Early college program allowing students to simultaneously earn a diploma and degree

MIDLAND -- For nearly 10 years in Midland the Early College High School has been around and you'd be surprised to hear that some people have never heard of it.

But just imagine for a second being able to not only graduate high school but college at the exact same time.

This program helps nearly 350 students a year and some students are using their own experience to help younger students.

A day inside the Early College High School.

At risk students like Alec and Janie take college courses to earn an Associate’s Degree and high school diploma at the same time.

"They make you work for it there's going to be days where you just want to give up but they don't let you," said Janie Dominquez, a senior in the program.

"It really puts you there and you feel like you're a college student full time," said Alec Almuina, also a senior in the Early College Program.

Eight grade students apply for a scholarship to attend the free program.

If accepted, they attend high school at Midland College by their junior year.

"Nobody really knows who you are but here they know who you are and what you're going through and how are you doing in your classes they really check up on you and if you're not passing they will get onto you."

To graduate high school students must attain 24 credits, along with maintaining a passing GPA in college to attain a degree.

This program allows the students to do both at the same time, which may be more strenuous, but much more rewarding.