Emily Cassulo

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EMCC Student Earns Associate’s Degree While in High School

MAYHEW, Miss. (PRESS RELEASE) — Friday marked the first time a high school student walked across the stage at commencement at East Mississippi Community College.

Shelley Rae Edwards will graduate from East Webster High School May 18, but she’s already collected her associate’s degree during graduation at EMCC’s Golden Triangle campus thanks to the Dual Enrollment/Dual Credit program. She began the program during the summer between her sophomore and junior years and took full-time course loads online each semester since in an effort to receive her diploma and degree at the same time.

“It’s really a relief to be done. This will be the first summer I haven’t taken classes in two years,” she said.

But Edwards won’t have much free time. She’ll work through the summer, as she always does, while also planning for her first semester at Millsaps College in the fall. There, Edwards will work toward attending medical school and support the Majors as a member of the cheerleading team.

Cindy Johnson, EMCC director for the Dual Enrollment/Dual Credit program, said Edwards’ graduation is an extreme example of what is possible through Dual Enrollment, made possible by her equally extreme dedication to her goal.

“We at EMCC are very proud of Shelley’s accomplishment. Dual Enrollment was a great opportunity for her to excel in her college academic courses while still attending high school. And it’s a great opportunity for all high school juniors and seniors to jump-start their college careers by earning college credit while getting an early feel for the demands of college-level course work,” said Johnson.

More than 500 students from EMCC’s six locations graduated in three ceremonies May 9-10.

Edwards, who graduated with more than 350 classmates at the Golden Triangle campus, said she’s received positive feedback from students at her high school who are considering enrolling in the Dual Enrollment/Dual Credit program. And at least one younger classmate has expressed interest in pursuing her own dual graduation.

“It feels nice to know I encouraged someone to try it,” said Edwards.

High school juniors and seniors interested in the Dual Enrollment/Dual Credit Program can contact Cindy Johnson at cjohnson@eastms.edu or (662) 243-1903.