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A Middle College is a program between a local high school and community college where high school students both continue their high school education towards a high school diploma whilst taking college classes for combined high school and college credit. Generally, middle college programs are only availible to juniors and seniors.

Middle College generally appeals to those who:

  • Do not enjoy highschool because high school is horrible
  • Wish for more challening/varied classes
  • Wish to get ahead in their education by gaining college credits while still in high school, cutting the amount of time they need to spend in school. I know someone who's graduating high school as a college junior.
  • Wish to save money. Middle College programs typically pay for college enrollment in books (score!) This means you have to pay for fewer semesters of college.
  • Want to hang out with interesting people
  • May be underperforming in a normal high school environment

As an example, in the program I currently attend we have an extremely small staff of two teachers, one secretary, and one part time counseler and about 60 students. We take (typically three) college classes during the mornings, then take three high school classes in the afternoon.

How do I like it? It's great. While, unfortunately, it has failed to curb my somewhat self destructive academic tendencies (tommorow I talk about possibly getting kicked out of said middle college program), it is nonetheless a great program. It's better than the hell that was normal high school, and there are plenty of intelligent and interesting people around. The college classes are much better. The staff is excellent and intelligent. And I'm pretty sure there aren't many US History classes that use The People's History of the United States as a textbook.

I am proud to say that I was Williamson County Middle College High School at Nashville State Tech's first salutatorian. The Williamson County program opened in fall of 1998.

There are middle college high schools all over the country. The intent is to provide a program with minimal structure and a more demanding curriculum for high school students that are able to independently work at a faster pace and higher level than typical high schoolers. Middle college students are treated like adults and can come and go on campus as they please. Most middle colleges have off-campus lunches because the small community college campuses they are located at don't have full-service cafeterias. In return, the students are expected to behave as adults, follow the same rules the college students abide by, and keep up with the fast-paced studies. Any college courses they take will be paid for by the county, and many MCHS students graduate with a good deal of their college credits already completed. The program is demanding but incredibly rewarding. Enrollment is generally limited to 100-250.

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