Hill selected as ambassador for University of Alabama

HillWhile Meredith Hill cheers for Demopolis High School, plays on its tennis team, serves as vice president of DECA and fulfills the duties of being a member of Anchor Club, Key Club and YouthLEAD, she’s also enrolled at the University of Alabama.

Hill, who will graduate next month, began taking courses online from the university last summer and in the fall was selected to serve as an ambassador for UA’s Early College.

“It is a program for young people, and it’s hard to get young people to be able to do something like this,” she said. The university wants people her age to recruit others to be in the program.

She applied and was accepted as an ambassador. The university sent posters and literature to give fellow students. So far, Hill said, about a dozen classmates have approached her for information, although she doesn’t know how many actually have signed up.

Hill plans to enroll in UA next fall, and, with the encouragement of her parents, Willy and Dana Hill, decided to get a head start on her courses.

“My parents always wanted me to jump ahead and always do things that people aren’t doing,” she said.

With the goal of a major in marketing and entrepreneurship, Hill enrolled in a basic psychology course. Before she began that work at the end of last summer, however, she took a two-credit Gateway Course beginning in June that introduced her to the UAEC and gave her tips on how to study and make the best use of what she would be doing.

The course explained how to navigate online courses, time management, preparing for college tests, research skills, using UA Libraries Online, writing skills, college communication and email etiquette and how to format a college paper.

The psychology course, said Hill, “was a lot of work but it is really worth it.” Students were required to watch videos on line “and actually read the assignments and take notes,” she laughed. “It’s more advanced than high school work.”

Her psychology professor required five assignments each week. Hill said each assignment took about 1 ½ hours. She admitted to doing a lot of work on the weekend, and she had to forego other things she would rather have been doing.

Her hard work paid off. Hill earned an A- in the course. Not only does she have one of her three-hour college courses behind her, but what she has learned has helped with her high school courses.

While she hasn’t met any of the other ambassadors in person, they get together occasionally for a group chat on line led by their director.

When students ask about the Early College, Hill tells them that just about any course open to freshmen is available to them. “You can take basically anything.”

To be eligible, a student must be at least a sophomore in high school and have scored a minimum of 21 on the ACT or hold a 3.0 average on a 4.0 scale.

Early College students can purchase textbooks, but Hill chose to download the book and print it herself.

For more information, contact Hill or go to www.uaearlycollege.ua.edu.