Hitting the Ground Running

Some first-year college students hit the ground running. This fall, Hayley Truett may be setting a land-speed record. Now in her final year at Lincoln High School in Manitowoc, she’s also exhibiting no signs of senioritis— or pre-college jitters, for that matter.

“I just got accepted today at UW-Green Bay.”

Which is a good thing. For the last two years, she’s been a Rising Phoenix—enrolled in UW-Green Bay’s innovative early college program. Concurrently enrolled in high school and university classes and showing no sign of slowing down.

“I have five classes this semester and five next semester.”

Quite an achievement for someone who confesses to feeling a bit disconnected entering high school. “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, or if college was even an option for me.” But her teachers at Lincoln sensed her potential and recommended her for the program.

And though Truett was uncertain of her path in high school, she found her flock in a college environment. “It’s nice to be around people with the same maturity and mindset that you do.”

Not that there haven’t been challenges along the way. Like fitting into a mix of college and high school students. Truett considered each class an interesting experience—depending on the class. “The art class had a lot of kids from Lincoln, so it’s kind of nice to see familiar faces.”

Or walking into a class with only three other people.

“When I came in, I didn’t realize it was that small,” Truett recalls. “The professor said ‘yeah, you can grab a seat somewhat closer to the front’.”

The class? First Aid and Emergency Care.

And as far as choosing a major, she’ll be making up her mind as an “official” first-year student with all her general education requirements met through the 60-credit Associate of Arts and Sciences degree. Plus, with the additional bonus of having a two-year “sneak preview” of different areas of study while still in high school.

“Right now I’m leaning more toward business, with a minor in the arts,” Truett says. “But maybe nursing.” Seems First Aid and Emergency Care made quite an impression. And so did her experience as a Rising Phoenix. “Now not only have a different view on school, but life itself. I don’t think there’s anything that I can’t do and there’s not anything that I’m discouraged to do.”

Rising Phoenix is a groundbreaking collaboration between school districts and UW-Green Bay, providing students with a future-proofing blend of dual enrollment, ongoing student success coaching and an opportunity to earn a high school diploma and an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree while still in high school. Empower your students to Dream Big, Rise Higher.