MCC moves forward with Early College program

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 12:22 pm on Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Montcalm Community College Board of Trustees met Monday at the Stanley & Blanche Ash Technology and Learning Center in Greenville. — Daily News/Kelli Ameling

GREENVILLE — The Montcalm Community College (MCC) Board of Trustees took the next step toward ensuring the Early College program will move forward.

During the board’s meeting on Monday, trustees approved the Early College consortium agreement, which commits MCC to being a part of the program.

“The bottom line of the agreement is we agree to (be a part) of the Early College program,” MCC President Robert Ferrentino said “We will be the leader, Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) will be the fiduciary and there will be a board. This agreement spells all of that out.”

The MCC Board of Trustees unanimously approved the agreement that allows the program to move forward.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for students in Montcalm County,” said Trustee Patricia Hinrichs.

Ferrentino said he and MAISD Superintendent Scott Koenigsknecht have been meeting with all of the boards of education with the exception of Central Montcalm Public Schools in regards to the Early College program.

Vestaburg Community Schools and Greenville Public Schools both have agreed to join the program, however, Carson City-Crystal Area Schools have voted to opt out of the program, Ferrentino said.

Ferrentino also said the other schools are still exploring the idea.

“We will see over the next few weeks who is on board,” Ferrentino said. “Reception has all been great.”

MCC Board Chairwoman Karen Carbonelli asked if the reason why Carson City-Crystal Area Schools decided not to do the program was because of financial reasons.

Ferrentino confirmed, saying it is a consideration the schools have to look at.

“I am confident a pilot group of 45 students will happen,” Ferrentino said of the program.

Currently, the program is working on getting information and marketing materials out to the public to inform the communities about Early College.

“I like that this is open to students and not just to the top three students,” said Hinrichs. “It gives (all students) a chance for college.”

Ferrentino said once all schools have made a decision, a rough timeline for the program includes holding informational meetings with parents and students and then getting students registered for the program.

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