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2018 Graduation Season Kicks Off

Early College “Completers” save $550,000 in tuition, books, and fees

Wednesday, May 2 event kicks off graduation season

Students successfully completing the Early College 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” at Muskegon Community College Overbrook Theatre on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, from 7:00 to 8:00 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% 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. 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 43 students during their three years in the program. “This group of Early College students from Muskegon County worked hard. 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!” said Andrews.

Muskegon Community College President, Dr. Dale Nesbary said, “Completing Early College gives our students an advantage in the talent development domain. 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 over 75 students that will begin the program this August with Early College Orientation Camp on the campus of Muskegon Community College. 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.

Names of 2018 Early College Completers:

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

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