Associate degrees

A record 10 Knox Co. seniors graduating with associate’s degrees before high school graduation

Career Magnet Academy set a new record this year for the number of seniors graduating from community college before high school.

KNOX COUNTY, Tennessee – Ten Knox County students now have two-year college degrees before they even graduate from high school. This sets a new record for the school system.

The path to success is filled with auspiciousness and circumstance for graduates who completed the Associate Degree program while in high school at Career Magnet Academy.

Each of the 10 ambitious graduates received their associate degree from Pellissippi State Community College weeks before taking the stage for their high school diplomas.

“As soon as I realized that there would be a two week period where I could walk around saying that I graduated from college, but didn’t have my high school diploma, that ‘ was really fun for me, “Arwen Roach, CMA promotion major and Pellissippi graduate, said.

They set the record for the most double-degree graduates in County Knox. Many will enter four-year colleges, like the University of Tennessee and Middle Tennessee State University as junior teens.

“People are afraid to take college courses like we did because they are afraid of losing their high school experience,” said graduate Kynlea Waldrop. “I actually think it made it better because we have the freedom of a student just like the juniors and seniors in high school.”

Stay tuned to WBIR for the next presentation of some of our senior associates who are graduating.

posted by Career Magnet Academy to Wednesday 12 May 2021

Others, like graduate Eli Elgin, will head straight to trades programs like welding. He was able to gain hands-on experience in the welding lab during his last two years in high school. Many of his classmates had no idea how old he was.

“It’s been a really fun experience, you know, to be like ‘Yeah, by the way, I’m 17, I’m here to help you guys,’” Elgin said.

Whether the motivation is to save money, learn social skills, or use their time wisely, everyone is happy to have persevered and completed the program.

“I have a full associate’s degree and two years with no money from college, which is an incredible opportunity,” said graduate Nathan Parker.

Parker added that he graduated with no money in his pocket. The CMA said most of their students can make this claim as well.

In a year on which the world has changed, CMA has contributed to the growth of graduates and hopes to usher in even more in the years to come.

“If you get the chance, take it,” Waldrop said.

There are 60 first year places open at Career Magnet Academy for the next school year. You can apply online here.