Josh Clinton

Double the education with dual degrees

Joshua Clinton '14 had a very busy May.

On May 3, he graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in computer engineering. Two weeks later, he received his pre-engineering degree from LaGrange College. And on May 19, he started a new job with American Megatrends, a hardware and software company based in Norcross.

Joshua credits LaGrange's dual-degree engineering program with much of his success.

"When I started looking at colleges, I knew I wanted to go into engineering," he says. "I also wanted to play football because I've played the game my whole life. The football coaches at LaGrange told me about the dual-degree program here. I looked into it, and knew that LaGrange was the place I needed to be."

Dual-degree students complete at least 90 semester hours (approximately three years) at LaGrange College, then transfer to Georgia Tech or Auburn for another two to three years.

Upon graduation, participants will have earned two diplomas - one from a top-notch liberal arts college and an engineering degree from one of the country's best engineering schools.

"LaGrange definitely laid a strong foundation for me in math and sciences," he says. "When I took my calculus courses here, there were only seven or eight kids in the class. It basically was one-on-one with the teacher the whole time."

So it was a bit of a shock when he began computer engineering classes at Georgia Tech.

"I walked into class that first day, and there were 250 kids there," he says. "The teacher was writing small on the chalkboard and I could barely read what he was writing. It was definitely a challenge. I went from small classes with close relationships with my professors to a huge campus where I was pretty much on my own."

But he says his work at LaGrange prepared him for his time at Tech.

"I learned everything here that I needed to know for my courses there," he says. "LaGrange helped me graduate from Tech with a decent GPA."

It wasn't without its challenges, though.

"Once I got to Tech, all of my courses were strictly engineering, and the work was intense. That first semester, I took 15 hours and I didn't have a life. My advice to dual-degree students is to slow down and don't try to take so many courses at once."

Joshua's dedication paid off with a job offer even before he graduated. He says leadership skills learned at LaGrange helped him get the position.

"One of the things they were impressed with was that I was captain of the football team, so they knew I had leadership experience," he says. "That was a great thing to have on my resume."

Eventually Joshua says his dream job would be working on deep-sea projects.

"I'd love to design sonar systems or submersible robots. I love the ocean, and to be able to design, test and do real-time fixes on those kinds of things while on the sea would be something I'd really enjoy."