WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. – The Wayne-Westland Community School District is hoping a new program will boost the number of students heading to college.
The district won approval for a program that can save students and their families two years of college tuition and fees.
The school district will have 1,800 graduating seniors this year and less than half of them will be post-secondary education or college-bound, but that is expected to change drastically. The state has approved the district for a middle college program.
Students accepted to middle college essentially earn actual, transferrable college credits while simultaneously finishing their high school degree. They walk across the stage with their classmates at graduation time but will remain in the middle college program for one more additional year as college sophomores.
When they complete their middle college classwork they will have an associate’s degree. If they choose to go to a college or university for a bachelor’s degree, they enter that institution as a junior because the credits are transferable.
Right now, 46% of students who graduate from the Wayne-Westland school district go to post-secondary education. The district expects that 60% of graduating seniors will be college-bound by 2025.
Middle college is part of their public education offering, so it saves students and their parents two full years on a bachelor’s degree. That means it also saves two full years of tuition and college costs.
Students can begin applying for middle college this fall.
Read more: Michigan high school students can earn college credits at no cost to them: Find out if you qualify
Click here to make sure the courses you take will transfer to the college or university you plan on attending next. This website is a good indicator, but you should always check directly with the school you want to attend.
What is early middle college?
Early middle college is a five-year program that has been approved by the Michigan Department of Education that allows a high school student to also earn college credits.
High school students enrolled in early middle college will receive coursework through a public or private college or university in Michigan. School districts are required to pay the tuition, mandatory course fees, material fees and registration fees for enrollment in eligible courses -- unless the costs exceed a certain prorated percentage.
High school students can begin the program as early as 9th grade.
Students enrolled in the 5-year program can earn their high school diploma and one or more of the following:
- 60 transferable college credits
- An associate degree
- A professional certification
- The Michigan Early Middle College Association (MEMCA) technical certificate
- Participation in a registered apprenticeship
Here are the different types of programs:
- Early Middle College High School: Means a stand-alone public high school, where 100% of the pupils are enrolled as EMC pupils.
- Early Middle College Program is a high school program designed to serve less than 100% of the high school population.
- Early Middle College Consortium program is comprised of multiple school districts with one coordinating agency.
Click here to learn more about early middle college.
Click here to learn more about a different program, dual enrollment.