Early Admission: PACE Program Gives Tyrone Seniors a Head Start on College

The PACE Program allows Tyrone students to take college classes while still in high school


Garett Matley

PACE students Chloe Makdad, Molly Harris and Emily Fusco

This fall several Tyrone Area seniors were a little more nervous than usual on the first day of school.  Instead of their normal TAHS classes, these seniors stepped into a college classroom for the first time as a part of the PACE program.

“At first [I was a little nervous] but I knew other high school students were going through the same thing,” said Tyrone senior Emily Fusco, who is attending PSU Altoona for English. “I made as many friends as possible and talked to the professor. College is fun and I feel more independent as a college student.”

PACE stands for Program for Accelerated College Education. Schools all over the world offer students the opportunity to take college classes such as English, while they are still in high school.

I made as many friends as possible and talked to the professor. College is fun and I feel more independent as a college student

— Emily Fusco

Students at Tyrone have been taking part in the PACE program for more than 11 years. They go to local colleges around the Tyrone School District such as Juniata College, Penn State University Altoona, and Penn State Main Campus.

“Last year when I took my first college class at Juniata, I was a little nervous about whether the class would be a struggle with it being shorter. I wouldn’t say the idea of being in with college students ever bothered me,” said senior Joe Kohler.

This semester there are seven Tyrone students enrolled in PACE classes.  They are: Emily Fusco, Joe Kohler, Molly Harris, Jonathan Clifton, Rachel Robinson, Chloe Makdad, and Amy Long.

Despite the fact that all seven students doing PACE this year are seniors, juniors are sometimes offered this opportunity as well.

“I was mostly excited to take these classes. The first day I was a little intimidated entering a class of people who have been in college for years. It was daunting, but everyone was very nice and welcomed me as if I were a returning student,” said Molly Harris.

The classes offered through PACE typically require one module to be completed weekly for each lesson. In some DE classes offered during high school, the workload is larger. In the psychology course, there is a module to do nearly every night. The transition for these students who have taken DE classes will be very smooth, but for the students who do not take any DE classes will have more difficulty than others.

When asked about the conflicting schedules when Tyrone is on a two hour delay or closed, the students did not mention that it would be a problem. Some of the classes are later in the day to begin with, so the delays would never affect their schedules.

The PACE program gives students who want a head start exactly that.

“The classes are definitely a lot harder than high school classes.  There is a lot of reading and we are expected to be responsible for everything,” said Harris.