Meet Ryan G.

24 Credit Hour Student

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“There are probably a lot of students who could take advantage of this program and don’t know about it.”

Ryan Gagliardi was only 16 years old in 2017 when he started college, but these days, teenagers too young to drive aren’t really that unusual at Hudson Valley Community College.

The college’s 24-Credit Hour Program allows students like Ryan to complete their high school equivalency diploma while attending college. For the last several years, Hudson Valley has seen a growing number of students who, for a variety of reasons, are looking for a way to finish high school while also getting a jump start on college.

The Colonie native left his high school as an “A” student partly through his sophomore year and discovered the 24-Credit Hour Program on his own. It seemed like the perfect fit.

Ryan jumped into his college work, although he admits it was a little intimidating as a 16-year-old in his first semester on campus. “It was good to be in an environment where people are challenging themselves and really want to learn,” he said.

With his second year underway, he’s become a peer tutor in the college’s Learning Assistance Center, where he works helping his fellow students with English and psychology assignments.

When he graduates at age 18 next year, Ryan plans to continue taking courses at Hudson Valley in hopes of fulfilling some requirements for transfer into Siena College’s biology pre-med program. His ultimate goal is to continue on to medical school or dental school.

“I’d just like more students who are in high school to know about this opportunity,” he said. “There are probably a lot of students who could take advantage of this and don’t know about it.”