CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KCRG TV9) Gillian Gergen of Janesville and Megann Bohlkwn of Independence will walk onstage and pick up two-year community college degrees Friday night. But both are very different from the hundreds of others who will get degrees from Hawkeye Community College.
Both Megann Bohlken and Gillian Gergen will graduate with two-year degrees from Hawkeye Community College Friday night. And that graduation is taking place before their high school graduations. Until this photo, they had never met.
Technically, both haven’t even graduated from high school yet.
If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to take high school and college courses at the same time, Bohlken can sum it up in one word.
“A limited life outside of school,” Bohlken said.
Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. Bohlken says she had time in her high school career to take part in a lot of extracurricular activities. She even had a part time job.
Gillian Gergen also had enough time to play sports at Janesville High School and won a four-year volleyball scholarship from Drake University in Des Moines.
Until a graduation rehearsal Friday afternoon at the McLeod Center at the University of Northern Iowa, they’d never met.
It’s not that uncommon for high school students to take college level courses for credit before going off to college. More than 2,000 did it this past school year at Hawkeye. But only Gergen and Bohlken applied themselves to earn enough credits for a two year degree before their high school graduations.
Both took the majority of the Hawkeye courses online. Bohlken will graduate with an associate degree in liberal arts, Gergen in criminal justice.
And both also had high school friends who didn’t know you could really get that much of a jump start on a college career while still in high school.
“As they saw how much closer we were getting , they were ‘oh my gosh’ this is crazy, I don’t believe this is happening, Bohlken said.
Gergen added, “I know my friends are proud of me and they just can’t believe what I did. They obviously didn’t know it was possible.”
Bohlken’s next stop is the University of Iowa with plans to major in business. After her freshman orientation this summer, she becomes an instant junior based on her college credits.
Gergen will enter Drake as a freshman psychiology and sociology major only to keep four years of sports eligibility and expects to graduate after four years with advanced degrees.
With their first college graduation over, both will have another job next. Getting ready to graduate high school in the next week or two.