He started college at age 15 and never paid tuition: Meet HVAC-R student Kian Howard

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Brooklyn Park, May 21, 2021 – Kian Howard graduated from college nearly one month prior to graduating from high school. He accomplished this feat because he attended Hennepin Technical College (HTC) while he was also a student at Wayzata High School.

As a high school sophomore, Kian began taking classes at HTC and earned both high school and college credits simultaneously through the dual-credit program, known as PSEO. (Post-Secondary Enrollment Opportunities)

“Not everyone in my class knew that I was 15-years-old,” said Kian. “One day when the instructor gave me a compliment, she also mentioned that I was 15. The rest of the class was pretty surprised.”

Most students enter PSEO to earn a few college credits. However, each year, a handful of PSEO students earn enough credits to complete a college degree. Without paying tuition, Kian graduated from HTC with an associate degree. His only expenses were commuting costs.

Kian earned his degree in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Cooling and Refrigeration (HVAC-R). It is extremely rare for a PSEO student to earn an HVAC-R degree at the college and only a few students have done so.

HVAC-R has the reputation as a challenging program which means it is even more impressive that Kian excelled at his classes and was named to the president’s list. In addition, Kian won a gold medal in a statewide competition, SKILLS USA. He will represent the college when he competes in the HVAC-R category of the national SKILL USA competition.

When considering his future, Kian plans to enter commercial HVAC-R. His father, Brody Howard, expressed his thanks to HTC’s president and instructors for encouraging him to succeed in a high-demand, high wage career path.

“PSEO is a terrific program and I hope more high school students take advantage of the opportunity. I know that Kian is just realizing what a tremendous jump start HTC has played in his career and in his life,” said Brody.

About Hennepin Technical College

Founded in 1972, Hennepin Technical College (HTC) is the largest stand-alone technical college in Minnesota. With campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie, the college has a diverse student population and offers degree and non-degree courses in over 45 programs. HTC is a member of

Minnesota State, which includes 30 colleges and seven state universities.