Cats are no longer your typical mouse-catching, ball-chasing, household feline. Today’s modern cat usually has their own Facebook page and Twitter account, as well as a few close-up modeling shots splattered across the website ‘I can haz cheezburger’.
Today, as evidenced by YouTube, cats are able to quickly learn to play the piano, dance and do acrobatic feats. All of this proves that cats have undergone some kind of evolution within the past few years. Today it is even possible, thanks to their intelligence, that cats are able to earn their high school diplomas online.
Even though this sounds pretty amazing, it is true! Oreo C. Collins is not only the first cat to earn a high school diploma online, but probably also the youngest to do so at the tender young age of 2 years old.
Oreo’s story begins when she was rescued out of a ditch when she was just a mere ball of fur in Macon, Georgia. Oreo was eventually adopted by her rescuer, Kelvin Collins, who is the president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia.
It seemed that Mr. Collins strongly encouraged Oreo to pursue an online education and persuaded her to take part in an ongoing investigation of online diploma mills that was initiated by the Better Business Bureau.
Of Oreo’s intelligence, Mr. Collins has admitted that: “Oreo’s a really smart cat.”
It certainly seems as if Mr. Collins is correct, as Oreo received almost straight A’s on her online test. The rest of Oreo’s scores came from a life experience essay that she had to write. Oreo chose to write about becoming a part of Mr. Collins’ family through adoption.
In her essay, Oreo wrote about how grateful she was that Mr. Collins found her whilst attending his son Brennan’s football practice. She is even more grateful that Mr. Collins believed in her so much that he paid her $200 school test fee out of his own pocket, just so that she could obtain her high diploma from Jefferson High School Online.
Although Oreo is one smart cookie, ah, cat, Mr. Collins did have to help her little bit along the way in answering some of the very tough questions online. Mr. Collins confessed that Oreo sat quietly in his lap during the test. Mr. Collins, on the other hand, was grateful that the online high school’s testing program offered him suggestions on the correct answers.
“If you miss a question, the test gives you a hint that tells you what the answer is,” Mr. Collins said.
Even though Oreo completed a remarkable feat by obtaining her high school diploma online, it should not be confused with a General Education Development Diploma or GED.
Cassandra M. Brown, a spokeswoman for GED Testing, explains:
“The GED Tests cannot be taken online. They are only available for in-person testing at an Official GED Testing Center.”
In fact, Ms. Brown has confirmed that the GED Testing Service, which is actually a Program of the American Council on Education, has warned the public about the dangers of such online high school programs like Jefferson High School Online.
Mr. Collins admits that even though he realizes how important it was for Oreo to receive her high school diploma online, he acknowledges the fact that Oreo’s degree should be considered a warning for other prospective high school graduate wannabe’s – humans, cats and dogs alike, of course. No amount of money can be substituted for a good, hard-earned, education.
Mr. Collins states:
“We (the BBB) do a lot of stories on these diploma mills, but a lot of times consumers really don’t get it until you show them an example of how they (the diplomas) aren’t worth much.”
Sadly, this means that Oreo’s adoptive brothers, Brennan, 12, and Brad, 15, will also have to earn their high school diploma’s the hard way.
“I told them I’m going to ahead and make them earn their high school diplomas the old-fashioned way,” said Mr. Collins. “They’re really jealous, especially considering school started yesterday.”
Oreo has slowly realized that her joy in earning her high school diploma online was short lived and now wonders what the future has in store for her.
“She would have loved going to high school,” said Collins. “She’s very social and very nosy.”
Sadly, Oreo will not be able to earn her college degree online either, as the costs are exorbitantly high.
“I chose Jefferson High School Online because it was one of the cheaper diploma mills,” Mr. Collins admitted. “If you want to get a ‘college degree,’ that’s $800 to $1,200.”
To reward her for her outstanding academic achievements, the Collins family bought Oreo a brand new automatic litter box and showered her with a few extra treats.
Photo Credit: danielfoster437