It all began when she was in eighth grade and was in search of an advanced math curriculum. A teacher recommended to her the idea of taking courses at CAC.
Inspired and hopeful, Koerth sought the guidance of a CAC adviser, and soon after collaborating, she was admitted to the college and took Introductory and Intermediate Algebra online.
The following year, as a freshman at Casa Verde High School, Koerth joined her fellow community members in the CAC Wind Ensemble playing the French horn.
Her weekly routine of visiting the campus for practices helped her grow familiar with the layout, and during her sophomore year of high school, she began taking 11 credits.
Koerth said she has enjoyed the convenience of being able to choose the professor of her liking and class time and forum at CAC.
“What’s not to love?” Koerth, who relishes the options CAC has to offer, said. “I prefer online classes because it is easier to work on own time and at my own pace.”
When Koerth bulked up her schedule to 16 credits this past fall, she learned to enjoy in-person classes as well.
“Literature classes are better in person for the discussions, but I liked doing all of my math classes online.”
Because she had signed the Promise for the Future contract as an eighth grader, she was able to receive scholarship funds to cover her cost of tuition at CAC when she started her junior year of high school this past fall.
Originally attending CAC for Dual Enrollment, Koerth soon realized she was on track to graduate by utilizing her Master Academic Plan (MAP).
“I found out I could graduate from high school early and then graduate from CAC at the same time as my high school graduation,” she said.
Koerth has kept busy this past year and began an editorial internship at Pinal County Lifestyles Magazine last June.
“I write monthly articles for a column, and any extra articles if needed,” she explained. Koerth. “I also do research and editing.”
Koerth has valued her internship and said she knows what she is doing is good experience for the future. She has accepted the Arizona Board of Regent’s High Honors Tuition Scholarship (a.k.a. – AIMS Scholarship) and has been admitted to Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Barrett Honors College.
Koerth will be able to transfer up to 64 credits from CAC to ASU and with the completion of her degree, the Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC) guarantees that all of her community college credits will be equivalent to ASU credits.
But she doesn’t cease to impress. Koerth plans to participate in a dual degree program at ASU in which she can complete a master’s degree at the same time and for the same price as her bachelor’s.
“It could be possible for me to have my master’s degree before I turn 18,” Koerth, who has no regrets regarding her academic experience, said. “I couldn’t believe I could graduate that fast. It wasn’t that hard, as long as you can manage your time.”
Koerth offered advice to future Early College students, emphasizing time management.
“You have to commit to putting school over everything else,” she said. “It might not seem like it’s going to help now, but it will help in the long run.”
The only challenge Koerth has faced due to being such a young student has involved transportation.
“It’s hard to get a ride sometimes because my mom has to leave work to bring me to class.”
Koerth’s mother, who graduated from CAC last spring, is extremely excited and proud to see her daughter graduate this May.
Koerth, a member Phi Theta Kappa and S.T.E.M., looks forward to the end of the semester as she works toward graduating as close as possible to a 4.0 GPA.
“I have enjoyed it,” she said. “It gets me where I want to be in life faster.”