BORGER, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Graduating with an associate’s degree from college before walking the stage at their high school graduation is becoming the norm at Borger High School.
“My plan is to go to West Texas A&M University,” said Joseline Lopez Tovar, Borger High School Senior.
“I plan to go to Southwestern Oklahoma State University,” said Ryan Howes, Borger High School Senior.
“I’m going to be attending Texas Tech University,” said Hayleigh Martinez, Borger High School Senior.
Thanks to the cohort program that Borger High School has with Frank Phillips College, Martinez, Howes and Lopez Tovar will have a step up when heading to their respective schools, an associate’s degree that they received before even getting their high school diploma.
“I feel like it’s an accomplishment that not many can get and you are a step above everybody else already. So while they’re trying to get their associates in an actual college, you already have it,” said Howes.
The cohort program, which is free for participating students, gives them the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree and other college certificates while still in school.
In the program’s fifth year, Borger had 15 students graduate with a college degree.
“It was a lot of hard work and a lot of stress. Throughout the whole thing it was very hard but in the end it’s worth it,” said Martinez.
Ireland Wagner, a biology a teacher at Borger High School, was in the program’s first graduating class and said it is one of the best decisions she has ever made.
“It really gave me a big head start and while I felt like it was hard at the time, while I was in high school. Going to a four-year college, I realized that was nothing and a lot tougher at Texas Tech than I thought it would be and I was just so thankful that I had went through with the cohort,” said Wagner.
In addition to the 15 students that received their associate’s degrees, 10 other students received certifications in other fields.
Seven students graduated with process technology certificates and three graduated with a welding certificate.
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