Office Management student makes the most of college credits earned in high school

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Kaelynn Hauser took several dual credit classes in high school – earning both college and high school credit for those classes.

Kaelynn Hauser

Office Management student

Kaelynn Hauser took several dual credit classes in high school – earning both college and high school credit for those classes. Now a student in NWTC’s Office Management program, she is on track to graduate a semester early and has received the program’s Outstanding Student Award.  

From an early age, Kaelynn Hauser has felt like the go-to person in nearly any group or situation.  

“I like being the person who can help you figure out the problem. Knowing the answer gives me a good feeling,” she said. “I like being the central point of communication and letting people know they can come to me if they have questions or concerns, of if they have something they want to talk about.” 

Hauser has found the perfect fit for her strengths in NWTC’s new Office Management associate degree. In the two-year program, students hone their leadership abilities and obtain skills in accounting, human resources, project management, office technology, event management, and other areas.  

“Joining the Office Management program gives me so many options and possibilities of career paths,” said Hauser, who is currently balancing college with full-time employment at a local bank.  

On track to complete the program in December 2024, Hauser will be graduating in just three semesters (instead of the typical four) thanks to the college credits she earned in high school. She was able to jumpstart her college degree by taking several dual credit classes through NWTC during her senior year. With dual credit classes, students earn both high school and college credit for those classes.  

“Kaelynn is what I would call the ideal example of taking advantage of the early college programs we have in place,” said Jill Cropsey, Office Management instructor. “Kaelynn maximized college credits in high school, allowing her to finish the Office Management associate degree in just three semesters. She has proven her strong academic abilities, earning the Outstanding Program Student award this year.” 

‘Getting into the groove’ of taking college classes in high school 

Taking college classes in high school can seem daunting to many students. For Hauser, while she felt apprehensive initially, she soon found out “it wasn’t really as scary as it sounded.”  

“The first {class}, of course, everyone's like, ‘Oh my gosh, what's going to happen, and what am I going to do and how? What's this new application I have to learn?’ But after a while, you kind of get into the groove of things,” she said.  

Hauser has advice for students thinking about taking dual credit classes in high school. “If you have the time, and you're comfortable going outside of your comfort zone and trying new things, you should totally do it,” she said. “And especially if your high school can help pay for some classes. It's a great way to get ahead.” 

Kaelynn Hauser

More tips from Hauser – for both high school and college students: 

  • Allow yourself to feel the fear – then do it anyway. “A lot of people think {taking college classes in high school} is too scary, so they don't try it. You just have to be able to push past and persevere. You know you're scared about it, but know that you can do it anyway.”  
  • Understand how much workload you can handle. “ I think the best way to fit learning into your work style is to know how much workload you can handle, talking with your advisor, and making things work. You kind of have to ease yourself into it and get used to what you can handle. But it also depends on the credit load of the class. So I can take three 1-credit classes, because the workload for those isn’t heavy. But taking three 3-credit classes is a little bit more work. So it’s just understanding what you know you have time for and being able to be flexible with other things, like making plans for your friends and saying, ‘No, sorry, I have homework to do, and I’ve got to study for this.’” 
  • Rely on NWTC resources. “My faculty mentor is Jill. She's my favorite person here. She talks to me all the time. I don't come into class, so she's really the only person I've had face to face contact with from NWTC. She's been super helpful planning schedules, and she's really open to hopping on a call. If I have a question, I always reach out to her. If I'm struggling with something, I’m like, ‘Jill, I need your help,’ and she's always there to give me a give me her two cents and help me out. It’s really nice knowing I can rely on somebody.” 
  • Benefit from NWTC’s flexibility. “{In Office Management}, you can do whatever works for you. You can take one online class and four in-person classes, or you could take them all online. It works really well. You can take blended. If you need to talk to your professors a couple days a week, you can come in for some classes and be virtual for others. It's really easy to apply your credits to other schools as well. If you're taking your general education classes here and transferring them, or you're starting off with a two-year degree and moving to a four-year degree – it’s flexible.” 

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