Liberal senior takes dual credits at high school, SCCC

T aking college courses while still being in high school is not as easy as it sounds, although it can be very rewarding. 

Liberal High School, like many other high schools with access to a community college, offers concurrent enrollment classes for students to take advantage of and get a head start on their future. The Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) defines concurrent enrollment as a course that is taught for both high school and college (dual) credit to eligible students during the regular high school day by a qualified high school instructor.

Braegan Zimmerman is a 17-year-old high school senior trying to get an associate of arts degree. She says that “juggling high school and college is definitely difficult, but the end result makes it all worth it.”

Braegan Zimmerman is a 17-year-old high school senior seeking her associate of liberal arts degree. Zimmerman started taking college classes the summer after her freshman year and has since taken 66 credit hours throughout her entire high school career.

She is involved in cheer and multiple clubs at Liberal High School. She even finds time in her busy schedule to do competitive dance at a studio outside of school.

 Zimmerman says that taking college classes has challenged her more than some of her high school ones and she likes to be challenged. She says that this experience has definitely taught her responsibility and time management. 

“It’s hard to keep track of tests in both [schools] but once you figure out how to manage the two it gets easier,” Zimmerman says.

With the ongoing pandemic, one would think that juggling both high school and college courses would be a difficult challenge but Zimmerman thinks otherwise. 

“Covid has challenged me in a positive way. It has given me the opportunity to take more classes since school is different this year. It has given me time to consider what I’m capable of and work off of that,” Zimmerman says. 

She adds that it’s really important to get her work done as much as possible in school or during her free time so she can avoid getting too stressed or overwhelmed with work. 

“I decided to take college classes for the purpose of more challenging coursework, but I ended up being so close to my degree that I decided to do what was necessary to finish it out. While it has been difficult and has taken many of my summer and holiday breaks, I know I am going to be so satisfied knowing that I worked as hard as I could,” Zimmerman says.

Zimmerman started taking college classes the summer following her freshman year of high school. She has racked up 66 college credit hours and is the valedictorian of her senior class. She will be graduating from both Liberal High School and SCCC in May.

Commencement ceremonies at the college will be on May 8 while the high schoolers will have their ceremony on May 16.