Despite an unexpected end to the school year, Greeneville High School senior Chloe Waldroupe graduates this year with both her high school diploma and her associate’s degree.
While many students finish high school with some college credit through dual enrollment at Walters State Community College, Waldroupe is one of just three dual enrollment students at the college to complete enough credits to earn a full associate’s degree as a high school student.
Waldroupe said it has been a long term goal she set as early as 8 years old to fully complete the dual enrollment program.
Having earned her associate of science degree in general studies allows her to transfer to her four year university as a junior and get a head start towards her other long term goal of becoming a surgeon.
Waldroupe will start at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in the fall, where she will study biology on a pre-med track.
To complete the dual enrollment program and finish with her associate’s degree, Waldroupe took 22 classes, totaling 60 credit hours at Walters State in addition to her course load at Greeneville High School, which she finished a year early by taking summer classes.
Being a year ahead of her classmates was tough at times, but Waldroupe said taking classes with upperclassmen and then with college students made her more confident as she was forced to get used to talking to older students.
“I feel more comfortable talking to people and putting myself out there for my education,” Waldroupe said. “It really provided me with great insight into what college is actually like and how to succeed, and I feel better prepared to go to UT.”
Throughout her academic career, from kindergarten through high school, Waldroupe has maintained a record of perfect attendance, which Greeneville High School Principal Patrick Fraley said might be her most impressive feat. She also kept perfect attendance at Walters State.
Waldroupe graduates from both Greeneville High School and Walters State with honors as a member of both the National Honor Society and Walters State’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. She graduates Magna Cum Laude from Walters State.
Waldroupe also earned two Industries Certifications from Greeneville High School in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.
In addition to her studies, Waldroupe has been an active member of YoungLife throughout high school and at First Presbyterian Church in Greeneville, where she served as Youth Elder and in multiple committees, from a young age.
Waldroupe said the volunteer work she has spent most of her free time doing with the church is especially important to her and was what motivated her to choose UT for the next step in her academic career.
“The spirit that they have, that you can be a volunteer and you can share that with your community — that hit home on what is important to me and what I want to do with my life,” Waldroupe said.
Waldroupe said part of her motivation to complete the dual enrollment program was to be a role model for younger students.
To those younger students considering dual enrollment, Waldroupe said her advice is, “go for it.”
“If you have a dream to do it, then do it. It has honestly been the best thing that’s happened to me,” Waldroupe added.
Fraley said fewer than five students, including Waldroupe, have completed the dual enrollment program in the eight years he has spent as principal of Greeneville High School.
“It says so much about what they’re willing to do and the work they’re willing to put in,” Fraley said. “Chloe is a very amazing young lady.”
Waldroupe said she is thankful for the support from faculty and staff at Greeneville High School and Walters State.
Mark Wills, Dean of Walters State’s Niswonger Campus in Greeneville, called Waldroupe an outstanding student who excelled at Walters State through lots of hard work.
“Her determination, persistence, and academic excellence will continue to serve her well into the next chapter of her educational pursuits,” Wills stated. “Our motto at Walters State is ‘Write Your Story.’ I am happy that we have been able to be a part of Chloe’s story, and I am eager to see what the next chapters of her life reveal. All the faculty and staff of the Walters State Niswonger Campus congratulate Ms. Waldroupe, and we are excited to add her to our list of outstanding alumni.”