Haverhill Whittier Tech Senior McColley Earns Associate’s Before High School Graduation

Gianna McColley, a senior at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, earned her associate degree in psychology through Northern Essex Community College’s Early College Program. (Courtesy photograph.)

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Gianna McColley has her associate degree even though she won’t have her high school diploma until the start of next month.

McColley, a senior Design and Visual Communications student from Haverhill, earned her associate degree in psychology and was recognized at the Northern Essex’s Early College Recognition Ceremony last Thursday at the college’s Haverhill campus. She graduates from Whittier Tech Thursday, June 1.

“I started taking classes through NECC because I wanted to challenge myself and I knew that it would be an amazing opportunity. The NECC professors were very accommodating knowing I was a high school student and the other students at NECC were always very nice and supportive of me in the classes,” said McColley.

The Northern Essex Early College program allows qualifying students to take high school and community college classes concurrently.

Superintendent Maureen Lynch said McColley demonstrated educational excellence, with a Whittier Tech GPA of 4.4 and a class rank of sixth out of 322, and a college GPA of 4.0. She earned 51 credits through Whittier’s partnership with Northern Essex Community College.

Deb Santos, McColley’s early college support teacher at Whittier, said “Gianna is one of the most dedicated and hardworking students I have ever met in my career. I envy her drive. She is the type of student every teacher dreams of having in their classroom.”

McColley enters Salem State University as a junior in the fall. She will double major in psychology and world languages.

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