Skip to main content

Cove students earn college associate degrees before high school diplomas

Posted Date: 06/01/2023

Cove students earn college associate degrees before high school diplomas

COPPERAS COVE, TX (May 29, 2023)—“If I were to go back two or three years from now and tell my 15-year-old self that I would be going to a university to study physics and mathematics, I would have a heart attack,” said Copperas Cove High School graduate Andrew Freeman who was one of five Copperas Cove High School students who earned their associate degrees before earning their high school diplomas. “As a typical teenager, the world beyond high school was a complete mystery. I opted to enroll in two dual credit courses my sophomore year. I went full throttle into my junior year, juggling five classes from the University of Texas along with four dual credit courses. My nights were filled with research for my rhetoric class, revising U.S. history notes, and discerning the orientation of friction vectors. They tested my comprehension skills, analytical thinking, and overall resilience, laying the groundwork for the journey ahead.”

With Copperas Cove High School having multiple options to earn college credits including dual credit, advance placement, Central Texas College, University of Texas, and now McMurry University being added for the 2023-2024 school year, students are graduating high school and entering college with their associate degrees and as college juniors. But the achievement is not without sacrifice.

“I dove headfirst into a summer of college-level calculus. Summers, typically a time of relaxation for most teenagers, were transformed into periods of intense study,” Freeman said. “The extra hours in class were outweighed by the satisfaction of understanding complex mathematical concepts and their practical applications. In my senior year, I took two other calculus classes, differential equations, university level physics, and some gen eds. As a result, I earned my Associate of Science degree in Mathematics.”

Copperas Cove High School 2023 graduate Blaine Butler also earned his associate degree from CTC and agreed that discipline and time management were required for success.   

“The biggest struggle was juggling three varsity sports, baseball, football, and golf, while always making time for training, on top of up to seven classes in a semester,” said Butler who is attending college on a baseball scholarship in Vermont. “It was always challenging, but with a little bit of time management, I got it done.”

Freeman, who will attend Texas A&M with a future in mathematical/theoretical physics, encourages other students to consider earning college credits while still in high school.

“Navigate your journey at your own pace, and don't let the prospect of difficulty deter you. It's through confronting these challenges that you'll unlock your full potential,” said Freeman who graduated with honors from CTC. “The road less traveled is often less traveled for a reason—it's tough. But there's an opportunity for extraordinary growth. Set out on your own path, test your boundaries, and never shy away from learning. You might surprise yourself with just how far you can go.”