TRAVERSE CITY — High school students interested in participating in Traverse City Area Public Schools’ new early college programs with Northwestern Michigan College next school year need to complete applications by May 1.
TCAPS will offer two early college programs next school year. One is a liberal arts and sciences program designed for students who want to get general college credits under their belt before applying to a four-year school. The second is a blend of science, technology, engineering and mathematics — or STEM — and robotics courses designed for students who have a specific interest in robotics and engineering.
Participating students will be put on a five-year track to earn both a high school diploma and an associates degree.
Early college coordinator Lindsey Dickinson said the program is designed to help improve high school graduation rates, as well as to give students the opportunity to complete the equivalent of two years of college at no cost to them. The school district pays for students’ college courses while they’re still enrolled in high school, she said.
“For some students, this is going to be the right fit,” Dickinson said. “It provides a way to access college courses and for families to save money.”
This is the first time TCAPS will offer an early college program, but it isn’t the only district in the area that does so. The Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District already offers a range of early college programs.
Dickinson said TCAPS is working to expand its early college options into the health care field in the coming years.
Visit www.tcaps.net/earlycollege for more information about the programs and the application process.