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Phoenix Forward

Boy Wonder: Resident prodigy at University of Phoenix is also a doctoral student

Boy wonder Chris Crowe

When Chris Crowe was 12 years old, his parents made a decision that would have a tremendous impact on the rest of his life. They decided that he and his older sister, Rebecca, then 14, would skip high school altogether and enrolled the siblings in their local community college in Phoenix instead.

Four years later, at the age of 16, Crowe emerged with two Associate of Arts degrees and transferred to Arizona State University.

“The question I get asked the most,” confesses Crowe, who is currently SEO manager for University of Phoenix, “is, ‘What about the high school prom? Didn’t you miss going?’”

The truth is, “I didn’t mind it at all,” says Crowe, who went on to graduate with a 4.00 GPA and an interdisciplinary studies degree in business and English writing from ASU at 18. After nabbing an internship with the University of Phoenix website team, he started working for the site full time following graduation.

To understand the accelerated speed of Crowe’s education, it helps to know that he and his sister were being homeschooled by their mother prior to going to junior college.

“My own educational philosophy and the philosophy of my family is education isn’t one size fits all,” says Crowe, who made friends with peers along the way by playing clarinet in youth orchestras.

My own educational philosophy and the philosophy of my family is education isn’t one size fits all.

“Maybe it’s better for some people to be able to learn at their own pace. Most people don’t even realize that they are able to go to community college at a younger age.”

As SEO manager, Crowe is responsible for optimizing content on phoenix.edu so that pages can be found on search engines.

In addition to his current role, Crowe launched his own successful company at the age of 17, for which he still does computer setup and website design for small to medium-sized companies in his free time.

For that job, Crowe enjoys telling people, “My dad was actually my first employee.”

Crowe, now 22, is currently two years into his Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, an ambitious combined master’s and doctorate program.

In terms of distant goals, Crowe has his sights on a competitive MBA program offered by Cambridge University.

But before he can conquer the world, he wants to master the work in front of him — and perhaps move away from his parents.

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