Early College Policy
Early College is a program that provides high school students the opportunity to earn college credits in a variety of formats while still in high school. Classes are offered on Lake Michigan College (LMC) campuses, as well as at many high schools and area technical education centers. Credits can accumulate towards an LMC credential. Transferability of credits is at the discretion of the receiving institution. The College maintains formal agreements with local school districts outlining the offerings and services provided.
Lake Michigan College supports four pathways to Early College credit:
- Dual Credit – College courses offered in a high school facility or technical education center and taught by college-approved faculty member delivering approved college curriculum.
- Dual Enrollment – Traditional college courses offered on an LMC campus or site taught by a full-time or part-time LMC instructor.
- Enhanced Dual Enrollment – Early College program that allows a student to exceed the state-mandated allotment of 10 dual enrollment courses, resulting in up to a full college credential while simultaneously completing her/his high school diploma. Students may take dual enrollment and/or dual credit as part of these programs.
- Early/Middle College – A “5th year” enhanced dual enrollment program that allows students to defer high school graduation by one year while simultaneously completing a full college credential and a high school diploma. Students may take dual enrollment and/or dual credit courses as part of these programs.
Assurance of College-level Instruction:
Lake Michigan College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and therefore adheres to the following five criteria as they relate to Early College courses and programs:
- Faculty credentials and qualifications, orientation and training (Criterion Three)
The institution requires the same level of credentials and qualifications for faculty in dual credit courses or programs that it does for its regular higher-education courses. Additionally, faculty teaching in dual credit courses or programs are appropriately trained with proper orientation for teaching at the higher education level.
- Rigor of courses or programs and curricular standards (Criterion Four)
The institution mandates the same level of rigor in dual credit courses or programs as it does for its regular higher-education courses or programs. Dual credit courses or programs meet the same curricular standards and undergo the same institutional approval processes as the institution’s regular courses or programs.
- Expectations for student learning and learning outcomes (Criterion Four)
Expectations for student learning and learning outcomes in dual credit courses or programs are consistent with the same courses or programs that the institution offers at the higher-education level.
- Access to learning resources (Criteria Three and Four)
Students as well as faculty in dual credit courses or programs have the same level of access to learning resources (libraries, laboratories, databases, etc.) as the institution’s students and faculty in the same higher-education courses or programs.
- Institutional monitoring, oversight, and transparency (Criteria Two, Three, and Four)
The institution, specifically its academic departments and disciplinary faculty, exercises proper monitoring and oversight of its dual credit activity to ensure that dual credit courses or programs meet higher education standards. Finally, the institution informs students clearly and accurately that the transferability of courses taken for dual credit (i.e., at a high school via a community college) to other institutions, including four-year institutions, is based on the receiving institution’s policies and practices
Responsibility: Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Vice President of Enrollment and Community Partnerships
Higher Learning Commission (April, 2014). Guidelines: Dual credit for institutions and peer reviewers. Retrieved September 16, 2017 from http://www.hlcommission.org/Publications/publications-list.html
Michigan Department of Education (2017). Dual enrollment. Retrieved September 16, 2017 from http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-28753_65799_40085---,00.html