Dual enrollment student gets jump on college career

After exhausting the computer and technology electives at Plum High School during his junior year, Matt Saeger challenged himself by taking technology electives at Penn State New Kensington. The result was 10 Penn State credits and acceptance into the campus’ Information Sciences and Technology (IST) program in the fall as a full-time student.

“My senior year would have consisted of study halls and electives that I was not at all interested in,” said Saeger, who graduates from Plum in June. “So instead of wasting time in boring study halls, I figured it would be smart to get a head start on college. It would be something to challenge me, and work on my future while still attending high school.”

Saeger did a little research and signed-up for Penn State’s Dual Enrollment program, which offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take college courses at a 50 percent tuition reduction. Participants receive both secondary and postsecondary credit for the coursework. Saeger has been taking IST courses at the campus since the fall semester.

Last semester he earned an A in the three-credit course Information, People and Technology. This semester he is taking seven credits in two sophomore-level courses -- Networking and Telecommunications, and Organization of Data. College life appeals to Saeger.

“I like being treated like an adult, with the freedom and the responsibility,” Saeger said. “The program exposed to me what college classes are really like. I enjoy being challenged and love the atmosphere of college.”

With a combination of Penn State credits earned on campus and other college credit he earned at Plum for advanced work, Saeger enters the IST program with 23 credits, seven shy of official status as sophomore. The IST major gives students a background in the core technical areas of networking, databases, programming and system integration.

Fascination with technology runs in the Saeger’s family. His father graduated from Penn State with a degree in electrical engineering technology. Over the years, Matt has experimented with all aspects of computing from programming to graphic design. He plans on focusing on networking.

“I have always used technology to simplify, or overcomplicate, anything and everything,” said Saeger, who has built several websites. “I found that I genuinely enjoyed computer networking the most and from there decided I wanted my career to be based upon that.”

When he is not on campus, delving into the signal modulation and database manipulation, Saeger keeps his hand on the technology tiller by writing reviews for a gaming blog, TheGamerAccess.com. For the past two years, he attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas as a member of the working press. CES is the biggest technology-related trade show in the world. A non-public event geared to industry insiders, the January show drew more than 150,000 executives, exhibitors, analysts and media to look of the latest in personal technology.

For more on the IST program at the campus, visit http://www.nk.psu.edu/Academics/Degrees/44621.htm.

About Dual Enrollment Program
The Dual Enrollment program offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take college courses at a 50 percent tuition reduction. The program enables students to get a real jump on their college careers by earning college credits while still in high school. Students can choose from a variety of Penn State courses offered during the fall, spring or summer semesters. Dual Enrollment helps to introduce more students to the advantages of postsecondary education and helps students have a more successful transition into the culture and expectations that are present in postsecondary institutions. For more on dual enrollment, visit http://www.nk.psu.edu/Admissions/30339.htm.


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Last Updated April 05, 2013