Fort Stockton native receives college degree before high school diplomaMay 11, 2023

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. Rylea Jackson standing outside WRTTC in Ft. Stockton in Ft. Stockton High School graduation regalia holding a Midland College banner.

Eighteen-year-old Rylea Jackson will graduate from Fort Stockton High School on May 18; however, before she becomes a high school graduate, she will be a college graduate!  Jackson will “walk the stage” at the Al G. Langford Chaparral Center in Midland this Friday, May 12 as she receives an Associate of Arts degree from Midland College (MC).

Jackson enrolled in her first dual credit class through Midland College’s branch campus in Fort Stockton, TX when she was in the 10th grade and continued to take dual credit classes through the remainder of her school years.  

“At the end of my junior year in high school, I had enough credits to receive an Administrative Clerk certificate from Midland College, and now I have completed all requirements for an Associate of Arts degree,” Jackson explained.

Her ultimate goal is to attend medical school and become a dermatologist.  

“I plan to attend Sul Ross State University in the fall,” she said.  “I’ll live on campus in the residence halls, and with my degree and skills in office administration, I hope to obtain a part-time job while I’m going to school.  In addition, with all the dual credit courses that I took, I will be classified as a sophomore, which means that I’ll be able to graduate from Sul Ross in three years and start medical school a year earlier than my peers.”

Rylea is the daughter of Jeri Sue and Billy Jackson and has lived in Fort Stockton all her life.  At Fort Stockton High School, she was a member of the National Honor Society and competed in UIL spelling and writing contests.  She also volunteered as a mentor to elementary school children and helped various non-profit agencies in the Fort Stockton community.  She is in the top 10 percent of her high school graduating class.

Jackson is the first student from Ft. Stockton to obtain an associate degree while still in high school, and she hopes to set an example for others.  She said that the staff at the MC Williams Regional Technical Training Center in Fort Stockton advised her every step of the way.

“I definitely recommend taking dual credit classes,” Jackson said.  “Being able to graduate from college at the same time that I graduate from high school is a nice perk, but having an employable skill so that I can earn money while I’m in college and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in just three years is truly amazing!”

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