You’re familiar with the terms “middle school” and “college” but chances are you’ve never heard of a “middle college.” That concept is now reality in central Kentucky.
The collaboration announced Thursday in Richmond targets Madison County high school juniors and seniors identified as academically capable but at risk of dropping out of school. Selected students will attend small, college-style high school classes in a designated building on the Eastern Kentucky University campus. Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday says the concept helps the state meet its educational goals.
“To decrease the percentage of kids who graduate high school and not ready for college and careers, so this will help us do that. The other goal we have along with higher education is to increase the number of Kentucky citizens who have two-year, four-year or technical degrees and this program will certainly help us with that,” said Holliday.
Madison County schools Superintendent Tommy Floyd is at a loss to describe the program’s potential.
“Life changer, game changer, future changer, enabler, that’s what we ought to be about. We do enough stuff that we shouldn’t but this we ought to do”, said Floyd.
Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education President Robert King says Middle College is a great way to get young students “college ready”.
“They will discover that within themselves, that they have what it takes, that they need to be exposed, to frankly high expectations that the opportunity to be on a college campus, see what college professors really expect, to work with other students, some of which will be five, six, ten, fifteen years older than them and I think it’ll give them great confidence”, said King.
The EKU Middle College welcomes its first class of sixty students this fall.