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Early/Middle College Expands
Linda Mah
/ Categories: Communications

Early/Middle College Expands

Program Lets High Schoolers Earn Degrees at KVCC

The Kalamazoo Public School Board of Trustees recently approved dramatically expanding the offerings in the Early/Middle College Program, to help expose students to more career opportunities.

In December, the board approved increasing the number of EMC programs from eight to 35. The Early/Middle College Program allows students to earn a high school diploma and college credit simultaneously. By enrolling in EMC for two or more years, students can earn a professional certificate or an associate’s degree in subjects ranging from welding to culinary arts to biology.

All classes are held at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Incoming Early College students: Join KVCC for an open house 6-8 p.m. April 25 or May 17 in Room 4240 on the KVCC Texas Township Campus, 6767 W. O Ave. Learn more about the Early College program and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Please register one week prior to the open house. Call (269) 488-4040 to register.

EMC allows students to explore careers, receive high school and college credits, and prepare for careers. It also gives students real-world learning and earning opportunities, that may appeal to some students and help keep them on a path toward a high school diploma and a more advanced degree, Johnny Edwards, director of secondary education, and Cindy Green, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning services for KPS, said during the board presentation on EMC.

“The board and I hope these opportunities and partnerships with KVCC will inspire children to explore a wide range of career possibilities,” said Dr. Michael Rice, superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools. “We want to provide real-world connections and to show children the relationship between what they study and what they are able to do as a career.”

The EMC program supports the new board goal to “improve career awareness, exploration and development in the middle years of development.”

The KPS partnership with KVCC in EMC launched during the 2015-2016 school year with four courses: an associate’s degree of applied science in machine tool technology, a machinist certificate, a personal computer support technician certificate of achievement, and a welding technologies certificate of achievement.

For the 2016-2017 school year, the board approved four additional programs: a certificate of graphic design, an associate’s in graphic design, an associate’s in liberal arts, and an auto brakes certificate of achievement.

With the 2017-2018 expansion of the program, students will be able to take advantage of 35 EMC opportunities.

The broad-based Associate of Arts degree will be replaced by specific degree programs in art, business administration, computer information systems, computer science, criminal justice, elementary education, secondary education, and social work. In addition, the program will offer Associate of Science degrees in biology, engineering, and fisheries/natural resources.

These degrees require a minimum of 62 credit hours, and some transfer to a four-year college or university.

There are four new programs under the Associate of Applied Science degree, which are occupational in orientation and designed to prepare students for immediate employment in the areas of accounting, administrative assistant, culinary arts and sustainable food systems, and information technology support. These courses require 62 credit hours.

There are two new certificate categories, each requiring 30 credit hours, in administrative support and office management.

Next year, the EMC program also will offer 11 additional certificate of achievement programs. These require fewer courses than regular certificate programs. These programs are in auto suspension/steering, auto computer-assisted design, computer numeric control, dietary manager, help desk, inventor, machine tool operator, network manager, office support specialist, software support specialist, and word processing specialist.

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