Kalamazoo Valley Celebrates First Completers of Early College Program

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Seventy young people from throughout southwest Michigan will walk the stage at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Dale B. Lake Auditorium Thursday, May 10 as this first cohort to complete the school’s Early College program. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m.

Seventy young people from throughout southwest Michigan will walk the stage at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Dale B. Lake Auditorium Thursday, May 10 as this first cohort to complete the school’s Early College program. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m.

The Early College program allows students to earn an associate degree or certificate for little or no cost by completing a fifth year of high school. Students delay high school graduation for one year while they take college courses at Kalamazoo Valley. Tuition and fees are paid by the local school district up to the state maximum allowed.

At the ceremony, all students will receive an Early College Certificate of Completion from Kalamazoo Valley. Students from secondary partners Kalamazoo Regional Educational Services Agency and Gull Lake Community Schools will receive their high school diplomas. Students who are part of the Van Buren Intermediate School District will be given the Michigan Early Middle College Association certificate and awarded their high school diplomas later this month.

The certificate marks some level of completion in the program, explained Dr. Deborah Coates, dean of instruction – Early College.

“We are celebrating the hard work and diligence these students put toward completion,” Coates said. “We have 16 students who earned associate degrees and many more who completed certificates, certificates of achievement or earned transfer credits toward a four year college or university. These students deserve to be recognized and celebrated for their academic achievements.”

Jim Murphy, who spearheaded the development of the Early College programs in the area, will be the keynote speaker. Early College graduate Lynsey Wall and current Early College student Megan Morgenstern will also speak.

More than 200 new students will begin the Early College program this fall at Kalamazoo Valley, bringing enrollment in the program to more than 600.

For more information, visit http://www.kvcc.edu/earlycollege.

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Erin Dominianni
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