At Tolles Career & Technical Center, we pride ourselves on lifting students with a rigorous education combined with bankable skills for what is ahead.

But that is not the only way we lift our students.

Most of our coursework combines education and skills with another valuable commodity: college credit. Nearly every one of our programs offers college credits, which is one of the many ways we are lifting students toward their college and career goals.

It is no secret the cost of a college education can be a financial strain for young people entering the workforce.

At Tolles, we offer a variety of options that can prepare our students for postsecondary education not only academically, but also financially. One of our goals is to teach students about the many ways in which they can pay for postsecondary education without large amounts of debt.

Many students and parents are unaware of tuition-reimbursement opportunities through employment and internships.

Tolles utilizes these methods of offering college credits:

• College Credit Plus allows students to enroll in classes from community colleges or universities for free while still in high school. Tolles students have the opportunity to choose from a variety of College Credit Plus options.

• We offer our students college credit through articulation agreements and CTAGs (a “super articulation” with any public two- or four-year program) among our career-technical programs and college partners. (Editor’s note: Articulation agreements are made by colleges and universities to set policies for transferring academic credit.)

Tolles helps set students apart from their peers by immersing them in real-world experiences, providing them with applicable skills and college credits. We offer real-world training programs, such as prenursing, pharmacy, criminal justice and engineering, all of which translate to college coursework. This paves the way for a smooth transition into colleges and universities after high school graduation.

Our students’ path to a college degree is more affordable than the traditional route for a few reasons.

Most of our students are earning college credits at no cost while working toward their high school diplomas, giving them a head start in the credits needed for a college degree.

Our students also have the opportunity to earn certifications, allowing them to work in their field of study while attending college. This gives our graduates access to a plethora of opportunities to find higher-paying work while attending college and/or experience that will be more appealing to employers after college graduation.

Emmy Beeson is superintendent of Tolles Career & Technical Center in Plain City, which includes students from the Dublin and Hilliard school districts. Contact her at ebeeson@tollestech.com.