HISD seniors turn tassels a second time at HCC graduation

Days after receiving their high school diplomas, HISD dual-credit seniors accepted their associate degrees or professional certificates at Houston Community College’s (HCC) 2024 commencement ceremonies on Thursday, June 13.

These seniors attended HISD’s Early College High Schools, open-enrollment campuses that offer students the opportunity to work toward their high school diploma while simultaneously earning either an associate degree, a level 1 certificate, or at least 60 credit hours toward a bachelor’s degree. These programs were designed to elevate students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend college. The accelerated courses provide students with a personalized college experience, and the program partners with Texas higher learning institutions to help seniors access four-year institutions post-graduation.

“It means I have a head start and I’m already on the next level in life,” said graduate Jordan Abraha, who took home an Associate of Arts Degree in Multidisciplinary Studies.

This year, HCC’s graduation ceremonies were pushed back due May’s severe storm, but the graduates weren’t lacking enthusiasm as their families and friends cheered on their momentous accomplishments. The two ceremonies were held back to back at NRG Arena.

The graduates were welcomed by commencement speaker Margared Ford Fisher, Ed.D., who serves as HCC’s Chancellor and was responsible for HCC’s adoption of online learning with the development of HCC Online College. Following Fisher, Laolu Davis-Yemitan, Vice-Chair of the HCC Board of Trustees, presented honorary degrees to several prolific Houston public figures, including rapper Scarface and Houston Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. 

Lintell Martin, mother of South Early College High School student Heaven Aitch, smiled and fought away tears as she spoke about her pride in her daughter. 

“First, it was two free years of college,” Martin said. “It was the best option. I loved that HISD offered dual-credit and early college for students.” Aitch graduated high school on June 7, and less than one week later, she also accepted an Associate of Arts Degree in Multidisciplinary Studies. 

Early College High School is just one of many opportunities offered by HISD for students in search of post-secondary options. To learn more about HISD’s College, Career and Military Readiness programs, visit their webpage here. For more information about HISD’s Early College High Schools, click here