The first time it happened, everyone was amazed. A local student graduated simultaneously from both a high school and Danville Area Community College.
This year’s May Commencement will bring another first. A record-setting five local students will earn both a high school diploma and a DACC Associate degree.
In 2015, Westville High School senior Justin Ottino was the first to receive his diploma and an Associate degree within the same week. The next year it happened again with Baylee Shepherd, also from Westville High School, but this time the graduate was a Summa Cum Laude candidate with a perfect 4.0 GPA who led the DACC Processional as a Class Marshall.
The 2018 DACC graduating class includes: Summer Schroeder-Miller, a December graduate from Salt Fork High School who will earn an AA (Associate of Arts) this Spring term; Sierra Dudley, the first Georgetown Ridge Farm senior to receive her diploma and AA in the same semester; Madalyn Garriott, a home-schooled senior receiving an AA; and Devin Bays and Riley Kinney, continuing the tradition of Westville High School seniors receiving their Associate degrees before their high school graduation ceremony. Kinney carries on another tradition as a Summa Cum Laude graduate who will lead the Tassel Ceremony on the DACC Commencement stage.
DACC President Stephen Nacco says,” These accomplishments stand as testament to the dedication and strong work ethic of an increasing number of energetic young people who participate in sports and other extra-curriculars, are leaders on their high school campuses, and often hold part-time jobs, in addition to completing coursework at not one but two schools. These feats also are evidence of supportive high school administrations who are willing to encourage their high-achieving students to stretch their abilities and are prepared to reward those efforts with dual credit. Special kudos go to the families of the graduates who supported their students in this Herculean task.”
The icing on the cake is the cost savings to those families when their recent high school graduate enters university with junior credits. Distrcit-wide, families have saved more than $500,000 in tuition expenses with transferable dual enrollment credits over the years.
While all dual enrollment credit is no longer free at DACC, tuition for those credits earned in a DACC-taught course are offered at a 50 percent discount and those taught by qualified instructors at the high school remain tuition-free.
[The above story courtesy of the DACC Marketing Department.]