MPS announces Middle College Program to be implemented at MHS

Emilia McLeod, Reporter

Many may be familiar with the concept of a middle college, as many teens are currently attending the one at Monroe County Community College. Monroe Public Schools is in the process of creating its own middle college program at Monroe High School. It’s a five-year program and will be offered to MHS students, allowing them to graduate at the end with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. Students would take both the required high school classes as well as the required college classes in order to reach this point.

Assistant Principal Michael Foley is a key coordinator in the creation of the new program. He said that the majority of college courses will be taken at the college, with the high school courses staying at MHS.

“If we have a need for the instructors to be on our campus, then they will be able to accommodate that. Nonetheless, the majority of the college courses will be taken at the college,” Foley said. “Let’s say, you’re a junior. You may come here in the morning to have your classes, and then have the rest of your courses at the Middle College. You may have a night class or a late afternoon class there as well.” 

Foley also said that students who are looking for an alternative to the stereotypical college experience are ideal for the program.

“If we look at the first-generation college students, students that may not want to pursue a four-year degree, students who want to graduate in five years with an associate’s degree and go directly into the workforce, or make a living and contribute to the greatness of our community, those are the types of students that we’re looking for,” Foley said.

Foley said that the benefit of this program over the preexisting one at the college is the incorporation of the notable aspects of high school.

“Again, it’s a program that allows you to take classes and be immersed here at the high school and simply transition to the college program. The difference is that we will be providing the program through high school life, while the Middle College is a program where all of your instruction comes directly from Monroe Community College, and you operate as a college student,” Foley said. “We allow you to maintain the memorable parts of high school that you wouldn’t want to miss out on, such as dances and pep rallies, while also working for your future.”