Hillsdale County Early Middle College

Hillsdale County Early Middle College is a combined high school and college program for capable and self-motivated students, located on the Jackson College LeTarte Center campus in Hillsdale. HCEMC exists in partnership with the nine school districts in Hillsdale County, the Hillsdale County Intermediate School District and Jackson College, and is funded by students’ State of Michigan per-pupil foundation allowance. This alleviates cost to students or their families for attending.

HCEMC logo


  • HCEMC Recommendation Form
  • About HCEMC

    Beginning in the 11th grade, students continue their high school coursework with the opportunity to simultaneously enroll in courses at Jackson College. The program affords students the ability to earn college credits while still in high school and enroll in advanced, college-level coursework. Students are able to take classes in the morning, afternoon or evening, depending on their choice and course offerings, in addition to their high school curriculum in their home districts.

    HCEMC allows students to:

    • Graduate with a high school diploma and up to 60 college credits
    • Attend classes on a college campus with support
    • Learn in a college environment that fosters maturity and academic growth
    • Gain vital knowledge and skills for career and college success


    History of the Middle College

    In 1974, Middle College High School at LaGuardia Community College expanded the concept of college programming for high school students by focusing on youth from populations that were underserved by postsecondary education. At this high school on a community college campus, students in grades nine through 12 received extensive exposure to college, personalized instruction, and support services in a small-school setting. Within a decade, with funding from the Ford Foundation and other sources, 20 additional middle college high schools were created on college campuses across the country. By 1993, a network of middle college high schools joined together and became known as the Middle College National Consortium.

    Student Outcomes and Research Findings

    A higher percentage of early college students graduate compared to high school students

    • Four-year early college graduation rates for 2008 were approximately 92 percent; whereas, four-year high school graduation rates ranged from 70 – 83 percent.

    Early college graduates achieve higher college-going rates than their peers

    • Nationally, 89 percent of early college graduates enrolled in postsecondary education; 66 percent of high school graduates enrolled in postsecondary education immediately following high school.
    • Compared to national averages, a higher percentage of early college students are students from low-income families and students of color, making these statistics rates even more striking.
    • In addition, 40 percent of graduates at early college high schools earned more than one year of college credits; 11 percent earned two years of college credit or an associate degree;, and 83 percent earned at least some college credits.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Why should a student enroll in the Hillsdale County EMC Program?

    • Opportunity to complete upwards of an associate degree at no cost to the student or family by participating in an intense five-year experience
    • Access to six academic pathways with numerous associate degrees to choose from at the Jackson College
    • Located on a college campus with a college level expectation for behavior and academic quality
    • Instruction by highly qualified teachers and college instructors
    • Small class sizes
    • Employability skills with local sought-after credentials
    • Development of social, emotional, behavioral and attitudinal competencies and habits

    When do I apply?

    Students who are interested in applying should complete the online application and upload required supplemental items. The application opens January 7, 2019 at 9 a.m. and closes February 12, 2019 at 5 p.m.

    What is the application process?

    1. Submit a completed online application
    2. Upload all supplemental items
    3. Mandatory assessments
    4. Student/parent interview
    5. Attend a required student orientation
    6. Parent orientation

    Where are HCEMC courses held?

    At the Jackson College campuses.

    What are the completion requirements for the HCEMC?

    • A student enrolled in the HCEMC program shall complete all Michigan Merit Curriculum requirements at their local school district during their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years.
    • The final year math credit requirement of the Michigan Merit Curriculum, not completed at the local school district, shall be completed in the fifth year of the HCEMC program at Jackson College.
    • Student must successfully complete and earn a minimum of 15 college credit hours.
    • Complete either 100 hours of community service or 40 hours of career exploration, internship, job shadowing, or clinical experience, or a combination of the two that equals 70-plus hours.
    • Must complete all graduation requirements of their home district.
    • Follow the HCEMC Credentialing Process (i.e. social, emotional, behavioral and attitudinal competencies and habits)

    Who teaches HCEMC classes?

    All Jackson College courses will be taught by JC instructors. Courses taken at a student’s home district will be taught by teachers in their home district.

    How long can a student stay in the HCEMC program?

    Three years. Students will enter the program beginning in their third year of high school and complete one year following the completion of their fourth year of high school.

    What calendar does the HCEMC follow?

    Students enrolled in the HCEMC will follow both the JC calendar and their home district’s calendar.

    Can I participate in traditional sports and extracurricular activities in my resident school district?

    Yes, through the end of the fourth year.

    Can I start taking college courses right away?

    Based upon HCEMC competencies and standards, a student may begin in their first semester by taking Seminar in Life Pathways (SEM 140).

    Is transportation provided?

    It is the student’s responsibility to arrange transportation. If transportation is an issue, please speak to your local district.

    Can special education students enroll?

    Yes. Additionally, special education students who join the HCEMC work directly with Jackson College’s Office of Academic Support Services. Students are expected to learn how to monitor their own educational progress, advocate for their own learning needs, and successfully negotiate their way through the post-secondary environment. We believe that successful HCEMC students must be willing to take responsibility for their own effort, education and behavior.

  • How to Apply

    The application period is closed. Please check back for updates.

    What is the application process?

    1. Submit a completed online application
    2. Upload all supplemental items
    3. Mandatory assessments
    4. Student/parent interview
    5. Attend a required student orientation
    6. Parent orientation