Eastern Kentucky University and Madison County Schools have joined forces to become the first local school district and four-year university in the commonwealth to offer a “Middle College” program designed to help high school juniors and seniors who are academically capable but at risk of dropping out of school.
The Middle College, a concept that has gained increasing national attention in recent years, allows high school juniors and seniors to complete their high school education while concurrently receiving direct access to college courses. The Middle College will be located on EKU’s Richmond campus.
Education experts say that many high school students fail to reach their full potential because of various barriers in their lives and frequently end up dropping out.
Sixty high school juniors in the Madison County School District will participate in the Middle College in 2011-12. In each subsequent year, 60 juniors and 60 seniors will participate. Once accepted into the Middle College, participants will be enrolled in both high school and EKU classes. Upon high school graduation, the participants will have earned not only a high school diploma but also a minimum of 18 college credit hours.
Madison County Schools will bear the costs for staffing and equipping the Middle College and will also pay tuition and fees for the students enrolled in EKU college classes. The university will provide classrooms, limited office space, services and other forms of support.