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RCBC alumna enrolls at age 11, earns two degrees

It’s not unusual for students to get a head start toward their degree with Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC). In fact, RCBC enrolls more than 1,000 students who are younger than 18-years-old every year.

Leesa Hovius was one of those students. She enrolled in her first class at Rowan College at Burlington County at the young age of 11. Coming from a homeschool background, Leesa loved the interaction with other students who shared her passion for music. She later enrolled part-time in one or two classes per semester which complemented her home instruction, while allowing her to work toward a degree. 

“The flexibility in choosing classes is one of the best aspects of attending RCBC. One semester I may take three classes and another I may enroll in only one in order to explore my other interests, such as community service and traveling with my family,” Leesa said. 

While attending RCBC, Leesa visited five of the seven continents; she still hopes to explore Antarctica and Australia. 

Leesa could have graduated with her degree in Music at the same time as graduating high school back in spring 2018. However, she chose to volunteer in her community and earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a distinguished honor that must be completed by the end of high school. That choice postponed her initial RCBC graduation until December 2018. 

Following her graduation, Leesa went on to earn a second associate degree American Sign Language (ASL) /Deaf Studies in spring 2019. She most recently won the Faculty Association Scholarship and the Academic Award for ASL/Deaf Studies. Additionally, she is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and earned high honors, graduating with a 3.97 GPA. She has also been awarded several community scholarships, including the Rebecca Annitto Service Opportunities for Students Internship Award. 

In the future, Leesa plans to continue her education at RCBC and earn a degree in hospitality and tourism management. Her end goal is to share her love of music while working on a cruise ship, utilizing both her hospitality and ASL/Deaf studies degrees. 

Leesa's story is part of RCBC’s 50 stories for 50 years. In honor of the college’s 50th anniversary, RCBC is profiling students, faculty, administrators, alumni and the college community. To follow along on social media, use #RCBC50Stories.