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Student provides inspiration for iAccelerate Academy

Student’s desire to get ahead in college inspires the creation of iAccelerate Academy 

Annalise Froehlich Annalise Froehlich graduated from high school in June 2019, and now, she’s a junior at Gardner-Webb University.  Fortunately for her, she got a jump start on college after earning her diploma and an associate degree while at Ashbrook High School. 

Through its new iAccelerate Academy, Ashbrook is expanding the opportunity to more students, who, like Annalise, want to get ahead when it comes to going to college.  Students in the college prep-themed Academy can complete high school graduation requirements and take Career and College Promise (CCP) courses offered by Gaston College.  When they graduate, they can have an associate degree to go along with their high school diploma.

Annalise says she began taking CCP courses to earn college credit, but when she realized she could go for an associate degree and enter college as a junior, she put in the extra time and effort to make it happen.

“After I finished my first semester of CCP classes, I knew that I wanted to take as many as I could,” she said.  “I worked very hard and even took some courses over the summer, but when I finished my degree, it was all worth it.”

Annalise’s mother, Shannon, is a counselor at Ashbrook.  She says that having an associate degree allows high school graduates to enter state-run universities and most private colleges as if they are transferring from the community college to the four-year institution.  The associate degree satisfies general education requirements and allows high school graduates to go right into their major or field of study.

“Getting my associate degree in high school put me in the best possible position for college,” said Annalise.  “I am taking classes in my major, already have plans for an internship, and will graduate in May 2021. With an associate degree, I look at it like half of my college is already paid for, and it did not cost my parents anything.”

As a high school counselor, Shannon is responsible for advising students on which classes to take and helps them with possible college and career paths.  She believes the iAccelerate Academy will prompt more students to pursue college credit and an associate degree to gain an advantage and save money on college.

Annalise’s experience inspired the idea for the iAccelerate Academy at Ashbrook, and she hopes students will take advantage of what the new program will offer.  “I am grateful to Ashbrook for giving me a great high school experience. The best advice that I have for students who are going to college is to take all the CCP courses that you can.  It will benefit you just like it has benefitted me.”