We’ve asked two 2021 graduates, Cory Matthews and I’shanay Meeks, about their academic experiences. Both earned their high school degree from Parkway Center City Middle College and an associate degree in Liberal Arts simultaneously through the College’s dual enrollment partnership with the School District of Philadelphia.
What advantages did you gain from the College’s partnership with Parkway Center City Middle College? How did this experience shape or further your academic and career goals?
Cory: The biggest advantage I gained from the partnership was that I learned the basic fundamentals of being a college student. I learned how to utilize the many resources (tutoring labs, libraries, etc.), how to communicate with professors and how to be successful independently. It gave me a one up on my peers, who were new to college life.
The middle college experience put me in a perfect position to succeed. Not only did it give me a head start, but it also gave me the confidence and motivation that I needed to keep pushing forward. Now I could potentially graduate with my bachelor’s degree early, which would mean a lot to me.
I’shanay: One advantage that I gained from the College’s partnership with Parkway is that I was given the opportunity to have a college experience before attending a four-year university.
How did your experiences at the College prepare you for success?
Cory: I learned everything that I needed to know about College in my time at CCP. So now at Temple, there’s really nothing that is new to me. I’m familiar with the things I need to be familiar with.
I’shanay: I was able to get an idea of how college classes are set up; not only how the classes will run, but also how it feels to be on campus and to network with many people from different backgrounds.
Would you recommend Parkway Center City Middle College to other students? Why?
Cory: I would recommend Parkway because the program ultimately prepares you properly for the undergraduate life at a university. Parkway has the proper funding and resources that will allow its students to succeed and benefit from the program.
I’shanay: I would recommend Parkway to other students because they will get to experience something during high school that will be very beneficial to them in the future. Of course it’s going to be difficult, but they will have the opportunity to be one step ahead. They will also have great support systems, from both CCP and Parkway, who wants nothing but the best for us.
What are the benefits of learning with the same cohort of students throughout high school, and now as a Cecil B. Moore Scholar at Temple?
Cory: The Cecil B. Moore Scholars Program is similar to how my cohort was at Parkway, so it’s just another thing that I’m familiar with. The benefit is that I have other peers who are in my same exact shoes; I’m not the only one fighting to reach my goals. It’s a great thing.
I’shanay: One benefit of learning with the same cohort of students throughout high school is that it was easier to ask for help or even receive help from my peers, since a good amount of us took the same courses. We often did study groups, etc. to prepare us for most exams in classes that were difficult.
What are your goals for the future?
Cory: I want to graduate from Temple with a degree in Business Management and hopefully I take on a minor too, and I want to eventually become a sports agent.
I’shanay: My goals for the future are to work in the medical field while specializing in pediatrics. I also plan on starting two business; one for cosmetics, and the other for selling food platters.