The inaugural class of the Collegiate Academy walked the stage last night during the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana graduation at Hempstead Hall. These 27 students were included with the entire graduating class of UAHT where 482 degrees and certificates were awarded. The commencement speech was given by Dr. Donald Bobbitt, University of Arkansas System President. The Collegiate Academy is an innovative program partnered by UAHT and local high schools allowing students to begin taking courses in the 10th grade and at the end of their senior year they graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. Dean of Secondary Programs Mikki Curtis, who has been with these students from the start, shared with SWARK.Today her joy in watching these students succeed. Curtis said, “I am so proud of these students and all that they have accomplished. They are the first in the state to complete a program that allows them the opportunity to graduate with their high school diploma and associate’s degree while simultaneously being completely immersed on a college campus. They have blazed a trail for those behind them and have shown them that this opportunity is a possibility for all if you put in the hard work. I look forward to seeing what this great group of students accomplishes in the future.” The ceremony was streamed live and can be found on the UAHT Facebook page and You Tube channel.