UNT Student to Earn Doctorate Degree at Age 19 - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

UNT Student to Earn Doctorate Degree at Age 19

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    UNT Student to Earn Doctorate Degree at Age 19

    Noel Jett is earning her Ph.D at an age where many college students are still trying to figure things out. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018)

    At the age of 19, many college students are still trying to figure out what they want to do with their education. One University of North Texas student already has that figured out. Next week, she will receive her doctorate in educational psychology -- the youngest ever at UNT to reach that goal.

    The day every college student anticipates is fast approaching. For Noel Jett, that day is coming sooner than it does for most students.

    "Walking across the stage is actually the easiest part," Jett said. "It feels a little anticlimactic because the most defining parts of my degree are not as dignified."

    Jett describes those things which many college students experience -- crying in an advisor's office, staying up late, studying. In many ways Noel is the typical college student.

    Al Roker Looks Back on 40 Years at NBC

    [NY-NATL] Al Roker Looks Back on 40 Years at NBC

    Today Show's Al Roker is celebrating 40 years at NBC, and he takes a moment with old pal Janice Huff to talk about his history with WNBC, the memorable storms they've covered and that infamous Doppler 4000 promo.

    (Published Friday, Dec. 14, 2018)

    In other ways, she's anything but.

    "I've always had a desire to learn," she said.

    At 19, Jett is about to become the youngest in UNT history -- and possibly the U.S. -- to earn a doctorate in educational psychology.

    "From an intellectual perspective she was definitely more advanced than other kids her age," said Anne Rinn, professor of educational psychology at UNT, who is Jett's advisor and also serves as director of the Office for Giftedness, Talent Development and Creativity. "So from that perspective she met an intellectual peer group here, which was cool. They were just twenty years older than she was."

    Her mom started to notice at age three, that Noel was different. She would ask why other kids her age were doing things, and the questions were deep.

    "I always thought she seemed very attuned to things and very bright," said Jett's mother Nancy Shastid. "But I had no point of reference because she was my only child."

    Video Captures Pilot's Rescue From Crashed Jet

    [NATL] Video Captures Pilot's Rescue From Crashed Jet During Military Exercise

    Video and photos captured the rescue of a 47-year-old civilian pilot, whose jet crashed shortly after take-off during a military exercise.

    (Published Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018)

    Shastid said Jett was tested by doctors, who told her the best course of action was to remove her from public schools.

    "It typically happens around age 4 or 5," Rinn said. "Parents start to realize their kids aren't quite like everybody else."

    After just weeks of kindergarten, Jett was home schooled. She entered Tarrant County Community College at age 13. Then, she enrolled at Texas A&M, earning her bachelor's degree at 16. Now, she is entering her final days at UNT, where she picked up her cap and gown Monday.

    Jett appears quite comfortable with the fact that she's always been ahead of the curve. Still, people seem fascinated by it all.

    "I think everybody has something they get a lot of questions about or those comments that are a little uncomfortable," she said. "And you have to decide how you're going to handle it."

    Jett plans to become a therapist, working with the gifted. She said many people have misconceptions about young people like her who take part in accelerated education programs. She has an obvious talent, but school has also been hard work. One week from Friday, it will all pay off.

    "I feel like I've earned my degree with blood, sweat and tears, not by walking across the stage," she said. "But that's the fun part."

    Get the latest from NBC DFW anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android