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Nicolet Welding Grad Completes College Before High School

Imagine graduating from college before even finishing high school.

That’s the exact juxtaposition of life events Carson Kalata experienced when he finished Nicolet College’s Welding technical diploma before completing his senior year studies at Laona High School.

“It was a challenge to take both high school and college classes at the same time, but it was a challenge I was willing to take on,” Kalata said. “I knew I could do it if I worked hard enough. I can’t tell you how happy I am with the way everything worked out. It’s pretty cool to graduate from both college and high school at just about the same time.”

He was able to accomplish this impressive feat through a partnership between the college and the high school. Through the transcripted credit program, Kalata was awarded college credit for some of the classes he took in high school. He finished the college credential with Nicolet MyWay classes, which offer students the opportunity to take courses in a highly-flexible format that fits best for them.

At first, the thought of attending college while still in high school was a little intimidating. But that didn’t last long, thanks largely to Welding Instructor Craig Deer at Nicolet and Tech Ed Instructor Ryan Kelley at Laona High School.

“They made it a lot of fun,” said Kalata, who plans to continue his education at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and pursue a degree In Electrical Power Distribution.

“They definitely keep you on task, teaching you the skills you need, but they do it in a way that makes it fun. It’s a great program. They really know their stuff. If anyone was thinking of enrolling in the program, I would definitely recommend it.”

Katala had high praise for other staff at both schools for working cooperatively with him to chart his path.

“There’s no way this would have been possible without them,” he said. “Everyone’s been a huge help and I’m grateful for that.”