On May 10, 52 students who have not yet received their high school diploma at Corsicana High School, will graduate from Navarro College with their associate degree and zero college debt.
Four years ago, CHS freshmen students were given an opportunity to begin a new program called ‘Higher Start – two degrees, four years’ introduced by Corsicana Independent School District in partnership with Navarro College.
“The vision for this program is to provide opportunities for select students to obtain a college degree with the support and programs available at Corsicana High School,” said Dr. Diane Frost, Superintendent of CISD. “I am so proud of this first class of students who have been dedicated to the Higher Start program.”
Corsicana ISD covers the cost for the college tuition, books and fees for every student in the program.
“These students have proven that hard work and persistence pay off,” Frost said. “The administration and staff at CHS have done an outstanding job of paving the way for future students. CISD is fortunate to have a partnership with Navarro College to be able to make this program possible.”
Most classes offered through Higher Start are dual credit courses ‐ students receive credit for high school and college for the same class.
These Navarro College graduates have obtained at least 60 college credit hours that translates to two years of college. Specific course transferability depends on each student’s selected college and major.
“I would definitely recommend the program to students,” said Emily Wilkins, senior at CHS. “I think it has better prepared me for what to expect at the University of Houston. Most of my classes transferred.”
“My completion of Higher Start will allow me to complete a five‐year master’s degree program at A&M University in four years,” said Caden Reed, senior at CHS.
Reed has been accepted into the School of Engineering honors program at A&M University.
“I was worried about my classes transferring to Texas A&M University,” said Baileigh Johnson, senior at CHS. “I was excited that all my classes through Navarro College will transfer as core or elective credits.”
Participation in this program requires a great deal of organization and commitment.
“I am extremely proud of this inaugural class,” said Shonna Franklin, Advanced Academics Coordinator at CHS. “ Their commitment to this program was unprecedented. They were able to accomplish their goal of earning an Associate Degree while participating in extra‐ curricular activities and working part‐time jobs. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for their future, and I am proud to have been a part of their journey.”
The 52 CHS seniors will graduate at the May 10 Navarro College ceremony with their associate degrees.
CHS graduation is at 8 p.m. Friday, May 24 at Tiger Stadium.
— From Staff Reports