Lauren Riley Selected as University of Alabama Early College Ambassador

Lauren Riley

Lauren Riley

Lauren York Riley a student at the Shelby County College and Career Center (formerly known as the School of Technology) has been selected to serve as a 2013-2014 University of Alabama Early College Ambassador. Riley is one many high school students earning college credit at a four-year university while remaining in high school.  The program offers students an opportunity to earn up to a full year of college credits taking online college classes while still in high school.

 “UA Early College is designed to accommodate high school students’ busy schedules. Our online classes are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, so students have the flexibility to study and complete college work ahead of deadlines,” said Dr. Cheree Causey, director of UA Early College.  “Students from Alabama to Ohio, California to Vermont, are part of a global classroom, participating together in discussions, chat, and group projects.”

 Riley, a Helena resident, has already completed Intro to Psychology 101, Intro to Anthropology 100, English Composition 101, and English Composition 102 and is enrolled in American Literature 209 for the fall. When she starts her freshman year at UA, she will have already earned over 20 credit hours.

 Riley plans to pursue a degree in Metallurgical Engineering. She is the only 2nd year female welding student at the Shelby County College and Career Center.  The UA Early College program will make it possible for her to complete an engineering degree in three years verses the usual fourth year.

 In its fourth year, UA Early College has over 1,000 students with a 3.5 cumulative GPA in their University of Alabama courses.  UA Early College students choose when they take courses – every term, during the summer, or in selected terms as their high school schedule allows.  A number of students participated in the UA Early College Summer Residential Experience this year, living on campus, making new friends, and earning six credit hours.

 Early College credits transfer broadly to most colleges and universities across the nation. Students who complete 17+ UA Early College credit hours with a 2.5 or higher grade point average are eligible for admission to The University of Alabama without submitting an ACT score and receive priority assignment for Housing. UA Early College students also benefit from a partial tuition scholarship that reduces the cost of tuition.

 “This is an excellent program for motivated high school students who are prepared to take college-level courses,” Causey said. “Peer coaches and other support networks are in place to help the student transition to college-level study. We accept students throughout the year – spring, summer, and fall.”

 To enroll in UA Early College, students must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and a transcript sent by a counselor, principal or home school agent.  High school students may apply to UA Early College anytime from the fall of their sophomore year through the summer following their high school graduation.  For more information on UA Early College, including application deadlines, tuition and scholarships, visit or call 1-877-823-8759.

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