Caroline Mahoney skipped a grade in high school. Now she’s about to skip a year of college, too.
The Virginia Beach native is a 2020 graduate of Kellam High. By spring of 2021, Mahoney will earn her Associate of Science in Business Administration from Tidewater Community College.
Mahoney, 18, is one of 34 students currently enrolled in the college’s Accelerated Degree Program (ADP), offered on the Norfolk and Portsmouth Campuses.
“I saw this as a way to get into the workforce faster. I’m a fast-paced person and enjoy classes that move quickly so I don’t lose interest in the subjects I’m learning.” — Caroline Mahoney
Mahoney heard about the program when a TCC career coach visited her high school during her junior year.
“I saw this as a way to get into the workforce faster,” she said. “I’m a fast-paced person and enjoy classes that move quickly so I don’t lose interest in the subjects I’m learning.”
The college’s ADP program gives students a way to accelerate their education, enabling them to earn an associate degree in three semesters. Degrees are offered in business administration and general studies. Students who complete the ADP can transfer to a four-year university as a junior.
The program usually begins in August and includes classes in 8-week sessions for a full-year.
For the first time this spring, a second cohort of students can enroll and start classes in February. The degrees offered are:
- Associate of Science in Business Administration
- Associate of Science in General Studies
- Certificate in General Education
With the COVID-19 pandemic, all ADP courses are offered online.
One of the best aspects of the program for Mahoney is that she can complete the program at home.
“In high school, the bell rings and you have to go here or there,” she said. “Now I make my own schedule and I’m responsible for the work.”
Mahoney says she appreciates the personalized attention from her advisor Meredith Pollard, the lead counselor on the Norfolk Campus. She also credits her professors with holding engaging classes and being accessible during online learning.
“My classes have been super interesting, and I enjoy the diversity of the people,” she said.
“Also, having a woman of color as president, well that gives me a sense of hope and that’s no small thing right now.”
Mahoney is excited about applying for her first job soon. She is seeking a position in accounting and said the accounting courses in her degree have given her an excellent foundation.
“College is so much better than high school because you have a hand in your future,” she said.
“TCC is a great place – it’s like when you’re practicing driving. You are behind the wheel, but in a safe place to start.”