Preparing for Early/Middle College

Guest Writer Brandon Schnurr

Jordan Taylor works on edits of her work for her Journalism class. Taylor works hard in all her classes to achieve excellence. Photo Credit / Brandon Schnurr

“I’m just an average kid with average scores and average grades,” said sophomore Jordan Taylor, but she is anything but average.
Taylor is one of the few students entering Kalamazoo Public School’s Early/Middle College program at Kalamazoo Valley Community College for the 2017-2018 school year. She wants, and will, pursue a career in early education, one of the many fields offered by the Early/Middle College program.
She wants to go into the field of early education to help students that don’t get as good of an education as kids in Kalamazoo.
“I don’t want to teach in Kalamazoo, maybe somewhere in Portage,” said Taylor. She also wants to go into teaching to make her family proud, primarily her mother.
The Early/Middle College program is a program for high schoolers that allows students to earn a high school diploma and college credit. It also grants an Associate’s Degree or certificate, but it requires one extra year of high school (13th Grade) in order to compensate for the time in the program.
Taylor wants to enter programs offered by the Early/Middle College program to go into the field of early education, or teaching in elementary schools. She is preparing to teach in classrooms and if possible, to gain skills necessary to become a elementary school principal. Thanks to the program, she will take standard classes, which will eventually lead to her taking college level classes. These classes will teach basic early education skills and help her get a head start in her future career of teaching.
Taylor is expecting the Early/Middle College program to be different, but a good different.
“I’ve always been the one to try new things and I’m really looking forward to this,” said Taylor.
Taylor has mentioned some worries, such as the extra schooling and juggling other activities. Another large obstacle for her is transportation.
“I don’t have my [driver’s] license yet, but I can rely on school buses and my mom for getting around,” said Taylor.
Although there are obstacles and hardships, Taylor feels the big picture is what matters.
“I’m going to be proud of it [Early/Middle College],” she said.
The idea of getting a degree or certificate and then being able to go to college for a better degree brings in many students to the program. This is the idea Taylor hopes to take advantage of. She is looking to use Early/Middle College to get an Associate’s degree and then go to college for her Bachelor’s degree.
When asked whether or not she would recommend the Early/Middle College program to others, Taylor said that she recommends it to anyone that wants a head start at their career choice. She also gave a little advice for anyone who wants to join into the program.
“Start looking into it early. You don’t want to be underprepared, so plan ahead,” said Taylor. “Think about the future, but all of it. Don’t let the bad stop you.”