The Student News Site of Marion High School

The Vox Online

The Student News Site of Marion High School

The Vox Online

The Student News Site of Marion High School

The Vox Online

Infographics
Infographics
March 26, 2024
Some students have different life ambitions, and graduating early is a great option for some.
Premature diploma
March 26, 2024
A student listens to music with her headphones before class.
Blast from the past
March 26, 2024

Degree before diploma

Getting+an+AA+degree+in+high+school+is+not+something+many+students+hear+about+but+they+should+be+aware+of+the+option.
Getting an AA degree in high school is not something many students hear about but they should be aware of the option.

     Imagine walking across the stage to receive an associate’s degree before getting a high school diploma. Getting an associate’s degree before graduating high school is an incredible accomplishment that most people can not achieve. Getting an AA is already difficult, but getting it as a high school student is even more challenging. In order to get a degree, one has to accumulate 60 semester or 90 quarter credits which people can start earning while in 7th grade. There are both online and in-person classes with flexible professors so that students can take classes that won’t interfere with their personal lives. 

     MaKayla Backous, junior, is 16 years old and plans to go to Mount Mercy or the University of Iowa after she graduates. She is thinking about going into teaching or doing play therapy for kids. Backous explained that she is more relaxed about going to college since she has had the experience of taking Kirkwood classes. Her sister graduated last spring, but before that, she received her AA and is helping Backous through the process now. Backous has taken about 15 college classes since her sophomore year and believes that all of the hard work she has put into getting her AA will be worth it in the end, without a doubt. 

     There has been a major increase in students getting their associate’s degree before graduation in the past few years. At the high school, on average, there is about one student who receives their AA their senior year, but there are a lot of students who finish their first year of college by doing Kirkwood classes. Tom Kettmann, school counselor, has been working at MHS for 17 years and said, “We make students aware that getting an associate [degree] is an option they usually have to start their freshman or sophomore year, but they have to be very committed to it.” In order to achieve all of these accomplishments, students need to know what they want and how they want to get it. The option of getting an AA isn’t truly known by many students. Backous said, “They don’t really talk about it a lot, and I think it should be because it’s a good opportunity.”

     In order for students to get their degree, they have to be very focused on the future. People have to put a lot of hard work into it, and it can be very stressful and challenging. Backous said, “If you can handle that kind of workload, then go for it. Try and see if you can do it.” These classes are difficult to juggle with students’ required classes, but those classes are the most important. People have to remember college classes are available at later times, but students need to focus on their high school graduation first. 

     One thing is, even if people don’t get both years of college done, it will still be very helpful and will take a lot of stress out of the first year of college. On the other hand, getting two years done is a major help and pushes students to the area of work they are interested in faster. This will also save a lot of money, with potentially thousands of dollars in one’s pockets, and it can encourage students to find better options. Achieving these things can lead to a better future.

“I say go for it. It is a huge money saver and a great opportunity. I would say start slow. Don’t jump in too fast and maybe just take one class your freshman or sophomore year, and you’ll still have plenty of time to build on that your junior and senior years.” 

— Mr. Kettman

 

     Getting an AA while in high school is stressful and not everyone is fit for it. While it is an amazing accomplishment, it’s difficult, but in the end, it is all worth it. This will take some of the weight off these students’ shoulders and will help encourage them to find their true calling.



Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Allie Spencer
Allie Spencer, Staff Writer

Comments (0)

All The Vox Online Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *