About Hillsdale County Early Middle College

Hillsdale County Early Middle College is a combined high school and college program for capable and self-motivated students, located on the Jackson College LeTarte Center campus in Hillsdale. HCEMC exists in partnership with the eight school districts in Hillsdale County, the Hillsdale County Intermediate School District and Jackson College, and is funded by students’ State of Michigan per-pupil foundation allowance. This alleviates cost to students or their families for attending.

Beginning in the 11th grade, students continue their high school coursework with the opportunity to simultaneously enroll in courses at Jackson College. The program affords students the ability to earn college credits while still in high school and enroll in advanced, college-level coursework. Students are able to take classes in the morning, afternoon or evening, depending on their choice and course offerings, in addition to their high school curriculum in their home districts.

HCEMC allows students to:

  • Graduate with a high school diploma and up to 60 college credits
  • Attend classes on a college campus with support
  • Learn in a college environment that fosters maturity and academic growth
  • Gain vital knowledge and skills for career and college success

History of the Middle College

male HCEMC student

In 1974, Middle College High School at LaGuardia Community College expanded the concept of college programming for high school students by focusing on youth from populations that were underserved by postsecondary education. At this high school on a community college campus, students in grades nine through 12 received extensive exposure to college, personalized instruction, and support services in a small-school setting. Within a decade, with funding from the Ford Foundation and other sources, 20 additional middle college high schools were created on college campuses across the country. By 1993, a network of middle college high schools joined together and became known as the Middle College National Consortium.

Student Outcomes and Research Findings

A higher percentage of early college students graduate compared to high school students.

  • Four-year early college graduation rates for 2008 were approximately 92 percent; whereas, four-year high school graduation rates ranged from 70 – 83 percent.

Early college graduates achieve higher college-going rates than their peers

  • Nationally, 89 percent of early college graduates enrolled in postsecondary education; 66 percent of high school graduates enrolled in postsecondary education immediately following high school.
  • Compared to national averages, a higher percentage of early college students are students of color and from low-income families, making these statistics rates even more striking.
  • In addition, 40 percent of graduates at early college high schools earned more than one year of college credits; 11 percent earned two years of college credit or an associate degree;, and 83 percent earned at least some college credits.