TTUISD Alumnus Flexes Free Time, Excels in College

by CATHERINE MCKEE

January 22, 2014

Equestrian polo, chemistry, piano and orchestra were a few of the interests Texas Tech University Independent School District (TTUISD) alumnus Mark Albright could pursue with the free time he gained by taking classes online.

Mark attended a public school in Lubbock, Texas, until 11th grade, when he heard about TTUISD from a friend who was enrolled part time. After researching TTUISD, Mark learned he could accelerate his graduation date and have more free time.

He presented the idea to his mother, Catherine Savell, who enrolled both Mark and his younger sister, Elizabeth, in TTUISD’s full-time, diploma-seeking program.

“It was fun overall because, in the least cheesiest way, I could live more of my life than having to go to school for eight hours every day,” he said. “I could go at my own pace, so it was easier.”

After leaving the confines of a brick and mortar setting, Mark graduated from high school in one year early, and is now a sophomore microbiology major at Texas Tech University.

With plans to pursue a career in advanced medical research, such as immunology or cancer treatment, Mark’s undergraduate courses are academically demanding. However, he was prepared for this because of his time with TTUISD.

“TTUISD is exactly like college standards,” he said. “The standard of work that they require is significantly higher than a traditional public high school. It just kind of kicked my butt into gear to know exactly what to expect. And, I remember the first class I took here at college was incredibly easy because it was exactly what I experienced at TTUISD.”

Along with attending Tech as a full-time student, Mark is the treasurer for both the American Chemical Society and the fencing team, and works in a research lab on campus.

Catherine said looking back, enrolling Mark in TTUISD was the perfect choice, and both he and his sister are becoming successful with academics because of the program.

“I’m really excited that Mark could accelerate his graduation date, focus more on his academics and getting his study habits in gear, giving him more time to participate in orchestra,” she said.

Better study habits were another perk of attending TTUISD. One time, Mark said, he completed an entire month’s worth of physics course work in one day because he was too interested in the subject to stop.

Because of TTUISD, Mark said he learned how to apply, teach and pace himself with course work, which are essential skills for succeeding in college.

With the many benefits of TTUISD, Mark said he encourages students who are looking for college-style coursework that offers a flexible schedule, to enroll in TTUISD.

“I would encourage them to do it because it does prepare you for the college environment,” he said. “As someone who has chosen a medical profession, it demands an extreme amount from you, it’s something I would almost push someone into doing because it is so helpful and it encourages certain study habits, which without them, I don’t know if I’d survive in my degree plan in college. I think it’s essential for some people.”

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