On June 15 of this year, Skyline College opened its first ever Middle College program. Since then, high school students have been enrolling in courses here on campus on top of their normal high school workload, and will continue to have the opportunity.
The roots of the program, according to Interim Director Raymond Jones, can be traced back to the campus 2012-2017 strategic plan under the “Comprehensive Community Connection” section which calls for an initiative to strengthen connections with the community via the creation of a middle college. From there, the campus studied other programs, did research, and worked with other organizations before they began organizing and setting up the program here on campus.
“It’s like a newborn infant,” Jones said, referring to the program and its continued growth and development since its creation. “It’s just starting so we have growing pains from the standpoint of figuring out how to go about in a way that is as seamless as possible for the students.”
Since starting over the summer, the program’s kinks have been getting worked out. According to Jones, the program hasn’t run into any major problems, and it has the full support of the campus behind it. It will be continuing through the fall semester as well.
According to a press release from Skyline College Marketing, Communication, and Public Relations Office, the Middle College program here on campus is a partnership between the campus and the South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD). The program is intended to aid and accelerate students’ academic progress in college and requires them to maintain a minimum of 2.0 grade point average and be on track to graduate on time.
An additional requirement for students is to take a minimum of six units per semester. The courses will allow high-schoolers to collect units geared towards getting an associate’s degree, and aide them in transferring to a four-year university even sooner.
“We are very excited to become a partner with Skyline College in the Middle College Program,” board of trustees member Judy Bush said in an email. “Our students will experience learning on a college campus, in a college classroom, taught by college instructors. The students will obtain units in college courses that can be a pathway to a Career Technical Certificate, an Associate of Arts degree and automatic transfer to the state’s university system.“
The Middle College program’s goal for now though, is to get 100 students. If additional high-schoolers are drawn to the program, it will expand in the future to account for the increase. In terms of the staff of the program, Skyline is still interviewing candidates to fill the various available positions. Once this process is finished, the program will be completely staffed.
“I think we accomplished what we set out to do for the first couple of weeks which is really to open up the doors and get the students in here, familiarize them with the campus, complete the registration and articulation process we have, get them into classes, get them going to class, so I think we accomplished these basic goals, but that is the foundation backbone of the program,” Jones said. “Once you have that, you can continue to build.”