After completing his associate degree prior to starting his senior year at Ball High School last August, Tate Burchfield walked across the stage during the Galveston College Commencement ceremony on May 12 at the Galveston Island Convention Center to receive his degree.


Burchfield, who was enrolled as a dual credit student through Galveston College, received his associate degree in General Studies, along with 14 other dual credit students, and is looking forward to transferring to a four-year university.


“It’s a great feeling because as I was entering the college decision and application process, I had these college credit hours that I already completed,” said Burchfield. “Having an associate degree shows other colleges and universities that I’m ready to learn, and it takes a lot of weight off my back because I don’t have to think about the 60 hours that I would have had to do at a university times the amount I would have to study and take finals.”


In addition to having an associate degree in-hand, the GC graduate is also walking away from his first college experience debt-free.


“It’s great that we have the dual credit program at Ball High through Galveston College that has allowed me to do this, basically debt-free,” said Burchfield. “I don’t have to pay 10 times as much and it was an economical option I tried out and it paid off.”


“Dual Credit gives students a great college head start,” added GC Director of Educational Services, Elvia Segura. “It also helps our student’s families financially since academic and workforce college courses taken while in high school have lower tuition. In the long run, everyone benefits from Galveston College’s Dual Credit program.”


Although Burchfield completed his associate degree in record time, it wasn’t all studying. At Ball and GC, he is involved in several extracurricular activities such as Honor Society, Thespian Society, Ball High School Choir and volunteers at a few community organizations.


“Tate is the only student who has graduated from Galveston College one full year prior to graduating from high school,” said Segura. “He is a very involved student in his clubs and organizations, and is a member of Galveston College’s PTK Honor Society, all while toggling courses and responsibilities between two campuses. We celebrate Tate as he graduates next from Ball High School on May 25 and then ventures off to St. Edward’s University in Austin.”


For more information about the Galveston College Dual Credit program, contact GC Student Success Advisor for Dual Credit, Alisha McCracken at 409-766-5854 or visit



Galveston College was founded in 1967 and is a comprehensive community college providing the residents of Galveston Island and the surrounding region with academic, workforce development, continuing education and community service programs.