Dual credit starts student on path to success

by Darin Allred | Aug 09, 2013 <p> </p>

Austin Sharp is having quite a year at Texas Christian University. The 2011 Gainesville High School graduate has been named to the Dean's List and was named a TCU Scholar for achieving a 4.0 grade point average during the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters.

This spring, Sharp was also notified that he had received a $5,000 scholarship from Research in Motion. Sharp was nominated for the scholarship by the TCU College of Science and Engineering.

But his path to success at TCU actually started several years ago when he was still a student at Gainesville High School. He was able to accumulate 52 hours of college credit thanks to the North Central Texas College dual-credit program. He finished those 52 hours with a perfect 4.0 GPA and was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

For Sharp, the opportunity to take college classes while still in high school helped him as he has continued his educational endeavors at TCU.

"Going to college was a big transition in my life, but my experience with dual-credit made the transition much easier," Sharp said. "While many kids were still getting their feet wet in the college academic environment, I was able to focus on the subject at hand. I also had a good idea about what I wanted to study going into TCU because of the wide variety of dual-credit classes I took while in high school.

"The most obvious advantage for me was all the credits transferred over to TCU. Although I plan on going the full four years, I am able to take lighter class loads which in turn have boosted my grade performance."

Sharp is currently working at Texas Instruments in Plano this summer through their benchmark internship program.

He says he would recommend the dual-credit program for any high school student who plans to go to college.

"Although the classes can be more difficult than comparable high school classes, I found them to be highly rewarding and beneficial in the long run," Sharp said.

For more information on the dual-credit program at NCTC, contact Debbie Endres at 940-668-7731 Ext. 3337 or by email at