Stories of Excellence–Ty'ana Ivory

Ty’ana Ivory is not your average high school student. A Collaborative College Technology & Leadership (CCTL) student, Ivory juggles high school and college coursework. Through her dedication to her studies and her passion for leadership, she is truly living her philosophy that one has to work to achieve excellence.


Ivory came to Mitchell in the fall of 2014 as a CCTL freshman. This Early College High School–a joint venture between Iredell Statesville Schools and the Mooresville Graded School District and Mitchell Community College–provides a technology-enriched, leadership-focused curriculum for a select group of students in grades 9-13. Students have the opportunity to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and a two-year college associates degree through a five-year program. “Everybody goes to regular high school. I wanted to take my own path and do something different,” Ivory said, adding that she, like many CCTL students, is the first in her family to attend college. In fact, 80% of early college students are either first-generation students, from a low socioeconomic status background or are considered at-risk in some way.


While her school experience has been different from the average high school student, Ivory shared being a part of an early college program has been ideal for her. “I’m a leader and I love to collaborate,” she said when asked why she applied for CCTL as a middle schooler. What Ivory found at CCTL and Mitchell was beyond her expectations. “When you get to college you really see where your determination and your motivation is. No one else will do it for you. You find out who you are,” she noted. “Mitchell is the place where I learned who I was and where I saw what I could become.” CCTL boasts positive outcomes among students, with a 100% high school graduation rate and an average of 90% of students additionally earning a Mitchell degree, diploma or certificate. 


Now a super-senior, Ivory plans to graduate both high school and receive her Associate in Arts degree from Mitchell in May 2019. She aims to continue her studies at a four-year university, pursuing advanced degrees in psychology. Her goal is to open her own practice as a Trauma Psychologist for Children and Adolescents and to explore more of the world outside her hometown of Statesville. “I want to show my baby sisters there is so much more out there,” she noted.


For individuals of any age thinking about continuing their education, Ivory encourages them to take the first step. “Whatever you want to do, just do it. Don’t let people tell you that you can’t. And don’t let yourself tell you that you can’t,” she shared. “Through struggle comes understanding. If you don’t struggle, you’re not going to learn anything.” Although she has had her share of struggles while at Mitchell, Ivory would not trade her unique experience. “While life has taught me a lot of different lessons, Mitchell is where I learned to apply those lessons. Mitchell offers a lot of stuff. If you want to try something out and not spend a lot of money, Mitchell is a good place to start.”


Explore options for getting ahead in your education by taking college classes during high school. Discover degrees, diploma and certificate programs Mitchell offers and find out how to apply. Gain a new skill or expand your career opportunities through our short-term Continuing Education programs. For additional support, speak to an advisor at (704) 978-5493 or