Thanks to the credits he earned from Laurel Ridge as a dual-enrolled student, aspiring Air Force officer Joseph Martin has shaved 20 percent off his time at Virginia Tech.
When he graduated from Warren County High School in 2023, Martin already had 36 college credits from Laurel Ridge, all while staying at his high school. At Virginia Tech, he is studying civil engineering and will graduate in 2027.
“I’m very, very fortunate and happy that I got the dual-enrolled credits,” he said. “Ordinarily, I would have had to do five years to complete my degree. Since I had those credits, I’m on a four-year track.”
Martin credits Brigitte Grimm, a Laurel Ridge career coach at Warren County High, with inspiring him to join the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech. He is in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).
“I want to commission as an officer,” said Martin. “I want to be a maintenance officer. I’ve always been intrigued by mechanical design, taking apart things, and putting them back together.”
His favorite dual-enrolled classes were biology, history, pre-calculus and calculus. The rigor of the classes really helped prepare Martin for what he would face at Virginia Tech.
“The classes were challenging, especially when it came to my biology class,” he explained. “That class was really something. At the time, I thought it was really hard. Now I see it as a regular college class. It really prepared me for college.”
Describing Virginia Tech as a senior military college, Martin says he lives with other corpsmen.
“It’s a mini-boot camp all your first year,” he said. “As a freshman, you’re basically a rat. It’s a very good experience. It teaches you a lot about leadership, loyalty, bud camaraderie. My freshman class, I consider them all buds. That’s what we’re supposed to call them.”
Martin plans to sign up for a scholarship between his sophomore and junior years committing himself to the military. He will be commissioned a second lieutenant following graduation.
His time at Virginia Tech has been a great experience so far, he said.
“I really like the people,” Martin said. “I like that I can make friends essentially anywhere I go. I like the freedom between classes. Granted, I don’t have a lot of the freedom normal college students have, but it’s all part of learning to cope with the military environment.”
Learn more about dual enrollment at laurelridge.edu/de.
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.