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Graduating from college before getting a HS diploma

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Spencer Speltz: Earning a college degree before his high school diploma

Spencer Speltz

PSEO is a great way for high school students to get a head start on college. Just ask Spencer Speltz! 

In May, he crossed the stage at MSC Southeast's graduation ceremony and received a degree in Business Management with high honors. Then in June, he graduated from from Lewiston-Alutura High School.

PSEO coursework allowed Spencer to earn college credit at no cost for tuition, fees, or books. 

Spencer's family is a model of commitment to Minnesota State College Southeast. Both of his parents have degrees from the college. His father studied CAD and runs his own pattern shop; his mother studied medical support careers and works at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. 

Spencer's sister graduated from associate degree nursing, is working in the field, and continuing her education toward a BSN. His other sister also participated in PSEO at MSC Southeast.

"We are graduates of Minnesota State College Southeast and know the value that community colleges offer on the staircase of life," said Spencer's mother, Carrie Speltz.

Spencer started taking PSEO classes at MSC Southeast when he was in 10th grade, beginning with a 9-credit certificate in CAD Drafting Technology

He continued to combine high school and college through his junior year, playing high school soccer, basketball, and baseball.

As a senior, Spencer realized he had enough credits to finish an associate degree, but he would have to make a sacrifice. He gave up going to high school so he could attend MSC Southeast 100% online. But he kept up with his sports and extra curricular activities -- and was even elected Prom King!

This fall,  Spencer is starting college at Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI. He plans on studying engineering with a minor in business administration.

Spencer credits several of his instructors with their willingness to add additional flexibility in the delivery method of the courses at times that allowed him to participate in high school sports.  

"This is exactly what PSEO was created for -- to give high achieving students like Spencer the opportunity to excel as high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors," said Dr. Larry Lundblad, Interim President of Minnesota State College Southeast.

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