FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MIDDLE COLLEGE PROGRAM
ABOUT MIDDLE COLLEGE
What is a Middle College High School?
Middle College High Schools (MCHS) are a cooperative innovative high school located on the Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) campus which provides the opportunity for students to earn a high school diploma and start college early while gaining credits towards a certificate or associate’s degree.
How is the middle college program different from dual enrollment?
The dual enrollment program for high school students is part of North Carolina’s Career & College Promise (CCP). It allows eligible NC high school students to enroll in NC college classes through the high school they currently attend. Middle colleges are small public high schools located on Central Piedmont Community College campuses. If accepted into the program, the student would no longer attend his/her home school, the middle college high school would become the school of record.
How is middle college different from traditional high school?
Classes are smaller with each student receiving a graduation plan specific to their individual needs coupled with flexible scheduling. Students earn college credits that may be applied towards a certificate or degree.
What type of student is a good candidate for Middle College HS?
There is no set "type" of student at any of the schools. Students at MCHS tend to be highly self-motivated, mature, independent, responsible, hard-working students, with a desire to be active participants in their education. Experience in Honors/AP courses is strongly recommended since all MCHS courses are taught at the Honors/AP level.
When does school start and what about the calendar?
Classes begin earlier than traditional high schools in the district and begin the second week of August. There will be a REQUIRED orientation for all students a few days prior to the start of classes. ALL students are REQUIRED to attend the orientation. We follow the CPCC calendar as close as possible. All high school classes typically end mid-May.
Do I attend my home school as well and can students leave campus?
No. Once you are selected the MCHS is your new home school and all courses are taken at that middle college high school and at CPCC. Yes, students are treated like any other college student and are free to come and go. However, they are expected to be in class, on time and make responsible decisions.
Are middle college high school students in CPCC classes with college students?
Yes, middle college students are not labeled or identified for professors. High school students are in classes with other CPCC students.
COURSES, SPORTS, AND OTHER ACTIVITIES
What type of high school courses will be offered & can students participate in sports and extracurricular activities?
MCHS’s rigorous courses consist of English III, English IV, Science and Math which are taught at the AP and honors level. Students are allowed to participate in athletics at their previous home school. Students will work with the high school counselor to design a schedule that fits the student’s academic and athletic needs. Students also participate in various CMS district-sponsored activities such as the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program and Charlotte Career Discovery Day. Students will also have the opportunity to join various clubs. As college students, MCHS students can participate in CPCC’s numerous clubs and extracurricular activities.
GRADUATION & LOTTERY APPLICATION
When will incoming students graduate?
The expectation upon initial enrollment is that students will continue through Grade 13. Students continuing to Grade 13 will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree or certificate. Incoming Seniors are also expected to continue through Grade 13. Graduating “early” from the middle college high school is different than the traditional high school. Students who desire to graduate early are choosing not to continue to Grade 13 and will graduate at the end of Grade 12 provided all CMS required courses are complete. It is critical to have a thoughtful discussion with your child for the best options as it may impact college applications and other deadlines.
What are the lottery dates and how do I apply?
The School Choice Lottery Application can be found by going to https://cmschoice.org. Admissions information can also be found on our websites by clicking on “Admissions Information” on the left side of the webpage.
My student was NOT accepted. Can I appeal this decision?
No. All decisions are FINAL and THERE IS NO APPEALS PROCESS. Keep in mind when applying that many students who are not accepted are very qualified candidates, and as much as we would love to be able to accept everyone who applies, we cannot. We receive hundreds of well-qualified applications for a very limited number of spaces. However, we will retain all qualified applications in the event spaces open up. If a student who has been accepted chooses not to attend, fails to accept their offer of admittance, or fails to show at the start of school, their space may be offered to another qualified candidate who may have originally been denied.
Is it better for students to take AP classes or community college classes?
Colleges that accept community college transfer credits will award credit for grades of a “C” or higher earned in a transferable college course. To earn college credit for an AP course, students need to score a 3, 4, or 5 (depending on the college) on the AP exam, regardless of the grade earned in the course. If a student isn’t a strong test taker, they often prefer to take the community college courses because they are more confident in their ability to earn college credit.
As far as how it’s viewed in college admissions, colleges know that emphasis at the Middle College is for students to take community college courses, and therefore fewer AP courses are offered than at traditional high schools. Some highly selective colleges do still like to see students attempt some AP courses in addition to the community college courses.
How do colleges view students from Middle Colleges compared to students from traditional high schools?
Colleges view Middle College students favorably because they have proven that they can be successful in college courses, and therefore are more likely to succeed at their institutions and to graduate on time.
Do Middle College students apply to college as a freshman or transfer student?
Most colleges encourage Middle College students to apply as freshmen and consider transfer students to be students who have taken college classes after graduating from high school. Within the UNC system, Middle College students who complete an associate’s degree before transferring are given the option of being evaluated as a transfer student or as a freshman. The main advantage our students see to applying as a transfer student is that they don’t need to submit SAT or ACT scores for admissions. Other differences include the availability of housing, merit-based scholarship eligibility, and orientation and campus programming offerings.
Can a Middle College student enroll in any associate’s degree at CPCC?
CPCC enrolls all Middle College students into the Associate in Arts degree, but they can then choose to change to another degree. Some programs, such as cosmetology and allied health programs, have an additional admissions process that a student must go through to be accepted, and some have minimum age requirements and/or require that all high school courses be completed before a student can be accepted. Middle College students can apply to any program, but might not start select programs until Grade 13.
Is Grade 13 required?
Grade 13 is an optional year for students who may need it to complete the Associate's Degree.