Wayland High School students now can earn their high school diploma and an associate’s degree through the Early College program of Allegan County.
The Wayland Board of Education Monday night in a work session voted 4-3 to participate with up to five students eligible for the 2018-19 academic year. Wayland decided against taking part three years ago, but reconsidered in Monday’s vote.
The high school guidance office will be sending home more detailed information in the near future to current sophomores about the application process.
Early College Allegan County (ECAC) is an opportunity for motivated students to extend high school by one year in order to earn both their diploma and an associate’s degree or technical certificate with up to 62 college credits from Lake Michigan College at no cost. Students receive special support to improve their academic performance as they complete both high school and college coursework and secure their future education and career-related goals.
The program is a three-year plan in which students take a mix of high school courses and college courses each year of 11th, 12th and 13th years. Students will not pay for classes, books or transportation to the Vo-Tech Center for college courses. The goal of this program is to offer an introductory post-secondary experience to students who may not have otherwise had the opportunity.
The Board of Education three years ago decided against participating because of financial considerations. Members have had considerable discussion of the issue in the past several months.
Voting to join the program were Pete Zondervan, Janel Hott, Gary Wood and Cinnamon Mellema. Opposing were Toni Ordway, Dan Casini and Teresa Dobry.