When Kelsie Morgan walks across the stage during Cullman High School’s Class of 2013 graduation ceremony, she will be two years ahead of many of her other classmates in regards to her collegiate education.
Morgan, 18, completed two years of coursework at Wallace State Community College through the institution’s FastTrack program, simultaneously earning credits for her high school diploma and completing prerequisites to transfer to a four-year college. It was that two-for-one deal that was one of the major appeals to the program, Morgan said.
“The most appealing thing to me about the FastTrack program is that I could go ahead and get a head start on my career,” she said. “Wanting to be an optometrist, it takes eight years of schooling for that, so it was good to get two years out of the way.”
The daughter of Jason and Katherine Morgan has been granted early acceptance into the optometry program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Only one in-coming freshman is chosen each year for this position. Morgan will live in the residence hall with the other pre-med students that were awarded early admission to their respective medical fields.
“I think I was highly favored in that program because I took the extra step and did FastTrack here at Wallace State,” Morgan said.
She was also admitted to the Honors College, and earned scholarships to UAB worth $36,000.
Though she will enter the college as a freshman, Morgan said she has enough credits acquired through WSCC to technically be a junior at the university. At UAB, Morgan plans to first complete a bachelor degree in biology in two years before going on to the optometry school, completing in six years what would normally take eight.
Though she was taking all of her classes at Wallace State for her last two years of high school, Morgan said she was still able to take part in the school’s extracurricular activities. She competed for the CHS tennis team during her junior year and is still involved in school clubs and organizations.
The FastTrack program also offered her the opportunity to take some classes she might not have access to at her high school. Along with her four core classes each semester, she was able to choose two electives. During her time at Wallace State Morgan took drama, piano, Spanish and weight lifting classes.
Morgan said she thinks completing the FastTrack program will help her in making the adjustment to a four-year college.
“I think I’ll be a lot more prepared, and I think it’s taught me better study methods,” she said.
Morgan said students who are considering the Fast Track program to give it some serious thought.
“I think if you’re very motivated about your college career and willing to take that extra step those last two years of high school, that it’s a great program and it really helps prepare you and give you a head start for college.”