollment has grown from fewer than 20 students in 2008 to more than 400 today. The impressive growth is the result of students sharing this tremendous opportunity with their friends. More students are realizing they qualify, and more parents are recognizing the enormous potential for savings.
Local high schools have begun partnering with OCU to offer PSEO courses on their campuses. Circleville, Amanda, and Teays Valley offer PSEO courses during their regular school day, enabling students to take college courses for college credit without ever leaving their own school. We also offer online courses allowing students to earn college credit from home, with the added benefit of a flexible schedule.
While there are some guidelines, most students are eligible to enroll beginning in their freshman year of high school. Find out if your student is eligible by visiting our website or calling today.
By Dr. Sylvia McDonald, Associate Professor of Psychology