Berrien County 5th Year Early Middle College Program

Berrien County Fifth Year Early Middle College Logo
In Partnership with:

Lake Michigan College Official Logo

Southwestern Michigan College Official Logo

Get a head start on college and in life by earning substantial college credit or certificate for FREE, while you're still in high school through the Berrien County 5th Year Early/Middle College program.
 Tuition, books and fees are provided at no cost to students and families! 

How does it work?

Basically, you will earn a college degree and or career certificate. Students take college classes during 11th and 12th grades along with their high school classes, and then attend college full time during a fifth year of high school to complete the program.

What are the benefits? Save a ton of money. The national average cost of attending a four-year public college is more than $28,000 per year. By starting college while in high school, you could cut your college costs in half.

  1. Get a head start on your career. Whether you earn a career certificate or an Associate's Degree, you will advance through your educational path and start your career years faster than a traditional educational program.
  2. Transition smoothly to four-year colleges. Lake Michigan College and Southwestern Michigan College participates in the state-wide Michigan Transfer Agreement and has individual transfer agreements with universities throughout Michigan and Indiana.

What degrees can I earn?

Lake Michigan College
 Associate of Arts/Transfer Degrees

General Transfer (MTA)

Associate of APPLIED Science/Transfer
Criminal Justice
Engineering Tech
General Studies
Hospitality Management
Manufacturing/Machine Tool (also available as a certificate)
Computer Information Systems (CIS) (also available as a certificate)
     -Applications Development
Welding (also available as a certificate)

Career Certificates
Medical Assisting

Southwestern Michigan College Associate/Transfer Degrees
Associate of APPLIED Science
Automotive Technology (also available as a certificate)
Construction Trades Green Technology (also available as a certificate)
Sports Management
Fire Science (also available as a certificate)

Both Lake Michigan College and Southwestern Michigan College offer technical certificates.
Technical Certificate
College Association (MEMCA) Certificate (*pending approval by MDE)
*Additional programs may be available in the future.

Where will I take my classes?

You'll take classes at your high school or Berrien County CTE PA 56 Shared-Time Programs, and on the campuses of Lake Michigan College or Southwestern Michigan College.

Sounds like a challenge. Will I have help?

Absolutely! Support systems like the Summer College Success Bootcamp, Early/Middle College seminars and mentors, plus all the regular advising, tutoring, and library services from your high school, LMC and SMC will help you be successful.

Students who elect to enroll in the Berrien County 5th Year Early/ Middle College commit to:

  • Attend a week long Summer College Success Bootcamp during summer vacation.
  • Successfully complete college course work in their junior and senior years of high school.
  • Extend their high school graduation date by one school year. Students will however participate in high school commencement with their original graduating class.
  • The completion of an associate's degree or certification to their high school graduation expectations.

Contact Melissa Springsteen, Early/Middle College Consultant for more information at or (269) 471-7725, ext. 1304, or speak with your high school guidance counselor.

Contact Information
Early/Middle College Consultant

Melissa Springsteen
(269) 471-7725, ext. 1304

Students and their families may also contact their local high school counselor/guidance office.  

Cohort 2-Class of 2020
July 17-21, 2017

Cohort 1-Class of 2019
Wednesday July 12, 2017

Fall 2017 College Class Advising Schedule

Student/Parent Orientation Powerpoint 

Student Demographic Form
Cohort 2

Frequently Asked Questions

Student Application

5th Year Early/Middle College Application
*Application process closed for the 2017/2018 school year

Name and email address of teacher/non-family member recommendations

Teacher Recommendation Instructions

Non-family Member Recommendation Instructions

Lake Michigan College Testing Center Hours

Southwestern Michigan College Testing Center

Student Application Recommendation Forms

Non-Family Member Recommendation

Teacher Recommendation

High School Counselor Forms

Academic Progress 

Berrien RESA, Lake Michigan College  and Southwestern Michigan College comply with all federal and state laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination and with all requirements and regulations of the United States Department of Education and the Michigan State Department of Education.  It is the policy of the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency not to discriminate in its policies and practices with respect to compensation, terms, or conditions of employment because of an individual’s race, color, religion, sec, national origin, height, weight, marital status, political brief, genetic information, disability, or handicap which does not impair an individual’s ability to perform adequately in that individual’s particular position or activity.

Any inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policy should be addressed to:

Lynda Hurlow, Director of Human Resources, Berrien RESA, 711 St. Joseph Ave., Berrien Springs, MI 49103

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