Early College of Macomb Sets Students on Path to Success

Considering the Early College program at Macomb Community College for your child? Find out how and why it works from a student who loves this program.

Kaiden Davis had her sights on attending a top-rated university. She and her mother, Nina Davis, were wondering if there was an economical way to earn her degree, which is why they decided to look into the Early College of Macomb (ECM).

Here’s how Early College of Macomb works. During their sophomore year in January, students apply through their counselor for the program. Most students have no issues in getting accepted and then it is a matter of scheduling them for one or two college classes with the majority of their classes still being taken at the high school for that first year during their junior year. Then, during their senior year, it is more of a 50-50 split.

By “13th grade,” all students are taking all of their classes on campus at Macomb Community College. At the end of 13th grade, the typical student receives a high school diploma and an associate’s degree which equates to 60 college credits.  Most have even earned enough college credits for an associate degree. They can then transfer those credits to a Michigan university and continue on to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Reasons to do Early College of Macomb

One of the main reasons that students choose to do ECM is because it makes sense financially. The college courses, fees and books are all paid for by the state of Michigan.

“Kaiden was provided with a laptop and all of her books for classes,” says Nina. “They even paid for a specialized calculator that she needed for some of her math classes.”

Kaiden also felt like being a part of ECM helped her become a leader. She has tried her best to give back to the program where she can.

“She served on the panels and was a peer mentor in 13th grade,” says her mom. This allowed Kaiden to help students navigate through the program, just others did for her.

Another great reason to do Early College of Macomb is to get your child ready to go away to college. Moving out of the house and going away on your own is a tough thing for teenagers to do. This allows them to stay another year at home so they can manage their time and prepare to go away to school.

Some advice for students considering ECM

“I would say definitely think about what you’re expecting to get out of the program before doing it and work toward that while you’re there,” says Kaiden. “Working toward something and having a plan can allow you structure and goals, which you can really benefit from in the program.”

She explains that it’s also OK to change those plans and goals. She changed her mind and because of how the classes are set up, it didn’t prevent her from receiving her degree on time.

“I came into the program going into the medical field,” she says. “And now I want to be a mechanical engineer.”

ECM a good idea because even though it may seem like high school graduates are missing out on going away to school right away, most of those students who do, waste time and money if they change their major along the way.

“I’ll be done with college sooner, having a salary sooner and it’s allowing me to get a head start on my future,” says Kaiden.

Early College from the parent’s perspective

Kaiden has decided to go away to the University of Michigan to study mechanical engineering. Her mother explains that Kaiden had to work extremely hard beginning in elementary school to keep up with everyone else in her classes.

“She struggled academically a bit in elementary school,” says her mother, Nina Davis. “She had to work harder than everyone else.”

Luckily for Kaiden, her fifth-grade teacher, Jennifer Lewis at Ojibewa Elementary saw her potential and gave her the confidence she needed at that young age, her mother explains.

We reached out to Ms. Lewis to update her on Kaiden’s college life and future goals. She remembers having Kaiden as a student and how much of a presence she was in class.

“She was new to the school and she came in just strong with this big, beautiful smile,” says Ms. Lewis. “I knew in fifth grade that she was going to reach all of her goals in the future.”

She explains how Kaiden wanted to do it all in school and how she got along with everybody.

“I knew she was going to do great things,” says Ms. Lewis.

Because of Early College of Macomb, Kaiden can start her future a little bit sooner and with a lot more confidence.

“I feel like when I first started, I couldn’t speak on the program,” she says. “Now after being in and learning the shortcuts, I am much more of a confident person.”

For more information on living and learning in Macomb County, visit Make Macomb Your Home. Find more articles like this at Metro Parent’s A Family Guide to Macomb County.

Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano is a mom of one and Metro Parent's Audience Development Coordinator. She tracks down the best events every week and shares the inside scoop with families in print and online. She enjoys reading, traveling and exploring metro Detroit with her son.


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