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Mom Describes How PSEO Helps Her Son to Achieve

PSEO student Jackson Schaffer in HVAC

Brooklyn Park, April 19, 2023 – Can a student who is doing poorly in high school walk into a college and earn straight A’s? Joyce Schaffer says that it is possible and her son is proof of it. 

Pete and Joyce Schaffer encouraged son Jackson to enroll in a program called Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PESO). While Jackson is a junior in high school, he is attending Hennepin Tech’s PSEO program where he’s earning both high school credits and college credits at the same time. PSEO is tuition-free. At Hennepin Tech, Jackson is taking classes in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC). Joyce Schaffer descirbes Jackson's transformation after entering the program.

Hennepin Tech: Why do you think Jackson wasn’t doing well in a traditional high school setting?

Schaffer: Jackson is a hands-on learner. When COVID happened and school switched to online learning, Jackson’s grades fell.  He didn’t like sitting in front of a screen, it gave him headaches and he was not interested in learning this way. He stopped caring about school and his grades. PSEO helped Jackson get back on track with school and gave him confidence again. There are plenty of kids like Jackson who are mechanical or just enjoy hands on jobs. They’re smart but they don’t like high school setting. They would do well in PSEO.

Hennepin Tech: How did Hennepin Tech assist Jackson with his goals?

Schaffer: My husband and I have said that we have never seen a school or institution care about a student as much as Hennepin Tech. Becky the PSEO coordinator has been amazing helping Jackson register for classes. The advisors keeping him on track with what classes to take to complete his degree and instructors that have moved classes around to fit Jackson’s schedule. Hennepin Tech truly cares about the success of the students. I think Jackson’s success was a combination of PESO and Hennepin Tech’s great staff.

We live out in the country which is about an hour one way to Hennepin Tech. But the drive is worth it for Jackson to attend. Everyone at Hennepin Tech have been so helpful and he enjoys going to school and learning again.

Hennepin Tech: What do you tell other parents about PSEO?

Schaffer: I tell any parent who has high school children about PSEO. I tell Jackson’s friends about PSEO too. We have eight children and four of them so far have participated in PSEO.

One of our daughters was able to earn admission into a competitive private college because they looked at how well she did in PSEO verses her ACT score. We asked the college how she was able to gain admissions with her low ACT score, and the college said they looked at the whole student and she proved she could do college level work in high school and succeeded. She ended up graduating top of her class as a Registered Nurse making the Deans & President’s list. PSEO gave her this opportunity.

Hennepin Tech: Were you surprised that some people discouraged Jackson from entering PSEO?

Schaffer: Yes - there were people at the high school who said that Jackson wasn’t ready to take classes at the college level and that it would affect him negatively when applying for college admissions. But my husband & I knew Jackson would do well. Jackson is a farm kid. Since he was old enough to walk, he’s had a hammer in his hand helping fix things around the farm. So we knew that the HVAC program would be a great fit for Jackson.

Hennepin Tech: What impact has this had on Jackson?

Schaffer: I would say his self-esteem. Hennepin Tech instructors treat Jackson with respect and like an adult. His self-esteem has improved tremendously. He has learned to love school again. There was a big snowstorm about a month ago. That morning Jackson left the house an hour early so he could arrive to class on time. He was determined not to miss a class. This is how much he enjoys class and his instructors.

Most importantly, he knows what he wants to do with his life, is being supported by Hennepin Tech to reach his goals and is excited about his future. We are so thankful.

About Hennepin Technical College
Founded in 1972, Hennepin Technical College is the largest stand-alone technical college in Minnesota. With campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie, the college offers degree and non-degree courses in over 40 programs in the skilled trades and high-demand career fields. Achieving a high job placement rate, Hennepin Tech prepares students for high-paying employment opportunities.

Last updated by mdibba : 2023-04-24 01:43:49