Two Dubuque Hempstead High School seniors will begin their college careers as members of the junior class because of Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) agreements between their high school and Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC).
By completing numerous Advanced Placement (AP) college credit courses, as well as classes at Hempstead, online and at NICC, students Ellyn Simon and Ellen Welu will be earning their high school diplomas and Associate of Science transfer degrees from NICC this May.
The students, who are also close friends, both have ambitious career aspirations in mind after they continue their education to work toward a four-year Bachelor of Science degree next fall.
“When I took a biology class at Hempstead, I really enjoyed it, so I thought I would do something with that interest,” Simon explained. “I want to become a biomedical researcher to research diseases and find cures, or become a biomedical engineer to design prosthetics.”
Welu’s future academic study focuses on earning a biochemistry degree at the University of Iowa. She gives credit to the Dubuque Community School District and NICC for the PSEO agreement that made her achievements possible.
“I would suggest the PSEO program to anyone who is willing to put in a little bit of work and commitment because, in the end, it well worth the effort,” Welu said. “The majority of the classes I attended were online or at the NICC Dubuque Center during evening hours. I am grateful to NICC for allowing me to advance my education early.”
Ellyn Simon is the daughter of Kathy Simon and Mark McCarthy of Dubuque. Her older brother, Grant, also earned an NICC associate’s degree by taking college credit as a Hempstead High School student in May 2013.
Ellen Welu is the daughter of Dennis and Tina Welu of Dubuque.
Want to get ahead of the pack while still in high school? You can do it! Visit www.nicc.edu/highschool to learn more.