Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Vol State Preparing For Middle College Program

Vol State Community College preparing for its new Middle College program in August, hosting dual enrollment students from Putnam County for extended days.

Vice President of Regional Campuses Nick Bishop said students will be able to take classes at Vol State for the first half of the day and then return to their own school for other classes and extracurricular activities. Bishop said students can use the program to earn their high school diploma and associate’s degree simultaneously.

“They’ll have some industry certifications that we will embed into the program and they’ll have an associate’s degree,” Bishop said. “And, that’s a lot to put under somebody’s belt for that age, and so they could immediately go into the workforce, especially in manufacturing, some allied healthcare careers.”

Bishop said the goal is to launch the Middle College program at the Livingston campus in August of 2025 to provide the service to other students in the region.

Bishop said the program will expedite students’ education and their transition into the workforce. He said this includes students going on to pursue a bachelor’s degree since they will graduate having already earned a large amount of college credit.

“Now they’re going to graduate with a bachelor’s degree at, you know, twenty, twenty-one years of age when most people are kind of just starting to pursue their bachelor’s degree at that point,” Bishop said.

Bishop said there will be a lot of supportive services tailored towards the Middle College students.

“They’ll have a lounge area,” Bishop said. “They’ll get the full experience, but they’ll still have some of those services that are needed and useful for high school students, so they’ll get the best of both worlds.”

Bishop said the program is being supported by the Upper Cumberland Fund, a private scholarship the school put together with local business leaders to pay for the portion of students’ dual enrollment classes not covered by the state.

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