Students who take CHS courses are uniquely positioned to succeed in college. The skills, experience, and knowledge gained in CHS help students prepare for college admission and to excel once they are there. Here’s what alumni of CHS at Pitt have to say.
Morgan Mundell, BSN, RN
Registered Nurse, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
As a nursing major, statistics was a required course. Having taken it through CHS, I was able to transfer that credit in and didn't have to take the course. This allowed me to take a lighter course load and left more time for my athletics since I cheered at Robert Morris University for Men's Basketball and Football.
The most valuable thing I learned from CHS is that it is important to start thinking and planning for college while in high school. CHS allowed me to have a taste of college classes while still in high school, and I was able to come to Pitt’s campus during my CHS enrollment. It made my transition to college classes easier having known what the caliber of classes are like and it was very convenient to transfer credits into college and be ahead of most people in my class!
Computer Science major at the University of Pittsburgh
I never would have chosen to major in computer science if I hadn’t taken computer science courses in high school through CHS. It was really beneficial to work hands-on with a programming language in high school. I came out of high school with an understanding of how to program in Java, take college-level computer science exams, and think critically.
Most importantly, I came out with a passion for learning computer science. And coming into Pitt’s computer science program with background knowledge of programming from the CHS classes I took was immensely helpful in kick starting my computer science education!
I am grateful that CHS offers computer science courses in high school. Students should understand basic critical thinking and logic concepts that are gained through understanding programming. Many students who would be incredible computer scientists don’t discover the field until later in life, if at all, because of its low visibility to K-12 students. In this day and age, computer science is vital to every single student.
Architectural Engineering major at the Pennsylvania State University
Because CHS courses are awarded more credits in high school, I was able to improve my GPA which ultimately helped me earn my valedictorian title upon graduation. And, by transferring my credits to Penn State, I was able to schedule classes earlier than most of my peers because scheduling dates are determined by credits.
My experience in CHS courses helped me develop a college-oriented mindset while generating the goals, dedication, and focus needed to succeed in college. College is considered difficult for many incoming freshmen because they have difficulty adjusting to college courses, workload, exams and time management. Enrolling in CHS classes significantly helps with this transition.
CHS classes also helped me become aware of college expectations and exposed me to the exams and grading system of college courses. The structure of CHS classes reflects the structure of actual college courses, allowing students to be rewarded for hard work throughout the entire year while also developing students into dedicated learners by providing them the opportunity to improve throughout the entire year in a meaningful manner.
One of my favorite experiences with CHS was visiting Pitt’s campus. Interacting with a college campus provided me with a sense of what to expect when entering college. Taking part in actual college lectures and communicating with actual college professors were beneficial in discovering college expectations.
CHS classes provide students with a great opportunity to challenge themselves and reward themselves at the conclusion of the classes with college credit at an affordable rate.
Air Traffic Control, Community College of Beaver County
Community College of Beaver County has one of the best aviation programs in the country, especially for air traffic control (ATC). It is the only school that has an operating control tower at the Beaver County Airport that allows students to run real traffic versus a simulator. This gives students actual experience.
I took CHS chemistry in high school because I thought I was going into a science field, but I found an interest in aviation. I was really interested in ATC, so I visited the Pittsburgh International Airport control tower and I was hooked.
CHS chemistry is an extremely difficult class for a high school student, so people always asked me why I would take it when I didn't have to. For me, I learned just as much about college as I did chemistry. I learned how to balance my schoolwork with other things. It also gave me a chance to experience how a college class worked, what a college test was like, and the college atmosphere when I went to Pitt’s campus for the labs. I even came to Pitt to take the final for the class.
CHS classes can be very difficult, but it is worth it in the long run. You will learn more about college and yourself than the subject of the class. You will have a leg up on everybody else when you start your freshmen year of college. You will know what to expect in a college level class.
And CHS classes can help you explore what you like. Just because you took a lot of a certain course doesn't mean you are set to go into that field. I went into a field that I knew little about in high school, and I love it now!
Majoring in Marketing at the University of Pittsburgh
In addition to improving my academics and my GPA, I took CHS courses in order to prepare myself for college. By taking CHS courses, I learned the value of studying days before an exam. Although it is easy for me to wait until the last minute to study, I came to understand the importance of consistently studying every night.
The other high school classes that I took were rather dull and slow moving. I was enrolled in numerous honors classes throughout my high school career, but I could never focus.The information learned was very basic. However, my CHS courses were fast-paced, which greatly prepared me for college. Not to mention, I felt as though I learned a lot more taking CHS classes. The information was not broad; rather, it explored the many details of theorems and ideas of such classes.
To any students considering taking CHS classes: these classes may seem scary, and they are. However, in the end, you will not only learn the subject you are studying, but you will also learn key studying skills that will help you to succeed in college. These classes also allow you to learn more about yourself.