14 Students Earn Associate Degrees Before Diplomas
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14 Steele Students Earn Associate Degrees Before Diplomas
Posted on 03/01/2021
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Steele Associate Degree Earners

Northwest ISD’s
Collegiate Academy housed within Steele Accelerated High School allows students to enhance and accelerate their education though participation in dual credit college coursework, but for 14 students, it has essentially served as college.

Forming the largest class of earners from Steele Accelerated High School, 14 students will receive their degrees from North Central Texas College a local community college Northwest ISD has partnered with for most dual-credit courses two weeks prior to receiving their official high school diplomas. In order to qualify, students must have completed 60 hours of dual credit coursework that included requirements for the Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree.  

Joseph Hurley, an associate degree earner, could see the benefits of the Collegiate Academy since he was enrolled in elementary school within the district.

“I remember taking a visit to Steele when I was in 5th grade and ever since then, I wanted to graduate from Steele,” he said. “I have learned through this process that if you put the hard work into something, you will be ale to take just as much out of the experience as you need.”

Steele, which was founded in 2010, provides students with a career and collegiate-focused advanced learning environment. That environment allows students to take charge of their educational futures by enrolling in dual-credit high school and collegiate classes and completing them at their own pace. Steele focuses on Texas Core courses – those that will transfer to all Texas public colleges and universities – and students can end up classified as a sophomore or junior if enrolling in a four-year college.

Students who will earn their associate degrees from Steele this year all agreed the opportunity was one of the main reasons they decided to attend the Collegiate Academy. They knew it was an opportunity and hoped it would give them a leg up once they started attending college.

Paityn Main, a senior that will graduate with her associate degree, said the coursework offered at the Collegiate Academy was something that prepared her for the future.

“I chose this path in order to gain a competitive advantage,” she said. “I wanted to surround myself with like-minded individuals who each taught me self-responsibility in a small learning environment. I will take that knowledge and be able to apply it to my future college plans.”

Counselors also helped the students choose the courses that best fit their individual pathways, picking classes that could be beneficial for certain degree requirements.

The following is a complete list of NISD’s 2020-2021 Collegiate Academy Associate Degree earners:            

 Julia Alfinito

Morgan Burchell

Jessica Cabrera

Ethan Cain

Chloe Chapman

Caleb Hodge

Joseph Hurley

Paityn Main

Veronica Perry

George Peterson

Kassandra Osborne

Rapha Shemeza

Martha VanSlyke

Jasmine Zaldivar

Each of the listed students will graduate with their associate degrees on May 14. Following, Steele Accelerated High School’s graduation will take place on May 28, 2021.

To learn more about NISD’s Collegiate Academy, please visit their website