High school seniors receive their associate's degree before their HS diploma

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Seven University Academy (UA) seniors received their associate's degree, Thursday, May 14 from LSUA before getting their high school diploma.

Seven University Academy (UA) seniors received their associate's degree, Thursday, May 14 from LSUA before getting their high school diploma. | Source: KALB

"Just to graduate from LSUA before I graduated from high school is different," Cameron Duncan, a UA senior and recent LSUA graduate said.

The seven students participated in LSUA's virtual graduation with more than 280 people, and while it's different to get an associate's degree before a high school diploma, it is possible through UA's dual enrollment program.

"It makes me feel good," Madilyn Lemoine, another graduate said. "The whole reason why I went to this school is to get a degree by the time I'm out high of school."

The program allows students to take college courses during their junior and senior years, giving them a two-year head start.

"I've always heard my grandpa say, 'Get ahead of the crowd,'" Alberto Miller, another dual enrollment graduate said. "And that's what this is."

"It's really important because I'm only 17," Skylar Guillory, another graduate said. "To know that I've graduated with my associates before I graduated with my associate's [degree] before I graduated high school, and I have my whole family surrounding me [feels good]."

The hardest moment for most students, working through the pandemic.

"This year was hard with everything going on," Guillory said. "[But] it worked out, and I'm was able to graduate with my associate's of arts."

"We got really lucky we did it together," Anna Steckler and Victoria Steckler, two twin graduates said. "We kept each other on top of our homework."

"Almost everybody has that high school diploma pretty much handed to them," Miller said. "But the associate's degree you have to work for it. You have to put sweat in there. You have to dedicate hours of your life to studying the subjects."

"At times it was hard trying to balance out the sports and being on a state championship [basketball] team," Lemoine said. "With Coach Craig, there was always practice. It was really hard trying to balance that out."

"We didn't get to have an actual graduation because of the virus," Victoria Steckler said. "But having our names announced publicly was just an accomplishment...we worked so hard, to get where we are."

"I just remember my parents are crying in the kitchen as they said our names," Anna Steckler said. "I was just so happy, to know it was finally over. We were able to do it."

University Academy graduates its 2020 class on June 8.

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