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Kearstin Saffell

With an assist from Columbus State’s Honors Program, Kearstin Saffell is heading for a career that adds up.

The 18-year-old Westerville South High School grad started in the Honors Program this fall, with an eye toward an eventual career in Accounting. She plans to earn her Associate of Science degree, which represents the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, then transfer to a four-year college to finish.

Saffell said she started at Columbus State because she wasn’t ready to leave home yet – free rent and Columbus State’s low tuition were both selling points. She was also attracted to the Honors Program.

She moved around a lot as a kid, so she was no stranger to entering a new school. But the Honors Program has been a great way to get acclimated to Columbus State. Honors Program students take classes as a cohort, participate in social activities and do service projects.

This fall, Saffell took part in a project to clear invasive plant species at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center south of Downtown Columbus.

“It’s just a great way to make friends and find someplace to fit in,” Saffell said. “It makes the college smaller and easier to know people.”

As part of the Honors Program, Saffell can take special honors-level classes and graduate with an honors diploma. So far, she's taken Honors History and Honors English.

She also got a faculty mentor, Accounting Professor Jack Popovich, who has advised her on what classes to take and where to transfer

Her long-term career goal is to be an accountant. Why Accounting? Saffell said she’s always liked math. Accounting is a challenging field where there’s a correct answer.

“It’s neat and it always works out. You know if you did it right,” Saffell said.