FRCC Graduate is First in the US to Earn New Degree

May 21, 2021 | Member News

One-of-a-kind program trains managers around the country who oversee highway and road maintenance.

More than 30 years ago, Don Strange dropped out of high school—due to the sudden death of his father and the medical condition of his mother. In order to help his family, he began his career as a city “pothole patcher.”

A dedicated public servant, Strange earned his GED and worked his way up to becoming manager of two divisions for the city of Highland Village in Texas—and has already had a successful career. But there was always something more he wanted to attain.

From Dropout to Graduate

His father was a firefighter and police officer who had stopped school after seventh grade. His grandparents had been migrant farmers and sharecroppers who had little to no formal education—and there was no expectation in his family of finishing high school.

But on May 11, Strange will earn a two-year college degree—a testament to the knowledge and expertise he has accumulated in his field. Strange will be the first graduate of FRCC’s new degree program in highway maintenance management.

“Two years ago I had no intention of going to college,” Strange says. “My experience proves that with hard work you can change your family’s dynamic and achieve things you never thought possible.”

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