Middle College Opens New Doors for Students

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By Sara Keen

This semester at Volunteer State Community college, students may hear the term “Middle College.” The Middle College program began in the 2014- 2015 school year to bene t students in their junior and senior years of high school.

“The students who come to us are ready to give up traditional high school,” said Brad Schreiner, co-prin- cipal of Middle College, “we are not a program. We are a stand-alone high school.”

The typical Middle College stu- dent is ready to leave high school be- hind, whether it is for a more intense curriculum, nanciallybetterforthem ortheydidnot“ tin”atatraditional Sumner County public high school.

Students cannot come from home- school or private school. “They have to come to us from a Sumner County public high school, and that’s because Sumner County is paying for their tu- ition,” said Schreiner.

Students who enter Middle Col- lege are not able to participate in the sports or clubs at other Sumner County schools. As Schreiner explained, a stu- dent cannot come to the Middle College and expect to play football at Gallatin High School or participate in Student Government at Portland High School.

The packet for admission explains that any student who enters Middle College is required to take the ACT and score at or above the Vol State standard for admissions. They are also required to ll out an application, which includes a counselor recommendation, teacher recommendation and a 150 word essay explaining why they are interested in Middle College. In addition to this, students must have their parents sign a nancial obligation form. According to the form, any Middle College student who makes an F or D must repay Sumner County Schools the cost of tuition and books. Students must also understand that an F or two D’s will have them removed from the school and returned to their zoned high school. “In order to make it in this program, you

have to have a lot of perseverance. We lost a few people last year because they thought it would be easy breezy,” said Kelsie Piercey, a second year Middle College student. Middle college students are required to attend school the regular 180 days because they are in high school. They begin school when Sumner County does, and end when the county ends. “Some students come to us, and might not have had personal nance. That’s a graduation requirement for Sumner County High Schools that Vol State doesn’t teach. The rst few days they will take that class through the virtual school,” said Schreiner. Middle College students are also required to be on campus on Fridays. On those days, they may take College Success or do what Schreiner referred to as “Middle College stuff.” These may include tours, guest speakers, and seminars.The extra days are essentially used to help the students prepare for what they will experience in their college courses.

“It’s been really great, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to enrich myself and those around me in a way,” said Piercey. More students will be entering in the program this January for the Spring 2017 semester. Anyone who may be interested and meets the requirements is encouraged to put their applications in.

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