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APS students on the fast track for future careers

ALPENA, Mich. — A program at Alpena Community College that began 7 years ago with only 35 kids has grown to approximately 180 students.

The Early College Education Program prepares students for better paying careers and is the first program of its kind in Northeast Michigan.  In order to get more students college credit, program administrators have taken advantage of many state initiatives.

According to Early College Coordinator, Lee Fitzpatrick, college retention and completion rates are low in this community.  Fitzpatrick credits the state of Michigan for the success of the early college program as being one of the leaders nationally.  Fitzpatrick said 41 percent of the current student body at ACC is high school students earning college credits.

Fitzpatrick has had pre med students go on to a university and students who have completed welding certificates have walked right into the workforce.

The application process begins spring of each sophomore year.

Information will be provided to parents on November 5 at 7 p.m. in the Alpena High School auditorium.