NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — 6 Normal West High School students graduated on Friday, but not with their high school diploma.
Thanks to a partnership with Heartland Community College and State Farm, they were able to earn an associate’s degree in computer science.
It’s all part of ‘Degree NOW,’ the program senior Katrina Phillips said, was no walk in the park.
“We had to balance taking our high school classes, and then sometimes driving over to Heartland to take our Heartland classes as well, and balance the school work we got from both,” said Phillips.
Graduate Noah Moss said the program required dedication, but the outcome was worth the extra work.
“Honestly it’s a great feeling to get your associates, the same time as your high school diploma,” said Moss.
“David Weber, supervisor of the ‘Degree NOW’ program at Normal West, said watching his students receive their diplomas, was rewarding.
“Standing there today, watching the freshman that I met 4 years ago, now mature responsible college graduates, was really, I’m just really proud of all the hard work that they’ve put in, and how far they’ve come these past 4 years,” said Weber.
And after 4 years, Amber Waninger said the program was an opportunity she’ll always be grateful for.
“This has been just a really amazing program, and it’s provided me with so many opportunities that I never could have imagined,” said Waninger.