It was the last day of high school. Students cleaned out their lockers, friends shared teary goodbyes, and teachers gave final words of encouragement. Cami Sibert walked through the halls for the last time. As she walked through the halls of her high school, her mind flooded with memories she would never forget. She had come to know this place so well. How could it be ending so soon?
As Sibert stepped out of the school’s doors, she felt the grief of saying goodbye, the joy of the summer ahead, and the anticipation of what was to come. What she felt most of all, however, was a deep sense of accomplishment. She was graduating with more than just her diploma — she was also graduating from Grace College with an associate’s degree in high school.
Have you ever wanted to know how to graduate high school with an associate’s degree? Grace College’s online College Launch Program allows you the opportunity to graduate with an associate degree and your high school diploma at the same time! And Cami Sibert isn’t the only one who has accomplished this. Logan Anderson is another high schooler who took advantage of College Launch and has found it to be a worthwhile investment in his future.
Both Sibert and Anderson share more about their experience with the program.
A Thoughtful Decision
As if high school is not challenging enough! You might be wondering what led these students to ask about how to graduate high school with an associate’s degree. Sibert and Anderson share more about why they chose this path for their education.
“I chose to pursue an associate’s degree in high school because I knew it was so versatile,” said Sibert. “It gave me the freedom of open options, and I could easily apply it to whatever I pursued next.”
Anderson took careful consideration of the pros and cons before entering the program. “I wasn’t sure how to graduate high school with an associate’s degree and I knew that it would be time-consuming,” he said. “But I quickly realized that this degree was designed with high schoolers in mind. I chose to pursue it because I knew they would make sure we hit all of the requirements. I also felt that Grace’s quarterly classes could help with the balance of taking on high school and college at the same time.”
A Challenge Accepted
Can you imagine logging into a college class as a high schooler? Talk about intimidating! Sibert and Anderson felt as though they were balancing two different worlds. In one world, they were high school students in a familiar place with plenty of friends. In another world, they were stepping into the unknown as the youngest in their online classes. But they were both up for the challenge, and found that there was ample help along the way!
“In addition to receiving help from God, I also received support from professors at Grace,” Sibert reflected. “We were supported in many ways. First of all, we had an advisor specifically for College Launch students who was extremely helpful, especially in our first semester. She even helped us make connections with professors in different academic departments as we were trying to decide what we wanted to do after the program.”
Anderson agreed that there was plenty of support at Grace. He knew that the professors wanted to see him succeed on this new journey and that he would never be belittled for not knowing something.
“The professors answered all of my questions — even the ones that I thought would seem dumb!” Anderson laughed. “I knew I had support without judgment.”
A Step Into the Future
Anderson and Sibert both agree that an associate’s degree in high school was a great launching point for them to pursue their future goals.
“Having this degree so early gives me an edge-up in whatever I decide to do,” said Anderson. “Because the program is so affordable, I do not have to carry the burden of debt when I make decisions about my future, which is very freeing!”
Anderson went on to say, “If I could give any advice to someone thinking about how to graduate high school with an associate’s degree, it would be this: be open and willing to learn. College and high school are formatted so differently, so have an open mind!”
For Sibert, College Launch was all about learning to have grit when things were challenging and having a growth mindset through the challenges.
“I see this degree helping me in regards to my ability to communicate with others effectively. Not to mention, it helped my work ethic drastically,” said Sibert. “To those considering the program, I say just go for it! The experiences I had were amazing and I’m really proud of myself for accomplishing such a difficult thing at a young age. You will make amazing memories and grow close to your college launch group.”