POINT PLEASANT BEACH — A Point Pleasant Beach senior has already graduated with her associate’s degree from Ocean County College prior to her high school graduation on June 21, due to the Point Beach High School Gull Flight program.
Morgan Highland is the second student to receive their degree through the dual enrollment program between the district and OCC since its inception over 12 years ago.
The program allows students as early as freshman year to take courses and gain college credit along with the high school diploma.
“We are really proud of the program we have been able to build here and we are really proud of what Morgan has been able to accomplish along with all of the students here,” said Point Beach High School Principal Nathan Grosshandler. “Morgan is the pinnacle of this group because she has reached this dual degree.”
“I think a big reason to do this is to save money,” said Morgan. “It is a fraction of the price and it is county college price already, so we are getting credits that can transfer to a four year college and it is way cheaper than taking a class at the school.”
Morgan has received her associates degree while balancing regular high school classes, playing on the varsity soccer team as the starting goalie as well as the track team.
She is now hoping to attend Georgian Court for her bachelor’s and master’s degree in education in four years, as well as a special education certification and English as a Second Language certification.
“I will be a step ahead of my other competitors when it comes to jobs,” said Morgan.
“I am proud of myself for getting all of the work done, it was a lot in the last four years. But getting it done was really important to me and I am glad I did it.”
Students can register for courses with their high school teacher and can take up to 16 credits per semester. While the credits cost $105 each, according to District Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction Christopher Wilson, this amount is much less than the average in-state college tuition cost per semester.
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