In the News

Not everyone has the assistance they need before college. High school students often need direction and guidance before taking the next step, and that is one of the ways Western Michigan University’s Office of Precollege Programming is here to help.
The Office of Precollege Programming is the centralized office of the Academically Talented Youth Program, Michigan Campus Compact, Michigan’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs,, Upward Bound and Dual Enrollment -- several pre-existing pre-college programs that have been focused into one main office. Each of these programs serve a different purpose in assisting with outreach to pre-college students across the state.

“This office will provide leadership and direction, especially in regards to minors on campus policies and procedures, for individuals, programs, and units at Western Michigan University involved in outreach with pre-college students while at the same time serving as a campus-wide resource and area of support,” according to the office’s website.

Precollege Programming aims to “leverage internal and external resources to maximize the engagement and enrollment of precollege students,” director Erika Carr said.

The office also hopes to create a positive college access experience for those involved. The programs are intended to help precollege students of all ages however they areable to.

The Academically Talented Youth Program, ATYP, is aimed to assist highly talented middle school and high school students with challenging and fast-paced learning opportunities. The program seeks students in their sixth grade year that show they are highly gifted in math or language arts. After students enroll in their seventh or eighth grade year, they begin taking advanced high school curriculum classes that count for high school credit and prepare them for advanced placement classes early on.

“Through personalized and intense instruction and rigorous coursework, students are prepared for advanced placement content after two years of ATYP classes,” the ATYP webpage states. “The program strives to teach students based upon their intellectual capacity, not their year in school.”

Michigan Campus Compact is a program that encourages students to engage in service-learning opportunities. These opportunities address college access issues for youth in the state of Michigan. By partnering with the university, the program hopes to inform youth and families of the college process and how they can best prepare. On top of college preparedness, the program creates a way for students to participate in the community and help.

“Community service and service-learning opportunities have continued to grow with the development toward civic engagement and fostered new models of civic engagement and learning,” according to the Michigan Campus Compact webpage.

Michigan GEAR UP, or Michigan’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a program that provides support to five public schools in southwest Michigan. The schools include Benton Harbor High School, Eau Claire High School, Fennville High School, Harford High School and Kalamazoo Central High School.

“The program's mission is to provide an opportunity for these students to discover first-hand the potential of a college education and to expose students to the information, knowledge and skills they need to complete high school and prepare themselves adequately for college entry and success,” the MI GEAR UP site says.

This service hopes to help low-income families and underrepresented students with the college process. By helping these areas, the program will make the transition for these students into postsecondary education easier.

The last program hosted by the Office of Precollege Programming, Upward Bound, aims to assist low-income families with preparing for college entrance. In addition to low-income, it also helps students whose parents do not have bachelor’s degrees.

Upward Bound invites students to apply online for assistance with literature, composition, mathematics, and sciences. This assistance is offered on college campuses after school and Saturdays, as well as over the summer. The program focuses on those with low academic success and hopes to increase the rates by which these students graduate and go on to postsecondary education.

“[Upward Bound] engages participating students in an extensive, multi-year program designed to provide academic, counseling, and tutoring services along with a cultural enrichment component, all of which enhance their regular school program prior to entering college,” according to Upward Bound’s webpage.

The Office of Precollege Programming offers plenty of help and assistance with guidelines and qualifications for all of these programs online at as well as over the phone at 269-387-2773.

Source: Western Herald