Extending Education

Pupils get opportunity to take five years of high school

Gabe Riley, Journalist

Ordinarily, students are required to go to school for 12 years in order to graduate. A program called JAC3 (Jackson Area Early-Middle College) was recently introduced allowing sophomores to extend their education into a thirteenth year of high school. Last year JAC3 was introduced allowing sophomores and seniors the opportunity to enroll in the school one more time after their senior year.

“The new program lets students attend a thirteenth year, so they would have their normal senior year,” said student counselor Mrs. Lige. “The thirteenth year they would be enrolled here but they would attend Jackson College (JC) and leave with a diploma.”

The program lets students officially enroll in high school even after completing their senior year, but they will actually be going to college classes with JC. This program is free because it is sponsored by several different local companies that pay for the students education and work for the company for two years or longer, depending on the length of time they spend in college.

   The new program lets students attend a thirteenth year… where they would be enrolled at Jackson College.

There is one catch.  If a student for any reason leaves the company that paid for their college courses, the student will be billed by the company for the full cost of the college courses. For now, the program only lets students go to the Jackson College but it is expected that Baker College and many other local colleges will join in the future.

“Right now, the program only has manufacturing companies, but soon it will expand to engineering and several other fields in the future,” said Mrs. Lige.

The companies currently involved with JAC3 are; Advance Turning & Manufacturing, Caster Concepts, Technique, Miller Tool & Die, Orbitform, Industrial Steel Treating, LeMatic, Petty Machine & Tool, Diversified Precision Products, Northwest Tool, Alro Steel and Lomar. With this program students have the ability to enter an apprenticeship with the company where they will start working for the company during your time after school or college classes, and gain on site experience with a professional.

There are currently two juniors and two seniors that will be continuing into the thirteenth year with manufacturing. This program has been considered a very lucrative opportunity for students in the Jackson area to get the chance to go to college for free, and have a job immediately afterwards.