By Amy Yensi

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Some high school students in Baltimore County will have a unique advantage in their higher learning.

They’re taking a part in a new program that will earn them college credits.

The students will graduate with a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree.

“And I said mom I wish there was a career where I could play video games,” says Jalen Glenn, a ninth-grade student.

Jalen Glenn is aiming for a career in computer design. The 14-year-old is on the fast track.

He’s one of 90 students taking part in the early-college program at Woodlawn high school, the first of it’s kind in Baltimore County.

“I want the challenge. I want it to be hard, so I can end up doing better in the long run,” says Glenn.

The partnership with the community college of Baltimore County, allows incoming ninth graders to earn high school and college credits at the same time.

Graduating with a high school diploma and an associates degree in general studies.

The credits can be transferred to a four-year college or university.

“They’re saving tuition. They’re saving time. They’re getting college and career-ready, right off the bat,” says BCPS program facilitator Christina Sargent.

“Students who complete this fast-track program, have the potential to start college, in their junior year.”

The cost for tuition, fees, books and transportation are all included.

“Saves me money. Less over time I have to do,” says Larhonda Watson, parent.

After surviving a tough application process, students must meet magnet school standards and maintain a 2.0 GPA in their college courses.

“It helps you prepare for college.”

Parents are also up to the challenge.

“We definitely have to stay focused on the books making sure we’re taking care of business first. Play later,” says parent Candace Matthews.

All county students can apply but transportation will only be available in west Baltimore County.

Any of the 4-year colleges in the university system of Maryland, will accept this associates degree and credits.

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