New college program offers high school students tuition and books

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By Christina Strong
Entirely East Lansing staff writer

At the East Lansing Public School Board meeting on Jan. 24, board members listened to the presentation of Kathy Dewsbury-White, director of Curriculum Development for Ingham Intermediate School District on The Early College program being launched this fall at Lansing Community College.

Kathy Dewsbury-White at the East Lansing Public School Board Meeting on Jan. 24

Dewsbury-White’s presentation highlighted some features of the program and gave board members a chance to digest the information. TEC is a new program for high school juniors. The program is open to public school students in the Ingham Intermediate School District. Students who join the program will remain in TEC for grades 11 through 13.

“It’s a three-year program and students come in and it takes one year off the time they have to get the associate’s degree,” said Micki O’Neil, director of Public Relations and Communications at Ingham Intermediate School District.

The high school students will attend LCC, where they will be able to go tuition-free. The students will also be able to receive free books for classes.

The program is a partnership between LCC and Ingham Intermediate School District. TEC was created in 2010 and is funded by a grant LCC received.

“We got involved because the MDE had a grant announcement about a middle college and we named ours The Early College. We were awarded $400,000 in November 2010 to fund the program,” said Judith Berry, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at LCC.

The reason for the program’s creation was, “we wanted students at the secondary level to begin to work on college.” O’Neil said.

The program has 90 slots for fall 2011 and will choose students from different school districts such as East Lansing, Mason, Williamston, Stockbridge and others by lottery.

While TEC could reduce college costs, some parents are not captivated by the program.

Jeanne Maguire, a parent of a 10th grader, says she does not intend to apply for TEC for her child.

“It would cede into local public universities.” Maguire said. Instead, she is looking for smaller colleges outside Michigan.

Students who are selected will be asked to focus their studies at LCC on science, technology, engineering and math. Students will be allowed to choose fields outside those areas to obtain an associate’s degree or for general education classes for transfer to a four-year college.

In addition to the TEC presentation at the school board meeting, a presentation on a new program for students in grades K-6 to improve reading efficiency was presented. The program will be research-based and the goal is to have 80% of students at low-risk for illiteracy.

The school budget was also presented as well as public comment announcements.

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