Governor Gives ‘Shout Out’ to Middle College
Gov. Rick Snyder singled out the Marquette-Alger Technical Middle College (MATMC) in his State of the State address last week. He thanked those involved in the program for their “innovative work” and said it demonstrates “the kind of creativity that makes Michigan great.” Snyder also introduced NMU President Fritz Erickson and other representatives of the collaborative effort, who received a standing ovation from the legislature. Pictured are (from left) Erickson, Middle College student Cody Revord of Marquette, Chantae Lessard of Eagle Mine and Stu Bradley, chair of a committee promoting regional career and technical education opportunities.
MATMC enables students to earn a high school diploma and a significant number of college credits en route to an NMU associate degree at no cost. Northern has partnered with the Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency and area school districts to offer the integrated program. Students commit to a five-year course of study in one of the following academies: health science; or technology, engineering and occupational science. The goals are to ease the transition to college, accelerate their entry into high-demand fields and reduce college expenses.
Snyder referenced MATMC after discussing the need to improve the intersection between high school and higher education.
“We’ve built artificial boundaries that create inefficiencies and failure points for our young people,” he said. “We need to build a seamless system so users don’t need to figure out where to go versus finding it easy to get assistance, understanding where career counseling is, where career technical opportunities are, how to do it faster, better and less expensively. That’s the path to success. I want to give a shout out to a group that came together to make this happen: Marquette-Alger Technical Middle College.”
Most of the MATMC funding comes from the State of Michigan. Eagle Mine recently announced a $250,000 commitment over three years. Some of the money will directly support the program and some will be used to establish an endowment aimed at sustaining MATMC after the mine ceases operations.
A pilot began this fall with an initial cohort of 11 middle college students representing Marquette Senior High School and Negaunee High School (most pictured right). They will complete the program in 2017.