Frequently Asked Questions

Is transportation going to be provided to and from class?

Due to the different classes and class times offered within the Program, transportation will be the responsibility of the student.

What is the AccuPlacer?

The AccuPlacer is a placement test to meet English, Reading and Writing prerequisites for the college. More information can be found at Lake Michigan College Testing Center or Southwestern Michigan College Testing Center.

How many students will you accept into the program?

There is no limit to the number of students admitted each year, however, the local schools' districts make the final decisions regarding the total number of students permitted to participate.

How does the 5th Year Early/Middle College Program align with Career &  Technical Education (CTE)?  

Students may still participate in CTE courses based on their program of study.  In many cases, students participating in CTE are on track to earn a certificate or associate degree, complementing the 5th Year Early/Middle College Program. (Course requirements may vary.) 

Must students maintain a certain GPA?

Students must be on track for graduation.  Once enrolled in college-level courses, students must maintain expected college GPA of 2.0 or better in all classes.

My child attends a New Tech program and has a unique daily schedule?

Students in New Tech programs are encouraged to participate in the 5th Year Early/Middle College Program.  Courses are scheduled according to their high school’s daily schedule.

When can I apply for post-secondary scholarships and other community scholarships? 

Most college and local scholarships can be applied for during the students' 5th year. Questions relative to scholarships should be directed to the individual awarding committees.

Which AccuPlacer portions do I take?

All portions of the AccuPlacer assessment are required-this includes English, Reading and Math.  For preparation and review information, please visit the Lake Michigan College website.

Where will my classes be located, if not at an area high school (Lake Michigan College - Bertrand or Napier, Southwestern Michigan College - Niles or Dowagiac)? 

Depending on the program of study, students will learn where their courses are located based upon the colleges’ class schedules.

Can I take summer classes?

The 5th Year Early/Middle College Program is designed to be completed over three years, with the summers off.  Students are welcome to take elective courses during the summer months at their own expense.  Students, in order to receive both their high school diploma and certificate/degree, are expected to complete the program over the course of three years (high school junior, senior and 5th years).

Will my child still be able to participate in high school activities during the 5th year of high school? 

Students will have the opportunity to participate in regularly scheduled graduation exercises (end of senior year).  Students may still be a part of traditional high school groups, clubs, band, choir and arts activities.  They may also be members of high school sports teams through grade 12 (but are not eligible to participate in college-level sports until after they have completed their 5th year). Students can participate in college clubs and student activities.

Is my child still required to take a math class during his or her last year of high school?

Students must take a math or math-related course during their 5th year of the program to comply with Michigan Merit Curriculum requirements (in order to receive their high school diploma).

Will my child have earned all of the required high school credits by the end of his or her senior year?

From the Michigan Department of Education:  "It is understood that State School Aid Section 5(4)m requires that students must not be otherwise eligible for high school graduation to participate in a fifth year of high school and that Section 3(f) of Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act and Section 3(g) of the Career and Technical Preparation Act require that students be enrolled in at least one(1) high school course required for graduation and take a high school or dual enrollment math or math-related course".

How will credits earned through the 5th Year Early/Middle College Program transfer to other institutions?

It is important for students to have discussions with academic advisors at the institution where they intend to transfer credits to ensure maximum transferability.

Who does the diploma come from?

Students will receive their diploma from their home high school.  The date in which it is issued will be the date in which the student officially earns their diploma, the end of their 5th year of high school.

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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.