Chandler Johnson will be making history on May 6 when he walks on stage to accept
his diploma during the Madisonville Community College (MCC) graduation ceremony.
He will be the first MCC student to graduate with an Associate in Science degree before
graduating high school. Johnson, of Central City, will be graduating with high honors
from Muhlenberg County High School later this month.
Johnson s first experience with earning college credit was in his freshman year with
the successful completion of an Advanced Placement (AP) Human Geography course. Fueled
by success, he earned more college credit through AP courses in his sophomore year
and began taking dual credit courses in his junior year, earning more than 30 college
credit hours through MCC. The discovery of CLEP - The College-Level Examination Program
opened the pathway to earn more credit. CLEP provides students of any age with the
opportunity to demonstrate college-level achievement through a program of computer
exams in undergraduate general education college courses. Johnson earned 13 credit
hours in math through CLEP exams, 12 credit hours through AP coursework, and the remainder
through dual credit and online courses offered by MCC.
Johnson shared his reason behind working towards an associate degree, At all the
state schools in Kentucky, if you have a degree it transfers as a credential and I
don t have to take any general education courses anywhere I chose to go. It worked
really well for me as I was undecided on where I wanted to go when scholarships came
back. I thought this is probably the best option for me (to avoid transferring individual
credits). It was about 2 years ago that I sat down and looked at (MCC s) programs
and figured out that I could potentially pull off this degree. I now have 69 hours.
In addition to high school and college coursework, Johnson is involved in a host of
extracurricular activities including 4-H Club, National Honor Society, Beta Club,
and tennis. Taking online classes has allowed him the time and flexibility to complete
his degree without being on campus
During the summer of 2015, he participated in the Kentucky Governor s Scholar Program
at Bellarmine University. This summer he will be participating in the University
of Kentucky Professional Education Preparation Program (PEPP). The 4-week residential
summer experience provides support for students from under-served Kentucky counties
who wish to pursue a career in Medicine or Dentistry. The program provides an introduction
to the careers through academic enrichment, admissions guidance, health-related seminars
and experiences, and clinical/hospital rotations at the University of Kentucky Chandler
Johnson is not the only community college graduate in his family. He proudly shares
this distinction with his grandmother, Doris Johnson, who graduated at the age of
63 with a degree in Human Services. Johnson shared that he attended his grandmother
s graduation ceremony and now she will be attending his.
Johnson will be attending the University of Kentucky this fall on the Otis A. Singletary
Scholarship, a competitive four-year award providing the cost of tuition and an allowance
for room and board. He will be pursing undergraduate coursework in biochemistry and
eventually medical school.
Johnson lives in Central City with his parents, Angie and Bryon Johnson, and sister