Finding Tatum’s Purpose: Graduating Early from GCU

By Tatum Sorrelman

Tatum in the GCU library

Graduating college early has always been something that I had planned on doing since I was a high school student. I am a part of a family of five and I have two younger siblings who are not in college yet. Because of this, I knew that I wanted to graduate college early so that I could save money. So, I took college classes in high school. This can be done in a variety of ways and I actually accomplished this task in more ways than one.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I took classes at my local community college as a member of the HOOP program. This program is for Native American high school students who are looking for an opportunity to take college classes and finish college early. I am Navajo, so my parents and I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity for me to start my college journey early. I took a number of classes over the summer and during the school year so I could earn enough credits to be ahead. In addition to that, I also took dual enrollment classes at my high school. Dual enrollment classes are classes that can count for both high school and college credit.

Once I started college, I had a large amount of credits that counted toward my graduation. But, I still did not have enough to be a full year ahead, which is something that I wanted. In order to make that happen I decided to take on extra coursework during second semester of last year. So, instead of taking four classes I took five. Even though it was extra work it paid off in the end. I have earned enough credits from high school and college that I was able to finish two years of schooling by the time I was done with my first year of college. This year, although it is only my second year as a student in college, I am a junior instead of a sophomore. This means that I will graduate in 2019 instead of 2020.

Now, I know that this path is not for everyone, but there are other ways that you can get ahead with your schooling at GCU. For example, you can take extra classes over the summer. GCU offers numerous opportunities for its students to take summer courses. By doing this, you can take more classes for less money and still get ahead of the game. You can also take on a heavier course load per semester, like I did. I found it be a lot of work in the moment, but it paid off in the long run.

It is possible to graduate earlier, but you have to work hard for it.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.