13 Valley teens earn associate degree before high school graduat
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Thousands of high school graduates celebrated recently across the Valley, each worthy of praise — but a special group of students had twice the reason to cheer.

These students received their associate degrees before completing high school by taking advantage of Rio Salado College’s dual enrollment program.

There were 13 Rio Salado dual grads this year, 12 from the Tempe Union High School District’s Corona del Sol, Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe high schools and one from Xavier Prep in Phoenix.

Desert Vista grad Bridget Ott went a step further. Ott who graduated with an associate in arts and an associate in science plans to major in Neuroscience and cognitive science with the hope of becoming a neuroscientist, a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon.

Ott’s Desert Vista peer, Faith DeMent, who will attend the University of Arizona this fall as a Spanish major, found the courses rigorous but worthwhile.

Mountain Pointe grad Adam Grula will attend Arizona State University to study engineering, and Desert Vista grad Grayson Lee-Kin will also attend ASU as a business management major.

Rio Salado is the only dual enrollment program in Arizona to receive accreditation by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships, www.nacep.org. For more details about Rio Salado’s dual enrollment program, including scholarship opportunities, visit www.riosalado.edu/programs/dual or call 480-517-8080.

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