GODFREY – Thanks to dual credit from Lewis and Clark, Anne Snyders will walk in her college Commencement before she crosses the graduation stage at Jersey Community High School.
“I am very thankful to have been in a school district that partnered with Lewis and Clark Community College to offer dual credit courses,” Snyders said. “I just simply could not be more thankful for the opportunities that were in place if I was willing to pursue them.”
L&C’s dual credit efforts have saved district residents, like Snyders, nearly $38 million total since programming began in 1999.
“This is an excellent accomplishment,” said L&C Vice President of Enrollment Kent Scheffel. “Anne has obviously been very diligent in her dual credit and on-campus courses. Students quite often earn one or two semesters’ worth of college credit through dual credit prior to graduating from high school, and Anne has taken that opportunity to the next level. We wish her well as she continues her postsecondary education.”
In addition to completing numerous dual credit classes, Snyders registered as a concurrent enrollment student at L&C in the summer after her sophomore year of high school. Throughout her senior year, she studied at both her high school and college, while attending classes both on campus and online.
“It was extremely difficult managing the two different schools,” she said. “In addition, I participated in two high school sports, qualified for state in both tennis and track, and had an externship at an elementary school in my school district. This year has been extremely busy. I felt as if I was balancing two lives. I will finish my Associate of Science degree this summer after taking four more classes.”
Although she will be taking courses this summer to finish her degree, Lewis and Clark’s Commencement celebrates graduates from the entire academic year, which began in Fall 2016 and ends with the Summer 2017 semester. L&C’s 46th Annual Commencement will take place on May 17. Jersey Community High School will celebrate its Class of 2017 on May 21.
“My older sister paved this path for me when she graduated from Lewis and Clark during the fall semester after her senior year of high school,” Snyders said. “Even though the speedy graduation took a lot of dedication, I knew it was possible after watching her. I am thankful that she was the guinea pig for the whole process because it allowed me to gain a head start and finish earlier.”
She is also thankful for the support she received from her parents, High School Counselor Laura Ross and L&C Advisor Robin Davidson. She credits her high school principal Cory Breden and Superintendent Lori Hopkins for developing a positive school district that creates opportunities for students to excel.
“Anne is as bright as they come, and extremely kind in all interactions,” Davidson said. “She was always willing to go the extra step to secure funding for her classes and never balked at any schedule or course I proposed. Seldom does a student come along who is self-assured and driven the way Anne is. I was honored to be even the smallest part of her accomplishment and truly wish her the best in all she does.”
Snyders will transfer to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in the fall and plans on double majoring in accounting and finance.
“I like the structure of accounting and the numerous career paths that can be explored with these degrees,” she said. “I will also gain knowledge that will be beneficial in my personal life when I make my own financial decisions.”
Snyders said, even though her unusual accomplishment wasn’t easy, it was worth it.
“I think current students who aspire to graduate from college and high school at the same time need to realize that it is completely possible,” she said. “Even though this aspiration might be difficult, successful challenges are the most rewarding accomplishments.”
Through L&C’s High School Partnership program, the first nationally accredited dual credit program in the state, students have taken 398,145 credit hours at no cost while attending one of the 18 high schools that offer dual credit in the district. To learn more about the program, visit www.lc.edu/HSP.
New this year, Commencement will be streamed online. Watch live on L&C’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/lewisandclarkcc
, or on any of Riverbender.com’s media channels, including Riverbender.com, EdGlenToday.com and the Riverbender Roku app.