Emily Seward is proud of what she’s accomplished in high school and is looking forward to what her college career, and the rest of her life, have in store. And, she’s off to a record-breaking start.
When Emily walks across the stage at nearby Tunkhannock High School in June, she will do more than receive her high school diploma. She will also be awarded an associate degree in early childhood education from Keystone College. In doing so, she will become the first high school student ever to earn enough college credits to be awarded an associate degree from Keystone College.
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Emily has achieved that feat by taking advanced credit, virtual, and in-person college classes as part of Keystone’s dual enrollment program with the Tunkhannock Area School District. The program, which Keystone maintains with other school districts as well, enables students to take advanced-level, state certified high school courses and actual college courses to earn college credits while still in high school. To obtain her associate degree, Emily enrolled in courses such as biology, math, communications, and child psychology, among others, to obtain 63 credits needed for her associate degree, which can now be applied toward her bachelor’s degree.
In addition to a significant saving in tuition, Emily knows her hard work and dedication will lead to bigger things down the road as she prepares to pursue college degrees in early childhood education and special education.
“I’m really proud of the work I’ve completed,” she said. “Of course, it’s been challenging at times but I know I’m off to a great start as I begin my college career.”
While taking advanced levels courses has meant extra commitment, Emily has shown she can pursue numerous other activities such as being involved in the National Honor Society, the field hockey team, the Envirothon team for two years, and a member of Future Farmers of America. Outside of school, she has been a member of the 4-H Club in the Tunkhannock region.
“I like being busy and accomplishing new things,” she said.
“We’re so proud of what Emily has achieved,” said Greg Ellsworth, director of the Tunkhannock Area’s Career and Technology Education program. “She has really exceeded our expectations in every way, and I know her family and everyone at Tunkhannock is thrilled for her.”
While she’s proud to be graduating with both a high school and college degree, Emily credits her parents, Bradley and Jennifer Seward, for encouraging her every step of the way, as well as the support she has received from Faye Ziegler, a teacher at the Tunkhannock Area Primary School where Emily interned, and her early childhood education teacher Lori Bishop.
Emily also credits Keystone for providing her with an excellent opportunity.
“I’d like to encourage other high school students to take advantage of this program if they possibly can,” Emily said. “It’s a great way to save money and get your foot in the door as you begin your college career.”
To learn more about the Keystone College pre-college and dual enrollment programs for high school students, visit www.keystone.edu/dualenrollment.
Recognized as one of the best educational values in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Keystone offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree options in liberal arts and science-based programs in business, communications, education, natural science, environmental science, and social sciences. Located on a beautiful 276-acre campus 15 minutes from Scranton, Pa. and two hours from New York City and Philadelphia, Keystone is known for small class sizes and individual attention focused on student success through internships, research, and community involvement.