Over 50 school administrators from St. Joseph County public schools and Glen Oaks Community College met at Glen Oaks on Thursday, Jan. 19 for what is likely to be the first semi-annual High School Dual Enrollment/Early Middle College Summit.

Glen Oaks President David Devier kicked off the event reporting that 48 percent, or 549 students enrolled at the college last fall were high school age. “We are one of the few colleges in Michigan reporting increased enrollments,” said Devier. “Glen Oaks is on the cutting edge of a trend with the increases coming from high school age students looking to take advantage of college courses at the state’s expense whether it be in the form of Career and Technical Education, Dual Enrollment or the Early Middle College programs.”

“Glen Oaks is now serving 10 different schools with the addition of Bronson Schools and Pansophia Academy in Coldwater, Michigan, who are both planning to launch the Early Middle College program this fall,” said Devier. “The purpose of this event is to gather the partnering parties together to share what’s working well and what processes could be improved.”

Stacie Hart, student services cashier, and Chuck Frisbie, director of institutional innovation, led discussions surrounding financial responsibilities. Costs of the programs vary depending on whether qualified high school teachers teach the subject versus a Glen Oaks faculty member.  Schools are allotted a dollar amount per pupil to go toward these programs, however, if a student fails a course, different schools have different models that apply.

Dr. Patricia Morgenstern, dean of academics at Glen Oaks, said that the college now has a year-long schedule and is working to meet the needs of the high school students. “Our goal would be to have the high schools project and make course requests early in the year to help direct and guide the year-long schedule. This helps in planning faculty and room assignments for courses.”

There was a general consensus that Glen Oaks faculty were to be commended on adjusting their schedules to meet the different high school semester dates that aren’t always synched with dates at the college. “For example, Glen Oaks was closed in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, but opened its doors to CTE students so they could get their classes, since the high schools were open,” said Morgenstern.

Anita Schlabach, Early Middle College director, provided an overview of the new program. “We now have 67 students in the EMC program,” said Schlabach. “Our first pilot cohort (13 students) will be graduating with their high school class this spring. These students will be coming to Glen Oaks in the fall to finish their prescribed programs at the expense of the state.” Discussions were held on better preparing the EMC students for college through the Student Success course at the onset of the program rather than in their junior or senior years. Also discussions were held on how to best integrate the math courses that are required in the program.

Tonya Howden, assistant dean of students, led discussions regarding discipline policies and how they are handled on campus versus at the high schools and Lyle Raven, director of advising, discussed the Michigan Transfer Agreement and transfer advising, as well as accommodations for students with disabilities.