Columbus State Community College marks a rare occasion as three students will earn an associate degree at about the same time they’ll be earning their high school diplomas. These remarkable students are able to achieve the feat by taking dual credit classes as part of Ohio’s College Credit Plus program. The state-sponsored program allows any student to take college-level classes—at no cost to themselves or their families—so they can earn college credits and high school credits simultaneously.
Cameron Clutter, 18, began taking Columbus State classes as a high school sophomore while residing in the Gahanna-Jefferson School District. He says the last three years have been challenging, but 61 credits later he’s leaving with an associate of arts degree with plans to continue at a four-year institution with an emphasis in music and German.
Ida Scout Kegley is 17 years old. She too began taking Columbus State classes during her sophomore year while at Upper Arlington High School. Ida will receive an associate of science degree. She has plans to pursue an environmental science and plant biology degree at Ohio University in Athens.
At just 15, Danya Hamad may be our youngest graduate ever. During the past two years she has taken classes on our Columbus Campus and our Reynoldsburg Regional Learning Center, which is physically connected to a high school in her official home district.
What’s more, Danya has been accepted to Capital University on a full scholarship. She plans to attend law school at Capital with a goal of earning a law degree by the time she’s 19. That could put her on track to becoming one of the youngest lawyers in the nation.
Seventy-year-old Rebecca Ann Collier of Orient is on the other end of the spectrum. Even though she graduated from high school in the 1960s, she has always had a desire to earn a college degree.
Ms. Collier, who’s receiving an associate of applied science in Social and Human Services says, “My proudest moment was being inducted into the Honors Society at Columbus State.” She says, “The advisors and instructors at the college gave me the encouragement to continue even on days when I wanted to give up.” And she’s not done. Collier says she now plans to begin work in the fall on a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
For the first time, all graduating military veterans will be recognized during the ceremony. Each will be wearing a formal red, white, and blue military aiguillette presented by Columbus State. The cords signify their service to the country. More than 50 veterans will be earning degrees.
The commencement speaker will be Dr. Roderick McDavis who served as Ohio University’s president for 13 years before stepping down in February. He is now a managing principal for AGB Search, a company providing searches for executives in higher education. Columbus State will award an honorary associate degree to Dr. McDavis.
A record 1,266 students will graduate for Columbus State’s Spring Semester at the Celeste Center on the Ohio State Fairgrounds, 717 East 17th Ave., Columbus.