Seniors and DEEP program students, from left, Jacob Ryan, Jacob Klokeid, Sam Carter, and Kalei Hubert-McLennan. Photo by Jessica Steeley
BY JESSICA STEELEY
Clarkston News Staff Writer
When Sam Carter graduates high school this June, she won’t just be ready for college. She’ll already have about a dozen college credits under her belt.
“It’s super convenient – you’re able to get ahead and make sure you do everything well,” said Carter, who takes classes through Clarkston High School’s Dual Enrollment Educational Partnership program (DEEP).
DEEP is a dual-enrollment program taught at the high school by University of Michigan-Flint professors, open to Clarkston High School juniors and seniors, said Billie Pambid, Clarkston Community Schools innovation officer.
The program has two courses of study: humanities, which are general studies for college students, and medical science. Though medical science is tailored to students who want to go into the medical field, it does include some general education college science courses, Pambid said.
The 32 students enrolled in the Deep Program follow the same schedule as high school students, but they take two college classes per semester in place of their fifth and sixth hour. One year in the program gives students 12 or 13 transferable college credits while paying between $1,400 and $1,800 for the year.
If a student chooses to enroll in Clarkston’s early college program they’ll take classes through the DEEP program for two years and in their fifth year take at least 12 credits a semester at University of Michigan-Flint (UM-Flint).
“We want juniors next year to sign up for [early college],” Pambid said. “They commit in their 11th grade year and then they can do that fifth year.”
These students must apply and be accepted to UM-Flint their sophomore year to be eligible for the program.
There’s an alternate application process for these students, as opposed to high school seniors applying to college, said Clarkston High School Principal Gary Kaul. They apply near the end of their sophomore year of high school.
Pambid said students can choose to live on the UM-Flint campus their fifth year or commute, and they can finish their degree there or transfer to another college at the end of their fifth year.
An early college program gives students more transferable credits than other dual-enrollment programs the high school offers, Kaul said. The intent of students participating in early college is usually to get a four-year degree.
“It’s always been a goal of ours to try to afford students the opportunity to earn college credits while they’re in high school,” Kaul said. “It’s a good opportunity for kids to earn college credit and take classes in something their passionate about.”
Senior Kalei Hubert-McLennan, one of the nine students in the medical science track, saw the Deep Program as an opportunity to start a medical program early, since she wants to become a doctor.
Hubert-McLennan plans to go to Grand Valley State University in the fall and said having a chance to experience a college setting in high school has prepared her for the transition.
The humanities program, which has a little over 20 students, allows the chance to get some general education college electives out of the way.
That’s why senior Jacob Ryan choose to apply to the program. He said his family paid around $1,200 for 12 college credits, plus the cost of books for the classes, which Ryan said included a few novels and textbooks.
Carter is on the humanities track as well. She applied to challenge herself more during her senior year, as opposed to graduating early or taking easy electives.
“I would recommend [the Deep Program], it’s fun,” she said.
These students received 12 college credits at a lower cost through the Deep Program. The early college program will give students at least 50 transferable credits at the discounted price.
“It’s a great program, I’m excited about it. People are coming out [of college] with a lot of debt and not a lot of high-paying jobs,” Pambid said. “I’m hoping that it takes off and everybody that wants it takes advantage of it, it’s not for everybody, but there’s a large group of people that could make use of it.”