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Model High Graduate to Receive Associate’s Degree Before High School Diploma

K chapman

Most students who will graduate from Georgia Highlands College (GHC) this month had long had their high school diplomas in hand, but Kilian Chapman hasn't even seen his yet.  

Chapman, 18, participated in GHC's dual-enrollment program and will accept his diploma in computer science during commencement ceremonies May 11 at the Forum River Center in Rome, 14 days before receiving his high school diploma from Model High School at the same location.

Kilian Chapman is the first student in Floyd County Schools’ history to graduate with an associate's degree two weeks before receiving his high school diploma.

Chapman said he entered the dual-enrollment program because he said he felt like he needed bigger challenges and wanted to push himself more academically.

“Take every opportunity you’re given. If you’re not too caught up in staying in the actual high school, I would recommend it. Don’t go into it thinking it’s the same workload as high school classes,” said Chapman when asked what advice he would give to anyone considering full-time dual enrollment.

Chapman realized his potential to get his associate’s degree when he was invited to do a full-time dual enrollment program at Middle Georgia State University where he would have the opportunity to live on campus just like any other college student. After participating in the program for a semester, Chapman felt like living four and a half hours from home was more than the 16-year-old and his family were willing to cope with. Chapman moved back home to finish his dual enrollment program locally where he took classes at Shorter University and Georgia Highlands College. He was quick to note that Mrs. Jenny Wear, the junior and senior counselor at Model High School (MHS) and his mom were the dynamic duo behind smoothly transferring him between three systems in two years.

“I never thought it was possible. I wouldn’t have said yes as a freshman,” Chapman said. “This was a family decision and I couldn’t have done it without their support.”

Chapman has completed a full course load every spring and fall semester as well as two to three classes over the summer. Throughout the entire two-year process, though, he has managed to have a job and play in the MHS marching band.

“I kept in touch with my friends and felt like I was still part of the Model community,” he continues. I still went to games and daily practices.”

“Kilian is the perfect example of a student who will be successful with off-campus dual enrollment classes. He’s self-disciplined, responsible, highly motivated, well-rounded, and mature enough to handle both the academic and social aspects of college,” said Mrs. Wear

Chapman’s future plans are to transfer into Kennesaw State as a junior to finish his bachelor’s degree and major in computer science, then move to Colorado where he often visits his best friend and loves the culture and mindset. He said that the high school dual enrollment program has fully prepared him to do it on his own, and the biggest difference transitioning from high school-level to college-level classes was the amount of work he had to do on his own at home versus in the classroom.

“We’ve been working really hard over the last three years to grow the dual enrollment program in Floyd County Schools, specifically on our high school campuses,” said Floyd County Schools’ Dual Enrollment Coordinator Alyson Lansdell. “We’ve had 313 students participate in dual enrollment this school year. 70% of classes have been on our campuses, and 30% have been online or independent on the college campuses. For next year, we currently have 454 students pre-registered. This wouldn’t be possible without our counselors and administrators supporting the program.”

“Floyd County Schools offers three versions of dual enrollment opportunities: 1) for students who want a few academic core classes under their belt, 2) for students who plan to seek technical college certificates or diplomas, and 3) off-campus full-time opportunities,” she continued.

MHS will have 10 full-time off-campus dual enrollment students next year, and 195 projected for MHS next year overall.