|Pathways to Graduation: Engaging Michigan's Youth Through Innovation|
In November 2011, Michigan's Children and Lansing Community College co-sponsored a one day conference focused on barriers to post-secondary success for youth in Michigan.
The conference helped to identify successful models of partnership for dropout recovery in Michigan, identify barriers within current systems, discuss solutions to barriers and develop legislative and local partnership strategies to address these barriers.
A Unique Community College Partnership - High School Diploma Completion Initiative
Over 1,000 students drop out or disconnect from Ingham, Clinton, and Eaton counties high school annually. The Mid-Michigan region is impacted by an untrained workforce, reduced income, and added pressure on local social services and corrective systems.
The High School Diploma Completion Initiative (HSDCI) is a unique opportunity for mid-Michigan students who have disconnected from their high school to jump-start their education and career preparation.
HSDCI is designed to provide today's high school dropouts with the tools to be successful in a demanding society and career. HSDCI classes are LCC courses where students earn college credit concurrently while completing diploma requirements. While HSDCI courses are mainstream college courses that are part of curricula at LCC, instructional methods at HSDCI are customized to maximize the learning opportunity for high school students.
HSDCI also features creative classroom learning environments and work-base learning experience. HSDCI graduates have options to seek employment, further education, or a combination of both as they complete their college studies. A team of partners, including LCC, Ingham Intermediate School District (IISD) and other business and industry leaders are committed to developing college-level curriculum for diploma completion as well as advanced training for work in high-demand technical careers.
A Partnership of Workforce, Schools, and Community - Education ReConnection
Education ReConnection was established in 2007 on behalf of the Kalamazoo County Multi-Purpose Collaborative body to reconnect Kalamazoo County 16- to 19-year-olds who had dropped out of high school to educational opportunities that would enable them to complete a high school diploma, GED, and/or another certification.
To make these reconnections, Education ReConnection representatives contact youths who have dropped out of high school, assess their academic skills and goals, and help them develop a personalized educational plan that connects them with the existing Kalamazoo County program best suited to their needs. Each Education ReConnection participant is partnered with a volunteer mentor (professionally trained by Big Brothers Big Sisters) to provide consistent encouragement and support.
Education ReConnection is a collaborative effort of:
• Kalamazoo Community Foundation
Blended Instruction in Class and Online - W-A-Y Washtenaw
The Widening Advancement for Youth-Washtenaw Pilot Project is a year-round voluntary educational program for 16-19 year old youth who:
• Have dropped out of high school
The learning experiences are individualized to meet each student's needs. The program offers project-based on-line learning experiences. Students must access a technology center at Stone School in Ann Arbor a minimum of twice a week, and have additional face-to-face meetings with project managers and mentors, to ensure students remain engaged in the project-based learning.
At the W-A-Y-Washtenaw students are responsible for their education and collaborate and negotiate meaning with peers and experts to broaden their understanding, to construct individual knowledge, and solve real-life problems. Students determine their pace and how they will accomplish their learning activities.
At the W-A-Y-Washtenaw mentors and experts serve as facilitators of student learning rather than a dispenser of information. With their mentor, students develop standard-focused learning plans and projects. Experts evaluate the student's progress and work each week based on the Michigan High School Expectations.
Students have access to a computer workstation and internet connectivity at their home, provided by the W-A-Y-Washtenaw. The school is modeled after a program in the United Kingdom, the Not School program which has successfully operated for more than nine years. For more details, contact Washtenaw Intermediate School District.
Making a National Model Work in Michigan - Mott Middle College
Mott Middle/Early College High School, a general education program operated by the Genesee Intermediate School District, opened in 1991 on the campus of Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan, with a grant funded by The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Mott Middle/Early College specializes in overlapping an Associates Degree with a general education high school diploma.
Mott Middle/Early College offers enrollment to students from all 21 public school districts in Genesee County, as well as a limited number of students from Lapeer, Oakland, Tuscola and Shiawassee counties.
Based on a version of the first Middle College High School at LaGuardia Community College in New York, Mott Middle/Early College is designed as a dropout prevention specialty school option for students who may not be succeeding in the traditional high school setting. Mott Middle/Early College is a member of the National Middle College Consortium located in NYC. Mott Middle/Early College is a North Central Association accredited high school that is designed to allow a student to earn a diploma while also earning a two-year college degree, a certificate of completion and/or transferrable credits to other institutions of higher education. Mott Middle/Early College serves students grades 9-13.