Sarah Grieve was still in high school at Lorain County Joint Vocational School, but she was already well on her way to earning an associate degree. Through Lorain County Community College’s College Credit Plus (CCP) program, she earned college credits while never leaving JVS. College hadn’t been in her plans, but when she learned she could earn credits at no cost to herself, she was sold.
And while she was getting a head start on her degree, Grieve was gaining the valuable work experience and career connections that the JVS is known for. She landed a summer internship at EMC Precision learning how to operate Swiss CNC and other machines, gaining knowledge that helped her in her college classes.
After graduating from JVS, Grieve stayed on at EMC Precision, working part time as she finished her associate degree. She earned her associate degree from LCCC in May 2018, and began working full time at EMC in June as a CNC operator and machinist. At the same time, she took on a second internship with the company, this time in engineering.
“Starting my career early made college an easy option,” she says. “JVS and LCCC have provided a lot of opportunities for me and gotten me to the great spot I’m at.”
Paving the way
Grieve earned college credits while attending the JVS through the CCP program, available to high school students statewide. But with her as an example of what was possible when career and college are interwoven, the JVS and LCCC formalized the Career and College Advantage program in October 2018, paving the way for other students to achieve the success Grieve has. The initiative allows students to earn a year’s worth of college credits — about 30 — while still in high school in four areas, and a semester’s worth in eight others.
“JVS families can save $5,000 or more in college costs,” says JVS Superintendent Glenn Faircloth, Ph.D. “This partnership will change the way we do things and it is something wonderful our county will embrace for years to come.”
As part of the program, LCCC partners with local employers that offer paid internships to put students’ education to practical use before they graduate.
LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., calls the partnership groundbreaking.
“This provides an opportunity for JVS students to enroll in a high-demand career program, intern with a local business and earn college credit at the same time. It gives them a competitive advantage,” she says.
As for Grieve, earning a bachelor’s degree through LCCC’s University Partnership may be in her future. And she encourages other students to take advantage of all that the JVS and LCCC partnership offers.
“It’s a great opportunity, and it can save you time and money and earn you a great career,” she says.