When graduates walk across the stage to get their degrees from Northeast Alabama Community College on May 17, participating in that group is a special young man who has excelled as a dual enrollment student at the college. Christian Townson earned 61 dual enrollment credits to obtain his associate's degree and will participate in NACC’s graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 17. The following day he will walk as a graduate in Sylvania High School’s graduation ceremony (Friday, May 18).
During Christian’s college visits, scholarship application process, interviews and competitions for acceptance into honors colleges and scholars programs, the fact that he obtained 61 hours through NACC’s Dual Enrollment program was recognized as one of his most impressive accomplishments. One honors program director acknowledged Christian’s significant hours earned as an impressive achievement in overcoming adversity, with that adversity being a lack of access to certain advanced credit classes. The director stated that they see very few students coming out of small, rural schools that are ready to take on the rigors of a four-year university honors program. He admitted, however, that those students who have earned multiple advanced placement and dual enrollment credits normally do well, respectively. Christian was also able to increase his ACT composite score from a 30 to a 34 after taking NACC dual enrollment math and science classes.
Christian has been accepted into 21 colleges and universities, 11 honors colleges, and 2 research scholars programs. The institutions include: Alabama, Auburn, UAB, UAH, Western Kentucky, Kentucky, Memphis, UT Martin, UT Chattanooga, UT Knoxville, ETSU, Tennessee Tech, LSU, Baylor, Birmingham Southern, Belmont, Sewanee, Xavier, Union, Warren Wilson and Vanderbilt. He has been offered a total of over $1.1 million in scholarships.
Christian has chosen to attend The University of Alabama on a National Alumni Kenneth Carnathan Crimson Scholarship this fall. He has accepted an invitation to join the University Honors Fellowship; he has been awarded one of 40 spots in the exclusive Randall Research Scholar’s Program--one of the nation’s top undergraduate research scholars programs; and he has earned a spot in The Culverhouse College of Commerce’s STEM Path to the MBA.
His parents acknowledge that the NACC Dual Enrollment Program is one of the reasons Christian has been offered so many scholarships. His father, Chris Townson, said, “Melissa and I want to thank Dean Sherie Grace and her assistant, Staci Miller, for their work directing and administering the Dual Enrollment program at NACC. It has been instrumental in Christian’s progress as a student. He has achieved a 4.0 unweighted GPA at both SHS and NACC, and he has a 4.462 weighted GPA out of 4.0 points at SHS.”
Christian values faith, family and opportunities for service and leadership. He loves traveling, hanging out with his brother, playing sports, reading, and watching movies. Christian’s achievements and honors include: Duke TIP, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Academic All Star, President’s Education Award for Academic Excellence, Phi Theta Kappa, Sigma Kappa Delta, Mu Alpha Theta, Foundation for Rural Service Leadership Delegate, and the NACC President’s List. He has held leadership positions as class officer, SGA representative and officer, Beta Club representative, FCA member, FFA member, and Mob/Spirit Squad Co-captain. He has volunteered with numerous organizations, and recently worked as an intern at a large church. Christian’s parents are Chris and Melissa Townson.
“I am thankful to Dr. Jason Barnett (Superintendent) of the DeKalb County Board of Education and Dr. David Campbell (President) of NACC for working together to allow students an opportunity to excel through the Dual Enrollment program,” stated Christian. “The academic rigor was challenging, but the dual enrollment teachers at SHS and NACC supported and pushed me to achieve greatness. I am now excited to take the next steps toward learning, growing and giving back. I want to pursue a career with a sense of purpose where I can consistently and intentionally serve others and the Lord. I am considering career opportunities in law, medicine, business or ministry. I aim to make a difference in and beyond my community and I desire to have a lasting impact.”
Dual enrollment allows students to receive both high school and college credit for a college course taught at the high school, online, or on the NACC campus during the fall, spring, or summer term. The dual enrollment program allows high schools students to begin their college courses while still in high school. Academic and technical courses are offered during the day, evening, and online.
For more information about the Dual Enrollment Program, contact Staci Miller, dual enrollment advisor, at 256-638-4418 or 256-228-6001, ext. 2225, or email her at email@example.com.
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