Video Overview of the BWMCA
Below is a short video that provides an overview of the Blue Water Middle College Academy from the perspective of its students and BWMCA and SC4 staff.
Middle College overview
The Blue Water Middle College Academy provides St. Clair County students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and a college associate degree at no cost by attending school for an extra year.
The middle college is designed to increase the number of students enrolling in college and the number of students completing either an associate or bachelor’s degree.
This is accomplished by progressively transitioning high school students into the college environment beginning in 11th grade and continuing through year 13. The Blue Water Middle College is modeled on schools elsewhere in Michigan and the nation that blend high school and college classes.
Students are supported throughout the program with personal mentoring and academic counseling, college success workshops, and development of a supportive group of fellow middle college students.
Students enroll in the Blue Water Middle College Academy in the fall of their 11th grade year. Enrollment begins in January with a series of informational meetings at the partnering high schools.
A unique partnership
The BWMCA is chartered by the St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency and reflects a unique partnership between the RESA, St. Clair County Community College and five county school districts: Algonac, Capac, Memphis, Port Huron and Yale.
Students take their high school courses at one of the partnering high schools. Their college courses are taken at St. Clair County Community College.
Students enrolling in the Blue Water Middle College Academy become students of the middle college but are allowed to play sports and participate in normal extracurricular activities at their local high school through agreements between the middle college and the local districts.
Blue Water Middle College Academy enrollment tops 400
Over 400 students are enrolled in the middle college for the 2013 - 2014 school year. The fact that so many students can take advantage of the opportunity provided by the middle college is a tribute to all of our partner school districts and St. Clair County Community College. (See partner districts listed on the right.)
175 new students gathered for a four-day orientation on SC4's campus in mid-August to get ready for college classes that started the following week. The 12th-grade students are going deeper into their programs of study by taking three college classes each semester in addition to three final classes in high school. Students in their 13th and final year of the program are finalizing plans for the next step in their academic careers and applying to other colleges and universities. It is exciting to hear them report the good news when they are accepted.
BWMCA graduates tackle new challenges in new places
29 students graduated from the Blue Water Middle College Academy last spring. Some are continuing at SC4 to complete their degree requirements. Others enrolled in four-year colleges or universities to pursue a bachelor's degree and beyond. A couple of former BWMCA students are currently enlisted in the military.
Some of the colleges and universities the BWMCA graduates are attending this fall include:
- The University of Michigan
- Michigan State University
- Central Michigan University
- Eastern Michigan University
- Northern Michigan University
- Oakland University
- Ferris State University
- Grand Valley State University
- St. Clair County Community College
- Indian Wesleyan University
- Southern Polytechnic State University
- Central Texas College
The average number of credits earned that may transfer to these colleges was 38, and these graduates were only enrolled in the BWMCA for two years. BWMCA students may now attend three years and can earn up to 60 transferable credits.
Success Sessions are provided several times a month by middle college staff to provide students time to meet as a group, share information and ideas, and learn about the strategies and skills that help students succeed at high levels in college.
Students are expected to attend all Success Sessions. They are often offered on Friday afternoons when there are virtually no college classes taking place at SC4, however we are trying to offer more of them during the days when students are already on campus. Information on each upcoming Success Session is shared with students and parents via email.