After 15 years, distinguished war veteran returns to his roots to complete Blinn degree
Blinn Dual Credit Program helps ignite U.S. Air Force reservist's academic success
September 16, 2019
William Witte is no stranger to a challenge. The Afghanistan war veteran regularly faced rocket bombardment during his 2016 tour in the region, so when it came to finishing his Associate of Arts from the Blinn College District, the Brenham native approached the task head on.
"Blinn was unfinished business for me. I don’t like loose ends," Witte said. "I always dreamed of earning my degree from Blinn and after nearly 15 years, I’m grateful for the opportunity to come back and finish what I started."
Witte first attended the Blinn-Brenham Campus in 2005 as a high school student participating in the Dual Credit Program, an opportunity that enables students attending high school to earn credit toward a college degree as they pursue their high school diploma. With the help of reverse transfer, in 2019 Witte was able to fulfill his goal of obtaining his associate degree from Blinn.
However, he credits his dual credit experience with providing him the tools necessary to pursue two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Texas at Austin (UT) in radio-television-film and public relations, as well as his master’s degree in executive leadership and management from Liberty University. Graduating with highest honors, a near perfect GPA, and earning membership in Phi Kappa Phi at UT, Witte believes the experience he gained at Blinn helped set him up for academic and professional success.
"Dual credit is an incredible opportunity for high schoolers to begin their college studies years in advance of their peers," Witte said. "Blinn College will prepare you for university studies and future challenges in a way you may not even realize at the time."
Witte’s ties to the Blinn and Brenham communities run deep not only because of his personal experience, but also due to his family’s connections to the area. With ancestral roots in Brenham since the 1840s, his family includes a great grandfather who attended Blinn before moving on to UT’s first medical school in Galveston. Witte was Maifest King his senior year in high school while taking classes at Blinn.
Witte still cites courses he took at Blinn as helping establish his solid academic foundation and love of learning. His first Blinn course was U.S. Government with Professor Thaddaus Hill, a class Witte remembers as challenging but laced with humor. Hill still teaches at Blinn and acknowledges the expansive opportunities the Dual Credit Program can provide students.
"The Dual Credit Program introduces high school students to the limitless possibilities of the college experience and helps prepare them for the rigorous environment they are sure to encounter," Hill said. "The hallmarks of Blinn’s program are the quality of our faculty, the small class sizes, and the connections we’re able to make with these stellar students. I truly enjoy teaching dual credit students and I have served as a resource for many who have embarked on careers in various fields."
Blinn’s Dual Credit Program is available to students attending high schools in the district’s service area. Courses are taught at Blinn’s campuses, high school campuses by a credentialed instructor or online. The Dual Credit Program allows students to jumpstart their futures, an advantage Witte celebrates as he considers pursing roles in public affairs or the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
"Blinn is at the forefront of forming partnerships and transfer opportunities with other major universities across the state," Witte said. "As a result of my dual credit coursework, I became accustomed to the class rigor and overall environment of a college campus. I went into UT both confident and prepared as a result of my studies at Blinn College."
For more information on Blinn’s Dual Credit Program, visit www.blinn.edu/dual-credit. To learn more about earning your associate degree from Blinn through reverse transfer visit www.blinn.edu/reverse-transfer.
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With an enrollment of 19,581 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence.