Highpoint Virtual Academy of Michigan, a tuition-free public charter school based in Mesick (about 30 miles south of Traverse City) has been chosen as the first virtual public school in the state to offer an early middle college program.
The three-year program is designed to allow eligible students to earn a high-school diploma while simultaneously earning an associate degree, a Michigan Early Middle College Association technical certificate, and industry-recognized technical certificate, or 60 transferable credits. The academy is available to students across the state.
The academy will partner with Baker College to offer an associate degree in business administration and Davenport University to offer an associate of applied science — computer information systems degree. Students must begin the programs in 11th grade, and credits may apply to additional degree programs at the two universities.
All of the classes are administered online, but students can opt to take classes in person at the Baker University campuses in Allen Park, Auburn Hills, Cadillac, Clinton Township, Flint, Jackson, Muskegon, or Owosso. Students can also take classes at Davenport University campuses in Grand Rapids, Holland, Lansing, Midland, Warren, Flint, Kalamazoo, Traverse City, or Detroit.
Outside of the middle college program, academy students can also participate in the school’s dual enrollment program, in which qualifying students take college credit-bearing classes while still in high school. The classes can be used to fulfill both high-school graduation requirements and count for college credit.
Students enrolled in either program will receive college ID cards, making them eligible for college-level tutoring, study sessions, and access to campus amenities.
“This is an amazing opportunity for our online students and their families in the state of Michigan,” says Mary Moorman, head of the academy. “The EMC and dual enrollment programs could greatly reduce student and parent college cost and give Michigan students a significant advantage towards pursuing additional college credits and starting their careers.”
Early middle college programs were established in Michigan brick-and-mortar schools as far back as 1991. Significant funding to expand the programs was added by former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm in 2006. The new collaboration with the academy was approved by the Michigan Department of Education in February and will run as a pilot to determine its effectiveness.
The academy is a full-time online Michigan public school authorized by Mesick Consolidated Schools. It offers a personalized approach to learning in an attempt to assist students who seek alternative pathways to education.
Virtual classes are taught by Michigan-licensed teachers who provide instruction during live online class sessions and are available to students via phone, email, and in-person meetings.
Applications are now open for the fall 2019 semester. More information is available here.