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Partnering With Secondary Schools: Bridging Education From High School To College

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.988.1 - 10.988.5



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Paper Authors

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David Cottrell

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Joseph Cecere

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1793

Partnering with Secondary Schools: Bridging Education from High School to College

Dave S. Cottrell and Joseph J. Cecere Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg


The last year of high school is supposed to be one of the best times in a student’s life. However, being a high school senior can be overwhelming with sports, band, student council, debate and youth groups, and after-school jobs, not to mention the high school classes themselves. But being a senior also means it’s time to prepare for the future and for an increasing number of seniors this includes pursuing a college degree. Good grades in core classes are important for college admission but in today’s competitive environment, the relative level of course difficulty also plays a significant role. Consequently, though class rank and GPA continue to be critical for assessing college potential, students are probably better off with a B in a College freshman English class than an A in physical education in high school. Taking college courses while in high school demonstrates to a college admission board the student’s capability, motivation, and that going to college is more than just his or her “Plan B.” Further, a college course taken while in high school can earn credits toward a college degree and simultaneously prepare the senior for the transition from high school to college. Students get a direct, first-hand sense of college level material, that it’s a far cry from high school coursework in most cases. Certainly, the benefits seem to justify the investment.

Today, many farsighted seniors seek options to get an early start in college while still finishing their high school education. The two basic options include taking “Advanced Placement” courses with an exam and/or enrolling in a college course their last year in high school. The College Board Company, the administrators of the SAT, initiated the former program in order the offer an opportunity for high school students to get a jump on college. Created in 1955, the early “Advanced Placement” program features only eleven courses to high school students. Today, 34 courses across 19 subject areas are offered. Students who complete a course have the opportunity to take a national exam. The exam score may qualify them to receive college credit or advanced placement in a university or college curriculum. Although each university or college determines minimum placement scores, some universities, such as Penn State, do not give college credit for the “AP” scores for specific courses like the freshman English. A Penn State freshman may receive advanced placement with a high “AP” score, but everyone still nevertheless must take freshman English.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Cottrell, D., & Cecere, J. (2005, June), Partnering With Secondary Schools: Bridging Education From High School To College Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14911

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015