Ahead of The Game

Local High School Student In Pursuit Of His Degree At UACCM

In many ways, Josh Braud is a normal high school senior. He is an active student council member, is involved in competitive cheerleading and other activities, and is ready to graduate and move on to the next phase in his life. He also enjoys scuba diving, bowling, and fishing, just as many other 17-year-olds do. But while most of his fellow seniors at Morrilton High School (MHS) are looking forward to moving on to begin college or step out into the workforce, Braud is focused on continuing his college journey which began nearly a year ago. In fact, he has already graduated from the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (UACCM) with his certificate of proficiency in petroleum technology and is currently in pursuit of his associate’s degree. He was the first student in the history of the petroleum technology program to graduate from UACCM before finishing his junior year of high school. Braud’s mother, Collette, is a nursing instructor at UACCM and told him about the program. “When I heard about the petroleum technology program at UACCM, I knew I was interested in that career. When I found out I could go ahead and start pursuing my degree while in high school for free, I figured, why not?” Braud is concurrently enrolled at UACCM with help from the River Valley Technical Program, which works as a supporter of Conway County students willing to pursue degrees in technical programs while in high school. Through this program, he receives payment for all courses, fees, and books at UACCM.

Cutline: UACCM Instructor David
Shehadeh explains a piece of
equipment to Josh Braud, a high
school senior who is concurrently
enrolled in hydraulics and pneumatics
at UACCM while still attending
Morrilton High School.
This semester, Braud is enrolled in Introduction to Digital Technology and Hydraulics and Pneumatics at UACCM, which he attends each morning before heading to his high school classes at MHS. “It’s not too difficult to balance work between my college and high school classes, because the classes at UACCM are so hands-on. Most of the work is done inside the classroom, so I still have time to do my high school homework,” he said. After graduating from MHS next May, Braud will be only one year away from receiving his associate’s degree in petroleum technology from UACCM, after which he plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas to pursue a bachelor’s degree before going to work in the area.
When asked about advice for high school students thinking of beginning their degrees, Braud said, “College is nothing like high school; you have so much more freedom. Anyone can take college classes while still in high school; you just can’t let the freedom get to you and be irresponsible if you want to be successful.”
To learn more about the River Valley Technical Program and to check eligibility, contact the UACCM Office of Admissions at (501) 977-2000.


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