Life in the fast lane – The Press Times
Rising Phoenix program allows Neziri to test-drive college
By Michael Shaw
GREEN BAY – There’s fast-tracking your college experience, and then there’s Nadia Neziri’s academic life in the fast lane.
“I have a summer internship and I’m taking two summer classes.”
While that’s not so unusual, consider for a moment that she will be walking onto UW-Green Bay’s campus as a first-year student but with the academic standing of a junior – all thanks to the Rising Phoenix program that enables selected high school students to concurrently take two years of college courses.
And, if all goes well, being handed both a high school diploma and associate of arts degree at the same graduation. And it’s going quite well for Neziri to this point, and she shows no signs of slowing down.
“I knew I wanted to attend college and take upper-level classes in high school. It could be risky to say, yeah, I’m going to start taking college classes now. But with the Rising Phoenix program, I felt like I could handle it and I was willing to put in the work.”
As for her choice of a college major, you can thank UW-Green Bay’s classic liberal arts curriculum, which allows a student to “test drive” a major through general education courses. In this case, biology.
She had taken a college-level biology class in high school and found it very interesting.
“We talked about ecology a lot, and I had taken an environmental science class too,” she said.
But political science and policy was also vying for her academic attention. So why not combine the two? Then UW-Green Bay’s unique ability to mix-and-match majors and minors came to the rescue.
“I discovered Environmental Policy and Planning, and I was like Oh, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for.”
And a new star student was born. But Neziri knows it takes hard work to rise and shine —expecting to graduate with a degree in Environmental Policy and Planning and a minor in environmental science in just two years.
And, ever rising, she’s already scanning the horizon for her next destination.
“I’m seriously looking into about six grad schools, I’m honestly just going to apply to as many as possible.”