Earns Associate Degree Just Six Months
After High School Graduation
Windsor, N.J. -- Paul Jones (A.A., Liberal Arts) graduated
from Steinert High School in June 2011. Just six months later
in December 2011, he graduated with highest honors from MCCC
with an associate's degree in Liberal Arts. That's because
Jones made the decision to enroll in classes at the college
while still attending high school, an MCCC program called
That experience, he said, has proven to be the best one he's
had so far in his life.
Approaching his senior year, Jones had already taken most
of the advanced placement classes offered at his high school,
so he began to consider taking courses at MCCC.
"Mercer was five minutes from my house and the tuition
was reasonable," he said, adding that Mercer's plethora
of courses proved key to his decision. "Mercer just had
the best overall program for me."
Jones enrolled in his first class, Introduction to Philosophy,
in the summer of 2010. "The course proved electrifying
and pivotal in my being at MCCC," he recalls.
his initial success, he enrolled in two additional courses
in the fall: Anthropology and Introduction to Sociology. By
the spring of 2011, he was taking a full course load at Mercer
while finishing up his senior year of high school.
Paul Jones transfers to Rutgers this month to continue his
was the best time of my life," Jones maintains. While
he didn't sleep much, having a full day of enriching and challenging
courses was "intellectually satisfying."
One of the most memorable courses Jones took was Honors Fantasy
Literature with English Professor Ed Carmien. "It was
absolutely wonderful. It was my first taste of what to expect
When Jones initially enrolled at Mercer he had already been
accepted to St. John's College, a Liberal Arts school in Annapolis,
Md. But once he started taking classes at Mercer, he realized
the value of obtaining a degree with real world applications.
While taking a Java Programming course taught by adjunct instructor
James Slocum, Jones made the decision to major in Computer
Science. "Professor Slocum was so influential in my decision.
His passion for his topic and advice about education persuaded
In addition to computer classes, Jones' other courses included
American Political System, Intro to Psychology, Public Speaking,
Living World Religions and Moral Choices. He was a member
of the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society and Mercer's
newly formed chapter of the Psi Beta National Honor Society
"I was really able to get a wide range of courses at
Mercer. The college served as a proving ground for developing
my liberal and technical education," he says proudly.
Jones took several classes that didn't count towards his degree
simply for the sheer joy of learning. He graduates from Mercer
with 20 credits to spare.
Jones is continuing his education at Rutgers University in
January, majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Philosophy.
And, he will continue to be part of the NJ STARS program,
a statewide scholarship program for students who graduate
in the top 15 percent of their high school class.
Jones said he may even return to Mercer for a summer course.
"If I ever see a calculus class offered by Professor
Yvonne Greenbaun, I will definitely enroll. She was a very
inspiring instructor. I learned a lot from her."
Jones sees MCCC's Jump Start program to be an amazing opportunity
for high schoolers to earn college credits, while at the same
time exploring the subjects that interest them most.
"MCCC is truly what you make of it. If you're looking
for a rigorous course of study, Mercer is where you should
be," he said.
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