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story.lead_photo.caption William English, a Missouri Military Academy high school student from St. Louis, settles in for a college course at William Woods University. The Triumph Program allows MMA students to get a college head-start at WWU.

When classes for the fall 2019 semester began at William Woods University, the new students on campus included high school students looking to get a jump on their college education.

Through the unique Triumph Program partnership with Missouri Military Academy, 22 MMA cadets are taking college courses this fall. Through the program, qualifying cadets can finish high school with nearly two years of college under their belt. William Woods faculty teach select Triumph Program college classes to cadets on the William Woods campus in Fulton and on the MMA campus in Mexico.

"We are proud to partner with MMA in offering the Triumph Program, which provides a great opportunity for student cadets to learn the self-discipline it takes to perform academically at the college level — while still in high school," said Scott Zimmerman, instructor of Leadership and Military Studies at William Woods. "Students get to in effect start their college career while still in high school — under the instruction of our quality faculty at William Woods."

Starting their college careers while still in high school allows students to save time and money, WWU said. Courses offered include calculus, college algebra, English composition, speech and history. By participating in the Triumph Program, cadets demonstrate to top colleges and universities their ability to complete and master college-level work.

"Our goal is to help young men take command of their futures, and the Triumph Program gives them a unique opportunity to reach their full academic potential beyond traditional dual-credit classes," MMA President Brigadier Gen. (Ret.) Richard V. Geraci said. "Our cadets learn and earn college credit through a true college academic experience by directly interacting with William Woods faculty, and we are proud to provide qualified cadets the potential to earn their associate degrees at the same time they graduate from MMA."

The Triumph Program is another example of William Woods' status as an official "military friendly" university. Cost, support services, career services and flexibility are among the most important factors in college decision making for veterans, WWU said.

In addition, William Woods is one of five universities in the state of Missouri to offer the Show-Me Guard Officer Leadership Development (GOLD) program, which trains and provides commissioned officers for the Missouri Army National Guard.

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