Gordon State Student Graduates College and High School at the Same Time






For a while now, Ali Goode's ultimate goal has been to get a college degree and a high school degree at the same time.

On Friday, as part of the Spring 2015 graduating class at Gordon State College, that goal was reached.

Goode came to Gordon in 2013 from Mary Persons High School in Monroe County as part of the Accel program. The Accel program provides academically talented high school students the opportunity to accelerate their studies through either joint enrollment or early admission.

"I was drawn into the Accel program at Gordon State because of the amazing opportunity it presented me, as well as the positive feedback I have received from other students who were in the program," Goode said. "To find that I could receive my associate degree before I officially received my high school diploma became my ultimate goal. All of the professors and officials who were associated with the program helped me achieve that goal. I will be forever grateful."

Goode started college with the intention of becoming a teacher.

"I always thought my calling was, in fact, to be a teacher. But because of professors like Dr. Richard Schmude, Jr., I have found I actually aspire to become a pharmacist," she explained. "In the future, I may want to teach pharmacy or chemistry at a college or university but right now I plan to earn a degree in biology and a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences.

She says her parents, Christopher and Marsha, have "…assisted me every step of the way and have encouraged me to strive to reach my fullest potential through it all."

She also credits her academic advisor, Mike Mahan, dean of the school of education, for helping her to set up everything she needed to achieve her goal.

Although she hits the books hard, she also has found time to be involved in competitive clay shooting and is a registered National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA) shooter.

"I am also very active with our local 4-H in which I am a Teen Leader mentoring the younger 4-H'ers," she said. "I am a part of the 4-H Shotgun Team, horse team, livestock judging team, and the leadership committee."

Goode also has advice for any student wanting to join the Accel program.

"I would want them to know to never give up and never think you are alone," she said. "Gordon is full of amazing professors and fellow students who will do everything in their power to help you succeed. Always strive to reach your fullest potential and never be afraid to reach out for help. Your professors understand that you are trying your best to go above and beyond, and they will honor that and always assist you. If you need extra help, don't forget about the Student Success Center. The tutors you will meet will become your closest friends and your number one weapon against major exams."