Dual Enrollment Graduate Begins Career Early

Dual Enrollment Graduate Gets Early Start

When Matt Hammond was attending high school in Henrico County, Virginia, he learned that his school had a dual enrollment agreement with ECPI University’s Richmond - Innsbrook Campus. A sophomore at the time, he knew he wanted to go to college and figured this would give him an advantage – earn some credits in advance and get some experience in the college environment. Now at the age of 20, he has a college degree and is working as network security analyst at the General Electric (GE) Security Technology Center in Richmond.

“Taking that first class, was one of the best decisions of my life,” says Matt. “I’m a very practical person, and I quickly realized that ECPI University fit me perfectly. I really liked the hands-on learning. I had friends who attended more traditional schools and they were pretty much stuck with their text books. I, on the other hand, got to touch the routers and switches, not just read about them. And of course, they’re still in school and I’m on the job making money!”

With a number of courses already completed (plus ECPI University’s accelerated scheduling) Matt was able to complete his bachelor’s degree in less than two years. “The support I received was incredible,” says Matt. “The professor actually came to my school to teach the first class. The next year, I got to attend class on campus.”

Since beginning the dual enrollment partnership with Henrico County Public Schools more than five years ago, more than 750 students have taken advantage of the program. “It’s gone extremely well,” says Henrico County School Director of Vocational Education Mac Beaton. “Some students are not always sure that they are ‘college material.’ This program allows them to prove to themselves that they can do the work. This partnership epitomizes how all partnerships should work: everyone benefits.”

Another partner in this process has benefited as well: Matt’s employer. “Matt may be the youngest person on our team, but he can more than hold his own,” says Matt’s boss, Security Operations Center Director Mark Lipin. “He has a great work ethic and came to us very well prepared. If ECPI University keeps producing more like him, we are going to have a great, long relationship.”

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