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Congratulations, Early/Middle College Class of 2020!
As graduating high school seniors across the country prepare to take their next steps toward a meaningful career, students in Kalamazoo County Early/Middle College (EMC), a part of Kalamazoo RESA’s Career & Technical Education efforts, are already ahead of the game. After completing the program this May, 81 remarkable students are preparing to either head back to college, or joining the workforce directly.
EMC allows students to earn an associate degree or industry-recognized certificate, with little or no cost, by completing a fifth year of high school. During the 2019-20 school year, the program supported 178 students who were enrolled at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) and Kellogg Community College (KCC).
“I am so proud of the EMC Class of 2020!” beamed Lisa Bartell, Early/Middle College program coordinator. “Our students have overcome some difficult circumstances in the last few months with all of their college coursework moving online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They adjusted, worked through the technology challenges and figured out what was required for success in their courses. Despite it all, they pushed through to the finish line to complete the EMC program.”
As the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual EMC Celebration ceremony for the class of 2020 was regrettably canceled. This year especially, it is important to acknowledge this momentous accomplishment - all EMC students have been recognized in an EMC Celebration video on the Kalamazoo RESA Career & Technical Education Facebook page.
Grace Dexter of Parchment High School will attend KVCC to continue her education in dental hygiene. “The biggest thing I will remember from this program is how helpful and willing everyone was who was involved. It truly made things much easier and more enjoyable for me,” she said. “It's an experience I didn't plan on having, but I sure am glad that I did!”
Gull Lake High School grad Riley Smith will continue to attend KVCC as he studies chemical engineering. “This program has allowed me to get a large sum of college credits for very little money. It also allows the student a nice guided step from high school to college. I know that my brother is planning on taking advantage of the program as well,” he explained.
“I can’t wait to see all of the amazing things this group will accomplish in their next steps,” said Bartell.
For more information about the Kalamazoo County Early/Middle College program, visit www.kresa.org/emc.
Congratulations, Early/Middle College Class of 2020:
Climax-Scotts High School
Comstock High School
Galesburg-Augusta High School
Gull Lake High School
Kalamazoo Central High School
Loy Norrix High School
Acacia Ferris Harper
Antonia Kistler Ellis
Parchment High School
Schoolcraft High School
James Kelecava III
Vicksburg High School