ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Alaska Middle College School is an opportunity for Anchorage high school juniors and seniors to take college-level coursework.
Tonight, the program held it's first-ever graduation ceremony.
56 total students are graduating from the program. 26 of those graduates attended tonight’s ceremony.
These young academics learn early what it's like to be a college student.
“It's the kind of a program where you have to drive yourself, and not like in high school where you have teachers and deadlines," Chugiak High School senior Brianna Mendez said.
Alaska Middle College School Principal Martin Lang says the program is self-motivating and encourages early success in life.
"They're real university classes taught by real university professors and it is a true college experience," Lang said.
Proud parents lined the Bartlett High School Auditorium.
"I have a high school graduate. So proud of her. So proud," Richard Mitchell said.
Taking these classes allows college-bound students to save money on their education while earning college credits, even before they graduate from high school.
“I worked so hard to get here, so I'm really glad that this is kind of a conclusion to all the work I've done,” West High School student Kerrigan Beagley said.
Over 200 students are currently enrolled for Alaska Middle College School classes starting next school year.
The school is also opening up shop at UAA campus next school year to provide more opportunities to local students. Interested students should apply on the ASD website.