Ryan Buswell was only 18 years old when he received his associate degree from OCC in Humanities and Social Sciences. He did it just 11 months after graduating from Cicero-North Syracuse High School. What was his secret? Onondaga’s College Credit Now program which allows students to earn college credits while they are in high school. In the 2013-14 academic year 3,422 students from 30 Central New York high schools took advantage of the program.
Buswell started collecting college credits during his sophomore year at C-NS. Three years later he had amassed 17 OCC credits and 20 AP (Advanced Placement) credits. Buswell considered going directly to a four-year SUNY college, then did the math. “I realized I could spend less money on the same courses by going to OCC. It made more sense to spend $2,000 rather than $17,000,” Buswell said.
Buswell brought his 37 credits to OCC, spent two semesters on campus, and graduated in May 2014. “Saying I graduated from college less than a year after I graduated from high school is both humbling and makes me feel very proud about what I’ve accomplished.”
In the fall Buswell started taking classes at SUNY New Paltz as a junior. He’s majoring in Speech Pathology, a calling he realized in high school. “I took a ‘what should you be when you get older’ quiz online and it pointed me in this direction. I started researching it, then went on a church mission to Buffalo where I worked with children with disabilities. I realized it was what I wanted to do.”