Key Messages for Target Audiences

Key Messages for Target Audiences


The following key messages may be used by area high schools to promote the 5th Year Early/Middle College Program.

  • The 5th Year Early/Middle College Program represents a unique opportunity for students to get a head start on their future careers!
  • Tuition, books, and fees are waived for students in the program--meaning that through the 5th Year Early/Middle College Program, students (and parents) can save money!
  • Students will extend their high school experience, allowing them to earn a certificate, an associate degree or transferable credits.
  • Students will still have the opportunity to participate in high school activities including sports, after school clubs and extracurricular events in their 11th and 12th-grade years.  
  • Students will participate in their regularly scheduled graduation ceremonies but will receive their high school diploma after the completion of their 5th year.
  • Students will have access to academic support through their high schools, the 5th Year Early/Middle College Program Consultant and through college support service offices.
  • Programs and courses are individually scheduled to best meet the student’s program of study.
  • In years one and two of the Program, college-level courses can be taken at the college, the student’s high school building or through area PA 56 Consortium Career & Technical Education (CTE) classes.  CTE classes are housed at area high schools throughout Berrien County.  
  • Parents and students will have the opportunity to learn more about the 5th Year Early/Middle College Program at information sessions scheduled for this December. (See the flyer in the appendix section of this toolkit!)
  • Not all applicants will be admitted to the program.  Students must complete an application which also includes a family interview. Priority will be given to our target population.
  • Notification of acceptance will be provided via a letter in the spring. Only the students, their parents/guardians, and school administrators will be aware of the application status.
  • As part of the application process, students must be on track to graduate from high school and meet the Ready to Succeed college requirements.  This may include taking and scoring proficiently on the AccuPlacer college assessment test.
  • Students must successfully complete the program to earn their high school diploma and certificate/degree.  Support will be provided throughout the experience to ensure students progress through the program.  If a student chooses to withdraw from the program or is unable to successfully complete the assigned coursework, they may be responsible for reimbursement of tuition, books, and fees paid by the local school district.

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Contact Information


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

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