This year the number of Farmington High School seniors graduating with their Associate of Arts degree and 42 hour general education block from Mineral Area College is down from previous years. There are only two students who earned an Associate of Arts degree and one student graduating with the 42 hour general education block. The two will graduate from Mineral Area College on Saturday and from high school on May 20.
During the March Farmington Board of Education meeting, Dual Credit Coordinator Andrea Richardson said the program is at capacity this year and more and more students are taking classes. She added, however, that without a dual credit biology teacher many students are at a standstill because they can’t complete their Associate of Arts without taking additional classes away from the high school campus.
Students have to attend biology classes at MAC. Class schedules sometimes conflict, keeping high school students from completing the classes on the college campus.
Despite that complication, seniors Vee Patel and Rikki Augustine are graduating with their Associates of Arts from MAC, and Abbi Tyree will have her 42 hour general education block completed when they graduate from high school.
Augustine said it’s getting harder because of the biology, which was the first two hours of the day, and it was hard to make the college classes because she had marching band and had to leave early. Tyree said she opted to take her biology class at night instead of during the day.
Patel said even though he has his Associate of Arts degree, none of his classes or his degree will transfer to the university he is attending in the fall. At first the university thought some classes might transfer, but when they reviewed the course descriptions it was determined none of them would.
Patel will be going to the University of Pacific in California in August to enter a dental program.
“I think having the AA degree on my application helped me get into college because the rate of getting in is only 10 to 15 percent,” said Patel.
Augustine will graduate from Mineral Area College this Saturday with 64 college hours. She will be going to the University of Kansas in August. Some of her classes will not transfer. She said the university has a well rounded engineering program, and she is going back and forth between petroleum and chemical engineering.
“When going to Kansas everyone goes in as a freshman,” said Augustine.
Tyree was going to go for the Associate of Arts degree but was out of the country last summer and was unable to complete all of the classes in the degree plan. She has 47 hours from Mineral Area College. She will be going to Truman State University in the fall, and says most of her hours will transfer. She wants to major in journalism and minor in creative writing. She said Truman has small classes but are competitive academically.
Patel was accepted into the honors program at University of Pacific. He will have two years of undergraduate studies and then three years of dental school. He did mostly science and biology classes at Mineral Area College for his Associate of Arts degree.
Augustine took classes geared more towards the general education studies because she knew she couldn’t transfer a lot of classes. Tyree also took mostly general education classes while doing her 42 hour block.
All three students have participated in other activities through their high school career while taking high school and college classes.
Patel is president of BOSS (Boys Only Science Society), president of College Preparatory Club, FBLA, National Honor Society, Ping-Pong, soccer, captain of the boys tennis team, W.Y.S.E., SEMO and MAC Math teams, and went to FBLA State.
Tyree is president of Knightingales choir and section leader, A Capella Choir, president of World Cafe, Newspaper, BKTV and National Honor Society.
Augustine is in National Honor Society, Girls Only Science Club, Technical Student Association, Knightline, Marching Band, Symphonic Band, W.Y.S.E., MAC Math team, Foreign Language Club, President of Black Knight Branch of First State Community Bank, dances at Ballet Arts Center and was Homecoming Queen 2011.
Both Tyree and Augustine attended All State and All District Music Festivals.
Richardson said for the 2011-12 school year they are at capacity with 839 dual credit course enrollments. They have 282 students taking dual credit courses this year between juniors and seniors.
Last year they had 650 dual credit course enrollments. There were 276 juniors and seniors enrolled last year.
Richardson said students are taking more college credit hours during their junior and senior years and the number of students taking dual credit courses continued to increase at a rate of two to four percent each year until the 2010-11 school, when it jumped 15.6 percent.
In 2011 the high school had four students graduate with their Associate of Arts degree from MAC.