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Early College

North Central Now! Early College

North Central Now! Early College is a program for high school students in the Northern Michigan region which allows students to receive both their high school diploma and associate degree after their fifth year of high school. Students will complete their course work at their home high school and at North Central Michigan College campuses - Petoskey, Gaylord, or Cheboygan.

The goal of the early college is to provide students and parents in the region an exceptional academic experience that promotes student success through achieving a college credential while reducing the time and expenses of a college education beyond high school. Increasing the number of area residents with college degrees is an important regional and national goal.

North Central Now! Early College allows you to:

  • Jumpstart your college experience
  • Earn an accelerated associate degree
  • Enjoy tuition cost savings
  • Receive personalized support services


the first early college cohort graduated may, 2017

Garland Swenor

Garland Swenor is a student at North Central Michigan College and a member of the first Early College cohort through Petoskey High School. She will be graduating this spring with an Associate of Arts degree and will be transferring to the James Madison College at Michigan State University in the fall where she plans to major in Social Relations and Policy. Here is Garland's story:

"Joining North Central’s Early College program has been one of the most rewarding decisions of my life. Being a triplet, I knew to pay for college was going to be a struggle financially. So when this program was introduced to our school, my family and I knew that this would be too great of an opportunity to pass up. My triplet sisters, Ayriss and Breton, who are also in the Early College program with me, would agree with me on the endless benefits this program has provided us with. The financial relief lifted a serious burden off of our shoulders, but the advantages do not stop there. Students in the Early College program are allowed to jumpstart their college experience while still in high school. This allowed me to gradually transition into life as a college student, rather than just diving right into college without the college-level maturity needed to succeed. Students also learn valuable lessons here at North Central, like responsibility, time management, and self-awareness. I have realized that I have to be my own self-advocate and that my success is determined by the dedication and effort that I put into my education. And most of all, I have been exposed to a wide variety of classes and people, including professors and my peers. Because of North Central, I have more of an idea of what I want my future to look like.

The Early College program allows students more time to find themselves in their schooling by helping them figure out what types of classes they enjoy. Using my sisters as examples, their interests have evolved because of their exposure to certain classes that were not available in high school. Ayriss now aspires to become an OB/GYN because of her passion for helping other fellow women improve their overall health. Her anatomy and physiology courses have helped her understand her desires and goals for the future. Breton wants to become a biomedical engineer and make prosthetics for children. The variety of her science classes at North Central have encouraged her lifelong dream to give others hope. Though my aspirations are quite different from my siblings’, North Central has provided me with many opportunities to explore what I am passionate about. Though these goals could always change, as of now I hope to become a civil rights lawyer and give a voice to those who are ignored. My sisters and I would have never discovered this much about ourselves this early in life without the experiences North Central has provided us with.

With the knowledge I have gained from attending North Central Michigan College, I feel prepared for the rest of my educational path. I am ready for the obstacles that I will face in my future. The Early College program has given my family, and the families of the other Early College students, hope and relief. It has empowered and encouraged us. Without the North Central community, I would not have been as inspired to further my education, and I cannot thank North Central enough for such an invaluable gift."

early college details

Who can participate?

North Central Now! Early College is a partnership available to all area high schools. Currently, Petoskey, Boyne City, and Gaylord are in partnership with North Central. Early College is available starting your sophomore year. 

How does it work?

Students should obtain an admission packet from their high school counselor.

Students will be selected for admission into the early college in accordance with North Central and the High School admission requirements. Students who are accepted into the Early College program will work with advisors and counselors from the high school and North Central to develop their educational plan leading to their completion.

Why Early College?

A study sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation showed that Early College students are more likely to graduate from high school than students in comparison groups. They are also more likely to earn a college degree. Participating students will realize significant college tuition cost savings and be on an accelerated path to a college degree and career. In addition, students will have the opportunity for personalized support services to gain greater success while in college.

Which degrees are available with North Central Now! Early College?

  • Associate of Arts
  • Associate of Science
  • Associate of General Studies

For More Information 

Contact Corey Lansing, Director of Admission, North Central Michigan College, (231) 439-6349.