Friday, July 1, 2011

Student Earns College Degree before High School Diploma

Graduating from college before high school wasn’t exactly part of Anngela Adam’s plan, at least not at first. In May she received her associate of arts degree from Rio Salado College three weeks before graduating as a valedictorian from Mountain Pointe High School.

The summer before Anngela’s freshman year, she took algebra and German courses from Rio Salado College in order to take advanced high school classes and free up her schedule. She then took advantage of Rio Salado’s Dual Enrollment program which enables students to receive high school and college credit at the same time.

“I’m just a driven person,” said Anngela. “Why not get classes out of the way? It made a lot of sense to be earning college credit while going to high school.”

Anngela brought home information about Dual Enrollment while still in middle school. Her parents were supportive of the concept.

“We thought that with college tuition prices going up that this would be a good idea,” said Christa Adams, Anngela’s mother. “She was going to have to master theses upper level classes such as calculus, so why not just get serious about it.”

Anngela also banked college credits through participation in Concurrent Enrollment during the summer. In her senior year, she discovered that she was just two courses short of an associate degree. She decided that even with a busy schedule, if she gave some extra effort and managed her time wisely she could do it.

“Being dual enrolled helped Anngela to focus and gave her the incentive work harder,” said Christa.

Anngela has plans to attend ASU this fall and has already taken the majority of her required general education classes which will free her up to concentrate on her major in biomedical engineering.

“I want to be a doctor and I have a lot of school ahead of me. Dual Enrollment really helped me get a head start on my education,” said Anngela.

For more than 24 years Rio Salado College has provided a Dual Enrollment program. During the recent 2010-11 academic year, 53 high schools partnered with Rio Salado College to serve nearly 8,500 students across the Valley.

“I would strongly recommend Dual Enrollment to others,” said Christa. “Students have to take some initiative and meet the deadlines. With follow up and hard work, they can succeed.”

For more information about Rio Salado Dual Enrollment visit or see a high school counselor.