“I think CCP is an amazing program with so many benefits! I’m so glad that I took advantage of all that CCP had to offer. College is expensive but one thing you can never get back is time. With the amount of time this program has saved me, I’m incredibly grateful.”—Ashton Amos, Class of 2016
MARIETTA, OHIO—Washington State Community College (WSCC) alumna Ashton Amos ’16 is in pursuit of her dream to become a doctor. A full year ahead of other peers her age, she is already in her second year of medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), where she recently earned a very prestigious accolade as LECOM’s 2022 Student Doctor of the Year. She attributes College Credit Plus (CCP) with helping to fast-track her education and get to where she is today.
Amos found her way to WSCC thanks to her participation in Upward Bound, a federally funded program that provides academic support to high school students and encourages students to enroll in college and complete a degree. Amos’s college-readiness scores indicated that she had the aptitude to manage the rigors of higher education. As a result, the Frontier High School student started taking college classes at Washington State through the CCP program, Ohio’s early college initiative that allows 7th through 12th-grade students the opportunity to earn college credits at no cost to them.
From the beginning, Amos displayed her drive and determination to excel and advance her education. She proved to be a champion at maintaining ties to high school while making strong connections at college. At Frontier, she participated in a host of extracurricular activities, including Key Club, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Upward Bound, Yearbook, Cheerleading, and Spanish National Honor Society. At WSCC she was in Circle K, Phi Theta Kappa, and was a flagship member of Washington State’s honors program. She managed it all while working part-time at a local pizza shop and holding two practicum positions at the college. She proved herself an academic superstar and, just before she completed her time at WSCC, was named Student of the Month.
In 2016, the world was her oyster. Amos concurrently earned her high school diploma along with not one, but two associate degrees from WSCC, liberal arts transfer and general science transfer. The early college credits paid off in a big way when she enrolled at West Virginia University, where, in just three years, she completed her bachelor’s degree in human nutrition.
“I’m very glad that I took courses at WSCC before I went to West Virginia University,” said Amos. “By taking my general education classes and basic sciences, it made for a much better transition and allowed for more individualized attention than I could have ever received at WVU.” She said WVU’s large auditorium classrooms of 300-plus can be daunting and she found it advantageous to learn how to be a college student in the comfort of WSCC’s small class sizes, which average 15.
Reducing the amount of time invested in earning her bachelor’s degree also provided Amos with a significant financial benefit, to the tune of an estimated savings of $40,000. With a reduced financial burden, she maintained her momentum and enrolled at the largest medical college in the country. She earned her master’s degree in medical science from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in 2020 and immediately enrolled in their medical school.
While she hasn’t been a Washington State student for six years, Amos said she continues to rely heavily on the time management skills she developed as a CCP student. “I was quite the busy bee during my time at WSCC. I still utilize those same skills to stay involved with things outside of medical school while still maintaining good grades.”
Today, the young woman, who made a reputation for herself as a campus scholar, continues to garner that recognition. In December, she was named LECOM’s 2022 Student Doctor of the Year. Evidence that the same dedication that motivated her through community college continues to course through her veins. With an anticipated med school graduation date of 2024, Amos will have several years of ongoing training as a resident. “I have interests in trauma and spine surgery,” she explained, “So, at the moment, I am looking at orthopedic and general surgery residencies for specialty training after medical school, which is an additional 6-plus years of training!”
In reflection of her first experiences in higher education, Amos admitted there is just one thing she would have done differently as a CCP student. “Looking back, I would have looked for a mentor a few years older than me in undergraduate so I could have prepared better for the entrance exam into medical school. Other than that, I’m very happy with my choices.” She added, “I think CCP is an amazing program with so many benefits! I’m so glad that I took advantage of all that CCP had to offer. College is expensive but one thing you can never get back is time. With the amount of time this program has saved me, I’m incredibly grateful.”
She encouraged future CCP students not to miss out on the opportunity provided by the early college option. “Take as many classes as you can as a CCP student. You will financially thank yourself later,” she assured. “Challenge yourself and take the harder class. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re a straight-A student and you’re struggling to keep an A in a class. They’re much more difficult than high school courses! Change your study habits, ask for help, and keep going!”