PSEO program brings opportunity to Heights
With more traditional courses being offered at Cleveland Heights High School, students are looking for more options: This is how the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program serves as an alternative. Through PSEO, which is paid for by tax dollars, students are offered the chance to take college courses for both college and high school credit.
Students choose to participate in PSEO for a variety of reasons. PSEO advisor at Cleveland State University, Dr. Frank Feola, notes, “Some want to earn credit towards college so they can save that money. Some want to graduate from college early.”
Dr. Kristie Cooper, a guidance counselor at Heights, comments, “Others feel that Heights isn’t the right setting for them. It can be a combination of these reasons.”
There are 54 Heights students enrolled in PSEO, 22 of whom participate in Cuyahoga Community College’s Seniors to Sophomores program. This option is a unique opportunity for seniors who would like to complete their first year of college while still in high school by being a full-time student at Tri-C. Those who are not enrolled in the Seniors to Sophomores program go full-time to Cleveland State, Case Western Reserve University, or Tri-C, while others attend part-time. “Those who choose to do a part-time schedule still want to be connected to the high school. Sometimes there is a particular course that they want to take at their high school, or a certain teacher that they’d like to stay connected to by taking their class, but they also want to have the PSEO experience,” says Cooper.
Due to the fact that PSEO is the start of a student’s college transcript, their grades stay with them even though they are only in high school. If they do not pass a class, they are required to pay the college tuition themselves.
“Some students struggle to stay involved at their high school,” says Cooper. However, Feola notes that many PSEO students continue to stay connected. Through extra-curricular activities and friends, students are able to be involved in this program while still participating in their own school.