Berrien County 5th Year Early Middle College Program

5th Year EMC Logo


Berrien County 5th Year Early/Middle College (E/MC) is a five-year high school program where students extend their high school experience by one year to earn their high school diploma and one of the following: substantial transferable college credits, technical or career certificate, opportunity to begin a registered apprenticeship, or an associate degree

If you were not able to attend one of our Informational Meetings you can review the presentation by clicking on the link below:



5th Year Early/Middle College Student Application

Please follow the following steps to complete the 5th Year Early/Middle College Student Application. The application deadline is February 4, 2022

Step 1: College Assessment Testing

  • All students applying to the Early/Middle College must take both of the following:
    • WritePlacer (target score of a 5 or higher)
    • Math Accuplacer (target score of at least NGQA 237)
  • Testing dates at the Benton Harbor Campus of Lake Michigan College
    • January 18, 2022
    • January 19, 2022
    • January 20, 2022
    • January 25, 2022
    • January 26, 2022
    • January 27, 2022
  • Submit this form as part of step one of the application process. All students must complete this form
  • If you are choosing not to test on one of the above dates you will contact the Lake Michigan College testing center directly to schedule your testing time 
  • If you have already tested in both the WritePlacer and Math Accuplacer the 5th Year Early/Middle College will obtain your scores directly from Lake Michigan College or Southwestern Michigan College but you still need to complete the College Assessment Testing form
  • Helpful study materials for the WritePlacer and Math Accuplacer
  • On your testing day, you MUST bring with you a PHOTO ID

Step 2: The Essay

In a Word or Google Document, please answer the essay questions below, "Save As" into a PDF format for upload in the Student Application (step three). Your essays will be evaluated by the Early/Middle College review team on the overall quality of writing (organization, punctuation, language, style, grammar, spelling), ability to answer questions clearly and concisely, and your passion for entering the 5th Year Early/Middle College program and pursuing your career.

Answer each of the following:

  1. Why do you feel the 5th Year Early/Middle College program would be a good fit for you?
  2. What are your career goals? How will the 5th Year Early/Middle College program assist you in attaining your career goals?
  3. How are you prepared for college-level work and expectations?
  4. How do you plan to meet the commitments of being a 5th Year Early/Middle program student?
  5. Write about a challenge you faced during remote learning. How did you overcome this challenge?

Step 3: Application

  • The application can be completed after you have done the College Assessment Testing form (step one). You DO NOT need to wait until after you have tested to submit your application but it must be submitted by the February 4, 2022 deadline.
  • The application has 3 sections
    • Student Information
    • Recommendations
    • Essay
  • You will need to have the following prepared prior to beginning the application form:
    • The student email address that is not a school email
    • Parent/Guardian contact information (email address and phone number)
    • Name and email address for one academic high school teacher and one high school staff member (coach, teacher, administrator) but NOT your high school counselor
    • Written response in PDF format (see step two) to your essay questions that is ready to be uploaded to the application form

Click the link below to submit your Early/Middle College Application:

Click on this link for the application and essay grading rubric:

Once admitted, students, as well as their parents/guardians, will be required to adhere to the 5th Year Early/Middle College program contract.

EMC Logo

Contact Information

Early/Middle College Consultant
Melissa Springsteen 
(269) 471-7725, ext. 3304

  • Students and their families should also contact their local high school counselor/guidance office. 



Cohort 7 (Class of 2025)- July 11-15, 2022; REQUIRED



Berrien RESA, Lake Michigan College and Southwestern Michigan College comply with all federal and state laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination and with all requirements and regulations of the United States Department of Education and the Michigan State Department of Education.