HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Tuesday is graduation day at Hamden High School!

Special shoutout to Officer Brewer Vicky, Charlene and Lamond who worked to keep the hallways safe this year.

When we first met Hamden’s Jack Gaffney, it was 2019 , and he was swinging a hammer at a groundbreaking ceremony at Hamden High School as a freshman.

It was to kick off the schools new program–Hamden Engineering Career Academy.

Jack Gaffney is a Hamden High Graduate, and one of the first students to complete the schools ambitious program that gives students a chance to earn enough college credits to earn them a degree while in school.

“The HECA program definitely helped me with college admissions, over 60 college credits, its appealing to colleges having those college classes, and I think it will also help me there, having that experience,” said Gaffney.

The students spent the last four years learning high-tech skills related to manufacturing, engineering, and computer programming.

“While they’re in Hamden High School, they’re taking duel-enrollment classes. So what that means is while they’re in my classroom, they’re also enrolled in the same course at Gateway. So the grade they earn with me is also earned at Gateway College,” said Gabe Jenkins, Hamden Engineering Career Academy.

The students are not only graduating with a degree but also work certificates which allow them to join a company today and be a true asset to what they’re doing.