Earning Credit Now, Focusing on the Future

“I put my foot in the water and then just kept swimming.” This is how student, Makena, described starting her academic journey in UA Early College when she was just a sophomore in high school. Now, as she looks to finish her senior year of high school next May, she said, “I feel so much more prepared!” She plans to attend a four-year university and will begin her freshman year with more than 20 hours of college credit already on her transcript.


Makena learned about what she called “a cool opportunity” from friends at her high school who were enrolled in UA Early College. “They were talking about the courses they were taking and how even with the classes being online, they enjoyed the dis-cussions with other high school students across the country.” She looked into UA Early College and when she realized she could earn college credit while she was still in high school, she thought she’d give it a try.

The first class she took was the UAEC 200 College Readiness Course, which is required of all UA Early College students. After completing that four-week online course during the summer before 10th grade, she was ready to start taking classes, including English, history, political science, theatre, computer science, anthropology and communication studies.


“My UAEC academic advisor, Ms. Hoggle, really helped me know what to take and when I should take my classes. I am involved in so many things in school that I wanted to make sure I could balance everything.” Makena has been the captain of her cheerleading squad, on the tennis team, a member of Junior Cosmos and FBLA, active in her church and worked a part-time job. She says one of the biggest challenges was learning to balance her time, but the skills outlined in the College Readiness Course gave her tangible methods to be successful.

“I also found that I really liked the discussion-based courses, and I am thankful for how UAEC has helped my communication skills develop over the past few years. This development includes being more open-minded to listening to others’ ideas and opinions in discussions.” Makena said that for anyone else thinking about taking college classes online and earning college credit, should just “go for it!” She is excited about already having earned more than a semester’s worth of credits and getting a head start on her major of International Relations.


Learn more about UA Early College and the UAEC 200 College Readiness Course, see a list of typical courses, and find out more about the three-step application process, scholarships, and tuition, by visiting or calling 205-348-7083 to speak with a member of the UA Early College staff.

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