Two Students Graduate High School with CSU Associate Degrees

Graduating seniors Julia Bush and Andrew Eagle will have the opportunity to walk across two different stages this May. Bush, of Hardaway High School, and Eagle, of Northside High School, are both participants in Columbus State University's dual enrollment program. In addition to earning their high school diploma, Bush and Eagle will graduate from CSU with associates of science degrees.

"I saved a lot of money on college classes," said Bush. "I'm glad that I got some core classes out of the way before being a traditional college student."

The Dual Enrollment program allows students to enroll concurrently in high school and college level courses. With funding available for tuition and a low-cost book rental program, the dual enrollment program is a cost-effective way for high school students to earn college credit before even completing high school. While Bush and Eagle entered the program full time, other dual enrollment students have the option of enrolling in the program part-time.

"I would definitely encourage other high school students to do it," said Bush. "I recommend taking a couple of classes at first, just so you get a feel for what college classes are like. It is different in terms of professors expecting you to be more responsible for your work. I definitely like it more than high school, but it is an adjustment."

Bush, who moved to Columbus and began taking classes at CSU in January 2018, has actually never attended a single class at Hardaway High School. She came to Columbus with a few college credits from her previous school, and she has since taken 18 credit hours a semester at CSU. She plans to attend Georgia Tech in the fall to study civil engineering, and she says that the dual enrollment will likely allow her to graduate a year earlier than she probably otherwise could have done.

Eagle, who plans to stay at CSU to pursue a degree in cyber security, also says the program should allow him to graduate early. Eagle received his driver's license just three weeks before his first college class. He hasn't been in a classroom at Northside in two years, but he has managed to stay in contact with his high school friends and participate in his high school swim team all four years. Eagle plans to attend both his high school and CSU graduations. Like Bush, he agrees that the transition from high school to college is challenging but worth it.

"If you aren't careful, you'll get behind," said Eagle. "Time is an illusion. You have to study and use your time wisely, or you will not succeed. But I love it here. Being able to stay at home and be on a great campus has been wonderful."