Poplar Bluff student completes associate degree before high school | People
POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - A Poplar Bluff high school student has complete her associate degree requirements before receiving her high school diploma.
Adrienne Burfield, 18, has completed the associate degree requirements through a partnership between her high school and Three Rivers College.
Burfield will join high school classmates Vicky Bottorff, Zachary Miller and Shallyn Ward, each of whom are participating in the College Now program during the community college commencement. Also among this initial group are Riley Greenwall and Anslee Latourette, although their credits will only serve to lighten the load when they transfer to a university.
The College Now program is designed to allow them the option to knock off their 42-credit-hour general education requirement with the Poplar Bluff R-I School District and Three Rivers each covering one-third of the tuition costs, allowing parents the opportunity to save money.
Especially ambitious students can work with their high school guidance counselors and college academic advisers to enroll in additional classes around the semester in order to earn the final 20 credits toward their two-year degree.
“I’ve taken online classes, summer classes, winter classes, Maymester classes… Last semester I took 21 credits,” explained Burfield in a release from Poplar Bluff R-1 School District.
She is taking even more college courses this spring semester. “My nose has pretty much not left a book.”
In December, Burfield was the first PBHS student to complete the dual credit program.
Burfield is in the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and maintained a 4.0 grade point average.
She was born with a rare degenerative condition of the eyes which progressively causes her central vision to dissolve. While having to read in intervals in dim lighting to avoid eyestrain means it takes longer to study and write papers, she said the real possibility of going blind has caused her to not take the precious vision she still has for granted.
“You have to make the most of life,” she said. Burfield is a spokeswoman for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, a research organization she hopes will one day find a cure for people affected by retinitis pigmentosa, which includes her 22-year-old brother Alex Burfield.
Burfield plans to enter the baccalaureate program at the University of Missouri in Kansas City’s School of Medicine. However, she first plans to take a year off prior so she can pursue her acting dreams in New York City. Adrienne’s father Bill Burfield Jr., will accompany her in the Big Apple upon retiring as PBHS assistant principal at the end of the school year.
Burfield is also a 2012 Miss Missouri Teen USA semifinalist.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education allows dual credit courses to be taken to earn high school and college credits simultaneously, if students score high enough on the COMPASS placement test their sophomore year. College Now provides even more incentive to do so.
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