High school after 30, 40, 50? Columbus State shows students a way


Long past their teenage years, older Ohioans who didn’t earn a high school diploma are demonstrating age is not a barrier for education. Some are even eligible for membership in AARP (American Association of Retired Persons).

Cheryl Deal and Roxanne Arizmendi are among 260 students who have enrolled in Columbus State Community College’s 22+ Adult High School Diploma Program. The 22+ program allows students — age 22 to more than 70 — to make up missing credits for graduation through online courses and exams. It is supplemented by online coaching and tutoring. Students can also make up any standardized tests, such as the Ohio Graduation Test, that were required when they entered high school.

Deal, 56, jumped at the chance when she learned she could get back on the path to earning an actual diploma – free of charge – at Columbus State. She finished earning her high school credits in the fall and has now earned her full high school diploma.

“I was very ill during my time in high school and never managed to make up the classes I missed. I’m hoping that by getting my diploma I can continue educating myself and deciding what career path I want to take,” Arizmendi, 52, said.

“For adult students, some of their goals have been left unfulfilled for years,” says Sherry Minton, Director of Career Articulation at Columbus State.

“Too often, the message has been that if you left school before graduation, you were just out of luck. We’re working to send a new message: If you can benefit professionally from a high school diploma, then we want to help you earn one.”

Information about the 22+ diploma program is available at www.cscc.edu/hsdiploma.