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      Lowcountry students to graduate with degrees and high school diplomas

      By Tessa Spencertspencer@abcnews4.com

      MONCKS CORNER, S. C. (WCIV) -- It's the Lowcountry's best kept secret -- a school where high school seniors are earning associates degrees and high school diplomas -- at the same time.

      This May, three students graduated with an associates degree before receiving their high school diplomas.

      They will now be able to go on and finish at a four-year college or university -- way ahead of the curve.

      Berkeley County Middle College, located on the{}Berkeley County campus of Trident Technical College,{}was founded in 2010, and it's the only school of its kind in the area.

      High school juniors and seniors who attend high school in Berkeley County are eligible for the middle college and can take college courses offered at TTC in place of high school courses.

      Word has gotten around, and in the short time of the school's existence, numbers have steadily grown.

      "We have grown from the initial 74 to 90 students this year," says Berkeley County Middle College principal Claire Freeman.

      Freeman hopes to have 100 students enrolled for the 2012-2013 school year.

      Students like Dusty Miller believe{}they{}have a strong foundation to build on when they make the switch to a four-year university.

      "I will be able to cope with it easier and be able to have better time management," he said.

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