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Student Spotlight: Madison Helmstetter, Doniphan West High School

published May 30, 2024Student Spotlight: Madison Helmstetter, Doniphan West High School

Madison Helmstetter is a 2024 Doniphan West High School graduate who also earned a certificate in early childhood education this May. Madison not only attended classes at her high school her senior year, but she also took classes at HCC’s Technical Center in Atchison all while working after school.

Madison started taking dual credit classes through Highland her sophomore year of high school. Then, enrolled in early childhood education classes at the Technical Center her junior year. She is the first in her family to attend college and is pursuing an associate in arts degree at HCC in addition to the early childhood education certificate she has already earned at the Tech Center.

“Taking early college/dual credit classes was challenging as most of the classes I took in high school were online. I enjoyed attending the Tech Center for early childhood education because they were in-person, and I was able to gain first-hand experience relating to the development of a child that I could immediately put into practice at my after-school daycare job,” stated Madison.

Madison will continue to use her early childhood education training through the summer and next school year by working at Doniphan Darlings, a daycare located in Highland. In the fall, she will continue taking classes at the Highland campus for her associate of arts degree. Madison was awarded the Bank of Bendena Scholarship through the HCC Foundation and an HCC sociology scholarship.

“I am thankful I was able to start taking dual credit classes in high school because I feel it gave me a better understanding of how college classes work and how challenging they can be. Taking college classes in high school helped ease my fear and anxiety of whether or not I could succeed in college. It made me realize that every college student is experiencing some of the same feelings that I am. We all want to succeed in classes and make friends with our classmates. I learned many different things in my college classes that will help me with future classes and my career,” she said.

Early college or dual credit classes are college classes taken while in high school for high school and college credit. The HCC Board of Trustees lowered the cost of early college classes to $50 a credit hour for Kansas high school students outside of Doniphan County making earning college credit more accessible for students and families. For more information about Early College classes, visit highlandcc.edu/gettingstarted-ec.

Hands-on technical training, such as early childhood education, is offered at the Technical Center in Atchison and the Western Center in Baileyville. Technical classes are free for Kansas high school students. For more information, visit highlandcc.edu/techcenter.

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