Daniel Truitt

High School Valedictorian Finds Path at LCCC - Earns bachelor’s degree by age 20

As the valedictorian of the Firelands High School Class 2014, Daniel Truitt had a lot of options about where he could go to college.

“I couldn’t wrap my head around planning my whole life, but knew that I really enjoyed my anatomy and physiology courses that I took through Lorain County Community College,” Truitt recalled.

Truitt completed the courses through LCCC as part of a dual enrollment program (now known as College Credit Plus) offered at his high school. The college courses were team-taught by a Firelands High School instructor and LCCC professor Kathy Durham, Ph.D.

“Dr. Durham’s courses sparked something in me that I didn’t know was there. When I found out that I could continue with Dr. Durham at LCCC and earn a bachelor’s degree in biology through LCCC’s Partnership, it was like all the pieces came together,” Truitt said.

Through LCCC’s University Partnership students can earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from 12 Ohio universities – all on the LCCC campus and at a fraction of the cost. Truitt enrolled in the biology program through Bowling Green State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in December 2016 at age 20 and with zero debt. He plans to attend medical school in the fall.

Through dual enrollment, Truitt earned 17 college credits for free before he graduated high school. His 4.0 high school GPA qualified him for the LCCC Trustee Scholarship, which covers LCCC tuition for two years.

“My scholarship greatly relieved my financial stress because I knew that I didn't have to worry about paying for my LCCC classes,” he said. To offset the cost of his BGSU courses, Truitt received smaller scholarships and took a job as a science tutor at LCCC.

Without the burden of debt, Truitt was able to commit himself to the college experience. He joined an undergraduate research team with Durham that studies toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie. He also joined the LCCC Chapter of the American Society of Microbiology and the LCCC Pre-Medical Club. He also volunteered at Mercy Regional Medical Center.

“All of this has been possible because I chose LCCC,” Truitt said. “There have been times when people ask me why I would come to a community college when I could have gone elsewhere, and I tell them about all the experiences that I’ve had that I wouldn’t have gotten at a large university.”

For more information on LCCC’s University Partnership, visit www.lorainccc.edu/up.

For more information about LCCC’s College Credit Plus dual enrollment program, visit www.lorainccc.edu/ccp.