Ciera Botzheim, Ione Center Running Start student

Ciera entered the Running Start program at the IEL's Ione Center in her junior year of high school because she felt she needed a challenge and also hoped it would help ease the transition from high school to a four-year college. Two years later, she has experienced success in reaching her goal of graduating with an associate of arts degree, but not without overcoming some challenges in transitioning from high school to college-level work.
 
When Ciera looks back over the last two years, she says “I wouldn’t have given up this opportunity for anything. Every quarter and class I took helped me grow academically and as a person. I learned many new study habits and gained so many new outlooks on life.”
 
She adds, “When I started doing Running Start as a junior, it seemed I had a lot of challenges to overcome. There was a huge transition between the work I had done in high school and the work that I had to do in college. I wasn’t used to doing significant amounts of homework and managing my time wisely. It was also a challenge still having high school classes and sports.
 
After the first quarter, I felt comfortable with my classes, time management, and the expectations. Those skills have helped me tremendously, and although back then, it seemed I would never get through it, I am so glad I did and succeeded. During my last year, I had a good handle on all of my classes and knew how to be successful. Really the only challenges I had were from taking more difficult classes, but with all the resources available to students, finding help was not a problem.”
 
Ciera liked having the opportunity to pick classes she felt would benefit herthe most in her future career. She also liked being challenged and actually working for a good grade rather than just having it handed to her. Her advice to others would be “that you really have to dedicate yourself and put the time in. The instructors expect a lot from you and are more than willing to help, but aren’t going to do the work for you.”