Nargis Martin completed Tidewater Community College’s fastest track to earning an associate degree.

The Virginia Beach resident came to TCC in the fall of 2018 with some transfer credits. Less than a year later, she is done with her Associate of Science in General Studies.

The college’s Accelerated Degree Program (ADP) expedited her path.

ADP students can choose degrees in general studies or business administration, earning all 61 credits in just one year by taking classes continuously in eight-week sessions. Graduates can attain admission as junior-level transfer students at most four-year colleges and universities.

Martin, 24, says she enjoyed everything about the program.

Nargis Martin

Nargis Martin on Norfolk Campus.

“I learn a lot better when it’s going faster, and I’ve appreciated the extra help provided by my ADP teachers and advisor,” Martin said. “Even the monthly check-ins are great because I could express concerns and keep on top of everything.”

ADP programs are offered on the college’s Norfolk and Portsmouth Campuses, with classes typically beginning in August. The program is open to new high school graduates as well as adult learners, including military-related students. Applicants must meet certain academic requirements and complete a short essay.

Expecting her first child in June, Martin is pleased to have the first two years of her bachelor’s behind her. Born in Afghanistan, she immigrated to the United States as a youngster with her mother and five siblings. She grew up in Williamsburg and didn’t want to venture far for college so she could remain close to family.

“I’ve always wanted to have a career and be independent,” she said. “In my culture, you’re taught to get married at a certain age and go on to be a good housewife. I’m proud to be breaking those barriers.”

Martin plans to continue her studies in either public relations or psychology at the University of Virginia or Old Dominion University.

“I feel like I’m more ready than I’ve ever been before for what’s ahead,” she said. “My professors have been awesome and so supportive.”

Following the footsteps of her mother, Rona, Martin worked in a local retirement home while at TCC.

“My mom provided a great life for all of us. And my sister Zohra sacrificed a lot to ensure my siblings and I got our education,” said Martin, whose husband, Cody, is in the Navy.

Martin is one of 12 students who will earn an accelerated degree this spring and summer.

“Trust the process and stay motivated,” she advised. “Don’t try to find shortcuts, but rather do the work. It will be so worth it once you have earned your degree.”