For Immediate Release:

May 24, 1999

Contact: Pat Mroczek

(734) 487-4400



A partnership between Eastern Michigan University and four local school districts will create a dual enrollment program which will help select students at Milan, Lincoln Consolidated, Willow Run and Ypsilanti high schools get a head start on their college careers while still in high school.

The Eastern Scholars Program, a new venture which will begin in September, will benefit both area high school students and the University community. Students will enroll in a class which will count toward their college degree, allowing them to accelerate their college program. EMU will issue a special EMU ID card, providing access to EMU facilities and events.

"This is a win-win-win situation," said Courtney McAnuff, vice president for enrollment services at Eastern Michigan. "Students will be able to take advantage of challenging classes that will transfer to any college in the United States. The school districts will be able to offer advanced courses for gifted students, and the University will benefit from an association with some of the area's brightest students."

Al Widner, superintendent of Lincoln Consolidated Schools, called The Eastern Scholars Program one more opportunity for Lincoln's best students. "This will not only meet the needs of our advanced students, but it will help them pursue their college education. This will also strengthen our collaboration with Eastern Michigan University, which we're very interested in doing as a K-12 institution."

"This is a great opportunity," added Ruth Jordan, principal of Ypsilanti High School, who said the effort will benefit both staff and students at her school. "I think it's a great program and has a lot of potential for students who want to enroll in classes we're not able to offer."

Details are being completed at Ypsilanti High School, where Jordan hopes to offer a foreign language, possibly Japanese, and an African-American survey course. "With Eastern right in our back yard, it gives us another resource for the students," she said.

Other courses being developed at the various school districts include English, chemistry, algebra and speech communications.

McAnuff said the program differs from other dual enrollment programs because it identifies specific classes to be offered to qualifying students. School districts will determine if the courses will be offered at the high school or on the EMU campus. Only students from participating schools will be able to enroll in the classes. High school students will not be placed in regular EMU classes.

"Rather than just take classes to fill a schedule," McAnuff said, "students will be able to take a class that will accelerate them to their college degree. That's a savings of both time and money. For the school district, their most gifted students will be challenged in advanced classes, while the University will enjoy having some of the area's brightest students on campus."

Students who participate in the program will be issued a special EMU ID card, providing them access to EMU's $41-million Halle Library, recreation/intramural facilities, cultural and entertainment programs on campus and admission to EMU athletic events.

Students will also be given a free email account and Internet access, McAnuff explained. "In addition, they will continue to have the benefit of peer support and learning teams because they will be taking these classes with students from their own school," he said.

Students interested in attending Eastern Michigan University will have their general application fee waived when they apply for admission. Students who participate in The Eastern Scholars Program and who graduate from high school with an overall grade point average of 3.5 or higher, and a minimum ACT score of 24, will automatically qualify for a $6,000 scholarship to the University, he said.

Several other school districts are considering the program and may join later, McAnuff added.

For more information on The Eastern Scholars Program, call (734) 487--3060.