Governor Announces Early Middle College Grants for Three Michigan Communities

Contact: Megan Brown 517-335-6397

December 2, 2008

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced grants for three early middle colleges, schools that are preparing high school students for jobs in the health care industry. 

Intermediate school districts in Macomb, Monroe, and Van Buren counties will each receive $250,000 Middle College Health Partnership planning grants to design and develop the middle college infrastructure for implementation in the 2009-2010 school year.  The programs partner with post-secondary institutions, hospitals and medical centers.

"Early middle colleges combine high school education with college-level coursework to prepare students for good-paying jobs immediately after graduation," Granholm said.  "This innovative approach to high school will transform Michigan's economy and help our kids compete and succeed in the 21st century."

The program was initiated by Governor Granholm in 2006, with a $2 million appropriation in the School Aid Fund.  Unexpended funds by the six original early middle college grantees allowed for the expansion of this important program to three more Michigan communities.  Early middle colleges, which combine a high school and community college education, focus on health science occupations to provide students with new learning experiences and opportunities related to health sciences.  Students can earn a high school diploma and a certificate or degree from a community college.

"Early middle colleges bring true relevance to education," said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan.  "Students will complete the program with marketable skills and give them a real sense of what college and careers are all about."

The Macomb Intermediate School District's program will partner with Oakland University and the Henry Ford Health Systems.  Ancillary partners will be Ferris State University and St. John's Hospital.  The Macomb Middle College partnership will take advantage of the existing concurrent enrollment program called "Macomb 2 Oakland" that allows for Oakland University credits to be transferred to an associate degree at Macomb Community College. 
  
This unique design will allow the early middle college students to participate in college life on the university campus, the community college campus, and the hospital campus.

The Monroe Intermediate School District's program will partner with Monroe County Community College and Mercy Memorial Hospital System.  Various opportunities will exist that will expose students to health-related careers in the areas of emergency, surgical center, digital cardiac catheterization, and pharmacy.  In addition, students will have an opportunity to spend time and interact with professionals in the birthing center, cancer care, home health and hospice care, physical rehab therapy, and dialysis treatment.

The Van Buren Intermediate School District's program will partner through its technology center with Southwestern Michigan College, Lake Michigan College, Bronson Lakeview Hospital, and South Haven Community Hospital.  The new Van Buren Early College Health Alliance will help strengthen a long-standing partnership between the tech center, Southwestern Michigan College, and Bronson Lakeview Hospital, and expand to include Lake Michigan College and South Haven Community Hospital.

# # #