Early College High School Success Story: Kiani Mullins

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Topics: Early College High School

Catch up with Kiani Mullins, a graduate of Africentric Early College High School, a KnowledgeWorks early college high school. Kiani Mullins arrived at Ohio Dominican University with 31 hours of college credit and a clear sense of what she wants to do with her life. Her goal was to become a high school math teacher, inspired in part by some of the teachers she had at Africentric Early College School.

One of those teachers was Tawana Arnold, who taught Kiani math in ninth and 10th grades.

“I loved the way she broke it down if somebody had a question,” said Kiani. “We’d solve a problem and then look closely at how we got there.”

But even with so clear a goal in mind, Kiani’s first year as a full-time college student wasn’t easy. Being the first member of her immediate family to go to college, Kiani was exploring what was for her uncharted territory.

That’s when she found that her early college experience helped with more than her vision of her future. It also provided many of the tools she needed to problem-solve when the challenges threatened to overwhelm her. Kiani began to lean on a few of the things that she had learned at Africentric, like the importance of getting to know her educators and asking for help.

“I learned that developing a relationship with a professor definitely helps in a class,” said Kiani.

Kiani’s struggle with the transition to full-time college student isn’t surprising, according to those who work with students who are breaking new ground by continuing their education.

“Africentric is a school that has a lot of students in poverty – a lot of students who come from families where there is no college experience,” said Tawana, the math teacher who helped inspire Kiani.

But early college high school makes a transition that otherwise could sink a student’s ambitions manageable, Kiani said. “I think the early college experience makes it more real for students. They learn how adults act.”

Read more about Kiani and her experience at an early college high school.