By Jami Wedll
At Centennial many students wish to explore new opportunities and scale more challenging academic cliffs. Between AP classes, CIS courses, and PSEO, there are many choices for students to consider when planning their future. PSEO is one such challenge.
Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) is an excellent opportunity that many soon-to-be juniors and seniors consider. PSEO allows high school students to take college courses on the postsecondary campus, while earning college and high school credits.
Students can take part-time PSEO, 11 credits or less per semester, or full-time PSEO, 12 or more credits per semester. These courses can be taken at most colleges, the most common for Centennial being University of Northwestern, Century College, Anoka-Ramsey Community College and The University of Minnesota.
There are many advantages to participating in PSEO. Most students join for an extra challenge, the free college credit, the college experience, or to experience another campus. These students often take AP and honors courses in ninth and tenth grade and feel prepared, especially in English, for college.
They also enjoy more time and independence. Carolyn Ziebol, a junior PSEO student, says that “PSEO is like the training wheels to independence because while you have more freedom, you still have your friends and family to fall back on for support.” While the coursework is equal to that of an AP class, the workload tends to be less demanding for PSEO students because there is more time.
PSEO does pose negative ramifications on students’ social and personal lives. Full-time students tend not to communicate with their friends as much and miss out on the good parts of the high school experience. Even part-time students sometimes find planning social events difficult due to conflicting schedules.
One student discussed how the stress level increased at the beginning because of the differences from high school and it even affected relationships with family members. These differences include: strict deadlines, no late work, possibly lower grades, and time management.
In the end, these students did not regret joining PSEO. As a PSEO student myself, I believe it is an excellent opportunity for those who are ready for college and have one too many AP or honors courses in their schedule.
“Be prepared” was stressed by Brianna Krueger, a junior PSEO student, because while it is extremely beneficial, the program comes with risks. PSEO classes make permanent marks on college transcripts and any withdrawals will stay on record.