College News

Sisters finish associate degree before most start college; Barton Community College Fort Riley campus recognizes class of 2021

Fort Riley Graduates Emma and Megan Meece
Emma (left) and Megan Meece, who graduated with associate degrees from Barton Community College at the ages of 16 and 18, respectively, pose for a photo before the Fort Riley Education Services commencement ceremony Thursday afternoon at Fort Riley.

August 26, 2021
Story and photos by Brandon Steinert

Sisters Emma and Megan Meece have a head start on life. Emma, 16, and Megan, 18, both celebrated completing  their associate degrees from Barton Community College at the Fort Riley Education Services commencement ceremony Thursday afternoon at Fort Riley. They effectively finished their first two years of college before most even get started.

“I never thought this would be possible,” Emma said. “If you told me when we moved here six years ago that I’d be leaving here with an associate in science, I’d say, ‘you’re lying.’ But I’m so glad to have had this opportunity. It’s been great.”

The homeschooled siblings were able to take the classes as dual credit, which means the curriculum counts toward their high school graduation requirements in addition to college credit. They were able to cover a lot of ground quickly because the courses only last about seven weeks. Further, the classes were covered by a scholarship offered to military service members and their families and dependents.

The Meeces said their knowledge and intellect weren’t the only things developed through the experience. They said they also built a lot of new friendships and even deepened their relationship with their mother, who also began taking classes through Barton with the intention of going into a medical field.

With their associate degrees behind them, the Meece sisters said they look forward to pursuing their interests at the next level.

Emma plans to pursue education in ultrasound, while Megan is looking at careers in math and theoretical physics.

“It feels really good to graduate,” Megan said.

Emma enthusiastically agreed, adding that it’s surreal to think she’s graduating with an associate degree at 16.

“It hasn’t fully hit me yet,” she said. “But I know I’ve accomplished something pretty great at a young age. This was such a great opportunity.”

Barton recognizes graduates at Fort Riley Education Services Commencement

The Meece sisters were two of 15 students who chose to walk as part of the larger celebration Thursday afternoon. Nearly 70 students graduated with associate in arts, associate in science, associate in general studies and associate in applied science degrees.

Visit for more information about Barton’s many programs and services to the public and Soldiers at its Fort Riley and Grandview Plaza campuses.