A Dual Credit Success Story
High school senior Korhyn Geary will be graduating from Alden-Hebron High School this spring—but that’s not the only diploma she’ll be receiving.
In May, Geary will also graduate with an Associate of Arts degree from MCC—a week before she graduates high school.
Geary was able to achieve this by taking advantage of MCC’s Dual Credit opportunities, or classes that count for both high school and college credit. Across the county, many dual credit opportunities are offered directly at the high school for students’ convenience. But because Alden-Hebron is a smaller school, fewer dual credit opportunities are offered at the school during the day.
“Korhyn and her mother contacted me several years ago and indicated that she wanted to work toward an associate degree while still attending high school,” said Tracy Champion, coordinator of P-20 educational partnerships at MCC. “Knowing she wanted to achieve her associate degree the same semester she would graduate from high school, Korhyn took 3-4 college courses every semester, starting her sophomore year.”
Prior to every semester, Champion and Geary would discuss what courses were needed and how they would fit into her schedule. Geary also took classes over the summer and took advantage of MCC’s flexible online options so she could take the college classes while still attending high school.
“I always had a competitive drive to accomplish my goal,” said Geary. “My parents helped and supported me along the way by teaching me how to manage my time and making sure my degree plan stayed on track.”
In addition to Dual Credit opportunities, MCC currently has Dual Degree programs with three districts in the county—Harvard, Huntley, and Woodstock. These programs are cohort-based and feature a more regimented curriculum to help students earn an associate degree and high school diploma at the same time. But Korhyn took the initiative to forge her own path to her degree.
“As far as I know, she is the first student in our Dual Credit program to achieve this on her own,” added Champion.
Throughout the past few years, Korhyn also balanced her classes with playing three sports (volleyball, basketball, softball) and a part-time job. She was named an MVP for her volleyball season, was on the Northeastern Athletic Conference (NAC) All-Academic Team for every sports season, was named team captain for all three of her sports, and was voted first-team all-conference as a catcher for softball.
“I feel she can be an example for other high school students to know they can achieve this without sacrificing their social life,” said Jennifer Geary, Korhyn’s mother. “Tracy has helped Korhyn tremendously throughout this process; without her, this would not have been possible. Principal Tim Hayunga (of Alden-Hebron) was also a huge support.”
“My advice to students looking to do the same would be to take classes over the summer, read the class syllabus carefully, and never hesitate to contact your professors,” Korhyn added.
Korhyn was accepted to the accelerated program at Concordia University-Wisconsin this fall to obtain a bachelor’s in rehabilitation science and Doctor of Physical Therapy.
“Korhyn is such an inspiration and I’m incredibly proud of her hard work and dedication,” added Champion. “This took a great deal of focus and determination.”
Dual credit classes are currently offered at all of the local high schools. For more about MCC’s Dual Credit program, visit www.mchenry.edu/dualcredit.