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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Normandale Prevails

Students take more classes at Normandale
Jack Betzer
The front entrance of Normandale Community College Jan. 12. Many Park students attend Normandale for their PSEO classes.

In recent years, many students have opted for Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) at nearby colleges instead of taking classes at Park. Between these colleges, Normandale Community College is by far the most popular choice.

According to PSEO student Autumn Walberg, taking classes at Normandale offers more choices. 

“There’s so many more options and you get to really just take what you want to take,” Walberg said. “I’m taking a human geography class, which isn’t possible (at Park).”

PSEO student Charlotte Cox said Normandale classes give more choice in study, while also helping to gain credits.

“I have more options to choose the classes I want to take. It can also get me more college credit than an AP test because it’s an actual college credit versus if a school will take it or not,” Cox said. 

Junior Counselor Heidi Cosgrove said Normandale is better with credits than surrounding colleges, which helps many students. 

“It does a really good job with PSEO programming. From a credit standpoint, it offers more full year credit classes,” Cosgrove said. “Normandale just does a really stellar job of working with PSEO students.”

Cox said Normandale was the only college that offered classes with credits that would line up well with graduation requirements here at Park. 

“It was the only one that had classes I could actually take,” Cox said. “I wanted to go to MCTC, but all their classes are three credits, which is one and a half here. That doesn’t work.”

According to Walberg, surrounding colleges were more selective, making it harder to get in and take the classes she needed.

“It’s the only one I applied to,” Walberg said. “They [University of Minnesota] only accept 500 people a semester from all over the Twin Cities. My chances of getting in there were basically zero.”

Cosgrove said the flexibility is a big part of the reason many students take PSEO classes, especially at Normandale.

“Students can choose to do all in-person at Normandale, students can choose to do all async classes, or they can do a mix,” Cosgrove said. “I think flexibility is just huge, and has been the biggest draw for our PSEO students.”

According to Walberg, the workload of taking several classes at Normandale isn’t as much as it is at Park. 

“I’m taking freshman classes, obviously,” Walberg said. “It’s just so much less work, it’s so much easier.” 

Cosgrove said classes meet less frequently in college, but a whole year of content is packed into one semester. 

Cosgrove said. “Students are essentially taking a year’s worth of US history for instance—they’re taking a year’s worth of US history, essentially in four months,” Cosgrove said. 

Cox said classes at Park give more work than some PSEO classes, like ones at Normandale.

“I think it really depends on the class, but I’d honestly say it’s less (work),” Cox said. “In my IB Biology class, I have a lot more work than I do in, say, my history or math class.” 

If Park students are interested in applying for PSEO they can talk to their grade level counselor about potential next steps.

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About the Contributors
Alyssa Johannes, Digital Content Editor
Hi, I’m Alyssa! I’m a junior and this is my first year on Echo. I do theatre, and play ultimate frisbee in the fall and the spring. In my free time, I love to listen to music and read, and you can usually find me re-watching 10 Things I Hate About You or Gilmore Girls. I’m excited to meet new people and work on Echo this year!
Jack Betzer, Echo Staffer
Hi, my name is Jack Betzer, I am a junior this year, and this is my first year on echo. I play hockey year ‘round and golf in the summer. In my free time, I like to go to the gym, hang out with friends, and watch movies.

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