Media release: Many students who will graduate from Georgia Highlands College this month had long had their high school diplomas in hand but Kilian Chapman hadn’t even seen his yet.
Chapman, 18, participated in GHC’s dual-enrollment program and will accept his diploma in computer science during commencement ceremonies May 11 at the Forum River Center in Rome, 14 days before receiving his high school diploma from Model High School at the same location.
Chapman is the first student in Floyd County Schools’ history to graduate with an associate’s degree two weeks before receiving his high school diploma. Chapman said he entered the dual-enrollment program because he said he felt like he needed bigger challenges and wanted to push himself more academically.
“Take every opportunity you’re given. If you’re not too caught up in staying in the actual high school, I would recommend it. Don’t go into it thinking it’s the same workload as high school classes,” said Chapman when asked what advice he would give to anyone considering full-time dual enrollment.
Chapman realized his potential to get his associate’s degree when he was invited to do a full-time dual enrollment program at Middle Georgia State University where he would have the opportunity to live on campus just like any other college student. After participating in the program for a semester, Chapman felt like living four and a half hours from home was more than the 16-year-old and his family were willing to cope with. Chapman moved back home to finish his dual enrollment program locally where he took classes at Shorter University and Georgia Highlands College. He was quick to note that Mrs. Jenny Wear, the junior and senior counselor at Model High School (MHS) and his mom were the dynamic duo behind smoothly transferring him between three systems in two years.
“I never thought it was possible. I wouldn’t have said yes as a freshman,” Chapman said. “This was a family decision and I couldn’t have done it without their support.”
Chapman has completed a full course load every spring and fall semester as well as two to three classes over the summer. Throughout the entire two-year process, though, he has managed to have a job and play in the MHS marching band.
“I kept in touch with my friends and felt like I was still part of the Model community,” he continues. “I still went to games and daily practices.”
Chapman’s future plans are to transfer into Kennesaw State as a junior to finish his bachelor’s degree and major in computer science, then move to Colorado where he often visits his best friend and loves the culture and mindset. He said that the high school dual enrollment program has fully prepared him to do it on his own, and the biggest difference transitioning from high school-level to college-level classes was the amount of work he had to do on his own at home versus in the classroom.
MHS will have 10 full-time off-campus dual enrollment students next year, and 195 projected for MHS next year overall.
Graduation guide: Who graduates when?
Georgia Northwestern Technical College on May 9.
Georgia Highlands College on May 11
Rome High School: Graduation: Saturday, May 25 at 8:45 a.m. at Barron Stadium. In case of rain, there are 3 back-up options: the first option will be to move the event to 7 p.m Saturday at Barron; next option will be to move it to Sunday, May 26 at 2 p.m. at Barron or 2 p.m. at The Forum River Center. There are 472 students projected to graduate.
Cartersville High School: Graduation, May 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Weinman Stadium.
Adairsville High School: Graduation, May 24 at 8 p.m. at AHS Stadium.
Cass High School: Graduation, May 24 at 6 p.m in gym.
Woodland High School: Graduation, May 24 at 3 p.m. at Wildcat Stadium.
Excel Christian Academy: Graduation on May 23.
Calhoun High School: Graduation, May 24 at 8 p.m. at stadium.
Gordon Central High School: Graduation, May 23 at 8 p.m. at Ratner Stadium.
Sonoraville High School: Graduation, May 24 at 8 p.m. at stadium.
Rockmart High School: Graduation, May 24 at 8 p.m. at stadium.
Cedartown High School: Graduation, May 25 at 10 a.m. at stadium.