Students successfully completing the Early College of Muskegon County (ECMC) program at Muskegon Community College (MCC) will tell you their journey wasn’t easy, but boy was it worth it. Their parents, who collectively saved a whopping $550,000 on college tuition, books and fees, will agree.
To celebrate, the students and their families will participate in the “13th Year Early College Celebration” in the MCC Overbrook Theatre on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, from 7-8 p.m.
The event will include student speakers, certificate presentation, and a time when all 43 students will appear on stage to reveal their future plans simultaneously. A reception in the lobby of the Overbrook Theater will immediately follow.
This year, the 2018 cohort of students from Fruitport, Holton, Mona Shores, Montague, Muskegon, Muskegon Heights, North Muskegon, Oakridge, Orchard View, Ravenna, Reeths-Puffer and Whitehall took courses at Muskegon Community College while extending their high school graduation by one year.
The students, who started the program as high school juniors, earned an average of 61 college credits, with all 43 students being eligible for an associate’s degree. Collectively the students achieved a GPA of 3.186, completed 93.2 percent of the credits they attempted and will receive over $800,000 in financial aid/scholarship money for their future education.
According to Early College Dean Lee Andrews, the students are pursuing a variety of interests including technical degrees and careers in education, health sciences, business, technology, engineering technology and many others. Andrews said every student has been accepted to a four-year university, are continuing their degree at MCC, pursuing vocational training or are beginning their work career.
Their transfer colleges include: Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University, Eastern Michigan University, Michigan Technological University, University of Michigan, Central Michigan University, Davenport University, Western Michigan University, Northern Michigan University, and out-of-state schools Brigham Young, University of Central Florida, and the University of Northern Arizona.
Andrews and Early College Mentor Valarie Shelby coached and supported the students during their three years in the program.
“This group of Early College students from Muskegon County worked hard,” said Andrews. “Completing this journey certainly takes a lot of determination and desire. With an average of 61 credits, most will enter their four-year university with junior or close to junior status. Many faced financial barriers that would have made it difficult, if not impossible, to attend college. Many are the first in their families to attend and complete college. They made sacrifices to reach this milestone and dedicated themselves to their education. I am very proud of their accomplishments.”
“Completing Early College gives our students an advantage in the talent development domain,” added MCC President Dale K. Nesbary. “With this important credential in hand, success at a transfer institution or in the workplace is that much more certain. Thank you to our brilliant students, along with their families and supporters for making Early College Muskegon County an ongoing success.”
Muskegon Area Intermediate School District Superintendent Dr. John Severson said, “We are incredibly proud of our Early College students and their accomplishments during the last three years. Their ability to successfully complete this special program demonstrates that they are well positioned to meet the next opportunity before them. We wish them the very best”.
According to Andrews, the program expanded in 2018 with the addition of the Accelerated Technical Institute, which now covers many areas of applied technology, especially with the addition of the Sturrus Technology Center at MCC. Students will have the options of taking classes at their home high school, the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center, and Muskegon Community College while working toward obtaining a degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology or another STEM related field. The Institute also has an articulated agreement with Ferris State and Western Michigan University, allowing students to easily transfer their credits to these institutions.
Early College of Muskegon County recently announced the selection of the seventh cohort of more than 75 students who begin the program this August with Early College Orientation Camp at MCC. This fall, a total of over 175 students representing all public schools in Muskegon County will participate in the program. To learn more visit www.muskegoncc.edu/ecmc.
An alphabetical listing of the 2018 ECMC completers with their respective high school, follows:
- Madison Armstrong, Whitehall
- Brooke Borgman, Whitehall
- Alyssa Bulson, Whitehall
- Lucas Champoux, Whitehall
- Kaitlyn Church, Ravenna
- Alejandra Correa-Castro, Ravenna
- Abby Crabtree, Fruitport
- Kierra Davis, Orchard View
- Morgan Defabrizio, Reeths-Puffer
- Abigail Drent, Whitehall
- Dominic Falzetta, Reeths-Puffer
- Jacob Hollenbeck, Whitehall
- Nick Hosler, Orchard View
- Catherine Jenkins, Oakridge
- Scott Kendra, Reeths-Puffer
- Jeremy Kennedy, Orchard View
- Justyce Lathrop, Oakridge
- McKenna Lohman, Montague
- Shelby Marotta, Reeths-Puffer
- Ta’miya Massey, Orchard View
- Rina McClain, Muskegon
- Landon Montgomery, Montague
- Breeanna Niesen, Fruitport
- Hans Paulson, Muskegon
- Hali Reed, Orchard View
- Sarah Resterhouse, Mona Shores
- Aubrey Schaeffer, Whitehall
- Zoe Schultz, Mona Shores
- Damaya Scott-Starr, Reeths-Puffer
- Sarah Serene, Oakridge
- Sydney Skiles, Mona Shores
- Daisy Smith, Orchard View
- Rhabecca Spicklemire, Whitehall
- Breanna Stohr, Whitehall
- Hudson Stoker, Fruitport
- Nathan Strand, Fruitport
- Alyssa Theile, Ravenna
- Sydney Theile, Ravenna
- Isaiah Toelle, Whitehall
- Veronica Villafana-Barrientos, Oakridge
- Kate Willson, Whitehall
- Michaela Wright, Fruitport
- Sarah Youngo, Whitehall