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Nine Broken Arrow High School students receive special recognition for earning associate degree in high school

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A “celebration caravan” recently traveled to the homes of nine Broken Arrow High School students who worked the last six semesters to earn their associate degree from Tulsa Community College while in high school through a program called Dual Credit to College Degree. This graduation parade and social distancing celebration included honking and waving from administration from Broken Arrow Public Schools and Tulsa Community College.

The nine students are Ethan Braithwaite, Reagan Ferguson, Josiah Fields, Trinity Fulton, Benjamin Honnold, Leishan Marasigan, Sawyer Newman, Robyn Thorton and BreAnn Williams. Each received a personalized congratulations poster for their front window, an informational flier about Tulsa Community College’s virtual graduation and the coveted blue dual credit graduation cord.

“This is our first group of students to graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree, and I am incredibly proud of their dedication and tenacity,” Broken Arrow Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop said. “This unique program is a partnership between Broken Arrow Public Schools, TCC and NSU that began in spring 2018.

“It gives our students the opportunity to graduate with a high school diploma and earn an associate degree from Tulsa Community College. Then, the student has the option to seamlessly transfer to a university of their choice to earn a bachelor’s degree. I expect this program to truly change the face of our community and provide employers a huge incentive to grow their own workforce here in Broken Arrow.”

The college courses are taught by TCC faculty with a majority of the classes held on the NSUBA campus. Students will be “triple-enrolled,” allowing them access to writing labs, libraries, advising and other support services at TCC and NSU while also remaining part of their Broken Arrow High School class and eligible for student activities.

The nine Broken Arrow students were identified to participate based on their PSAT scores and began their college coursework during the summer of their sophomore year.

Participating students earned up to 60 hours of college credit and completed a TCC Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts while also satisfying their high school graduation requirements. 

From start to finish, the Dual Credit to College Degree program costs significantly less to complete an associate degree compared to enrolling directly after high school.

“Research shows that students who take college courses while still in high school are more likely to graduate high school and earn a college degree,” said Broken Arrow High School Principal Liz Burns. “We couldn’t be prouder of this first group of students who are blazing a trail that we expect many more students to follow in the years to come.”

The second dual credit cohort to graduate in 2021 includes 21 students.

“As the program grows in popularity, we are hopeful the number of participating students continues to increase,” Dunlop said. “These dual credit students are learning valuable skills that will help guide their decisions following high school. We are so proud!”